12.5 C
New York
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Home How to How to make a custom icon for Android

How to make a custom icon for Android

customi-icons-march-magic-s8.jpg

Theming icons with a pack is pretty great. But making your own icons is even better.

Icon packs have holes. Icon packs don’t always fit your wallpaper. And when you’re theming your phone, maybe what you need isn’t in an icon pack at all. That’s OK. We don’t need no stinkin’ icon packs, especially in 2020 when apps like Icon Pack Studio exist. We can edit together our own custom icons! It’s easy. All you need is some kind of photo editor — be it the latest Photoshop or free cloud-based editors like Pixlr E — and a little creativity.

Jump to:

  • Where to find images
  • Editing images for icons
  • Icon Pack Studio
  • Applying a custom icon

Finding your image

Most third-party launchers like Nova Launcher let you set any image you want as an app icon. With that kind of freedom, it can be a bit daunting finding inspiration for your icons. While most custom icons are theme-driven — using color palettes or pictures based on a wallpaper — here are some more ideas for custom icons or where to pull them:

dark-souls-icon-folder.jpg

  • Game elements: Inventory items in a lot of games, like these Dark Souls items, are easy to set as icons because most are designed to fit into a square and transparent PNG images of the items are easily found on fan sites and game wikis.
  • Emoji: Emoji are already square images that are mobile friendly and can be decoded a million different ways. You can disguise apps by how they make you feel, what they remind you of, like a secret code only you can decipher.
  • Music: If you want to show off your intense love of your favorite group or band, make their already-square album covers into custom icons. ABBA’s SOS for the dialer? Metallica for Chrome? Can You Feel The Love Tonight for Tindr?
  • Logos: Sports teams, name brands, heck even a lot of movies and bands have their logos online in transparent PNG images, ready to be set as a custom icon. If you’re a sports fan, your team’s logo is the easiest app drawer icon in the theming world, and in most cases it won’t need any editing at all.
  • Vector sites: Want an emblem for a globe, or a lilypad, or bell bottoms? Icon sites and vector repositories are treasure troves of icon fodder, and once you download them, you can gussy them up with textures and color palettes. Flaticon has a fantastic selection of both free and paid icons.

If the image you find is a transparent and square image, congratulations! You can apply it as-is. If it isn’t, there’s a few edits you may need to make.

Editing: How to turn an image into an icon

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: you do not to pay for Photoshop just to make custom icons. You can absolutely use free photo editors, like Pixlr E and remove.bg to get the job done for free, and you can use them on your phone if you don’t have a laptop handy.

Here’s what can be wrong with an image and how to fix it:

remove-bg-lloyd-icon.png

  • If your source image doesn’t have a transparent background, you need to delete the background if you want to apply it on Android (or add a color palette background on iOS), you can use Photoshop, Pixlr E, or remove.bg to get rid of it and save it as a transparent PNG.
  • If your source image isn’t a square image, you need to pad out the image and make it a square. You can do this in Photoshop or Pixlr E using the Image > Canvas size option and then expanding the canvas out into a square.

    resize-icon-pixlr-1.jpg

  • If an image is too large — if it looks too jagged or busy — you can can resize it using Pixlr E, Photoshop, or even the built-in Gallery app in Chrome OS or Windows to resize the image to a smaller size. 500x50px is a good size for icons, as it allows them to look good even when screen zoom is turned up, but it’s not so big that details will look janky.

Icon Pack Studio: Build your own icons seamlessly

icon-pack-studio-gallery-1.jpgicon-pack-studio-gallery-2.jpgicon-pack-studio-gallery-3.jpg

If you’re not interested in hunting down a new image for every single app on your home screen — to say nothing of all the apps in your app drawer — then let me share what I use for my home screen icons these days: Icon Pack Studio. This app doesn’t make standalone icons, it creates a custom icon mask that it can then apply to every single app in most third-party launchers, though it’s most seamless on Smart Launcher 5 since it’s made by the Smart Launcher team.

You can choose the background shape, how big and what kind of app icon is used, and then add stroke, textures, gradients, and other fun effects to the mask before exporting it (for other launchers) or directly applying it (on Smart Launcher 5). You can set colors by hex code, allowing for the icon to be perfectly matched to your wallpaper or widgets.

Make it your own

Icon Pack Studio

icon-pack-studio-logo-gplay.png

Pick your background, pick your textures, and bam, instant gapless icon pack! This could replace all your custom icon and icon pack needs.

Free at Google Play (in app purchases)

Applying a custom icon

The method for applying a custom icon can vary a little depending on the launcher you use. Here are the processes for applying a custom icon on the most popular launchers, and how to apply a custom icon even if your launcher doesn’t support custom icons itself.

Nova Launcher

Long-press the shortcut you wish to change.
Tap Edit.

Tap the icon box to edit the icon.

nova-custom-icons-screens-01.jpeg

Tap Gallery apps.
Tap Documents.

Navigate to and select your custom icon.

nova-custom-icons-screens-02.jpeg

Make sure your icon is centered and completely within the bounding box before tapping Done.
Tap Done to commit the changes.

Enjoy your new icon

nova-custom-icons-screens-03.jpeg

Action Launcher

Long-press and hold the app shortcut you’d like to edit.
Drag the icon up to Edit.

Swipe up the menu to reveal the list of sources for your icon.

action-launcher-custom-icon-screens-01.j

Tap My photos.
Navigate to and select your custom icon.

Return to the home screen to enjoy your new icon.

action-launcher-custom-icon-screens-02%2

The only limits for custom icons are your own tastes and your imagination! What custom icons have you used in a theme? Got a great idea for some custom icons but don’t quite know how you could pull it off? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

Latest

41-hour training bundle is perfect for would-be software engineers, just $39

Software engineers and computer science professional are always in demand. In fact, it’s a growing field that will always have opportunities.Businesses small and large are wise to employ staff with backgrounds and expertise on programming languages. If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or would-be software engineer, you’d be wise to sharpen your tools.The Super Software Engineer Bundle, just $39 in the AG Deals Store, is a great way to get started in the programming space. Moreover, it’s an excellent resource for those who may need to brush up on a few things.With 41 hours of content at your disposal, you’ll have lifetime access to education on IoT, Java, Angular, MongoDB, AI, and so much more. This package is ideal for professionals aspiring for a career in NoSQL databases and MongoDBSuper Software Engineer BundleIntroduction to IOTGet a glimpse into the ever-growing field of IoT & learn how to leverage it across business functionsJava Certification TrainingMaster web application development for virtually any computing platformHave a firm foundation in Java, the most commonly used programming language in software developmentAngular Certification TrainingDevelop robust applications for projects of any scale using AngularCreate a strong foundation on topics like TypeScript, Promises, Directives, Bootstrap Grid System & moreMongoDB Developer Certification TrainingBe equipped with the skills required to become a MongoDB DeveloperIntroduction to Robotics Process AutomationExpand your expertise in advanced intelligent applicationsUnderstand RPA concepts, the value-add it brings with relevant business use cases & toolsIntroduction to Artificial IntelligenceDecode the mystery of artificial intelligence (AI) & its business applicationsGet an overview of AI concepts & workflows, machine learning and deep learning, and performance metricsData Science with PythonHave a complete overview of techniques using PythonAcquire knowledge in Python & unlock your career as a Data ScientistGet Started!Education such as this would normally cost hundreds of dollars, if not more. AndroidGuys readers, however, are able to get it for much cheaper right now. Stop by the AG Deals Store and you’ll find it for just $39.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Review: Eufy Indoor Cam 2K and Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt

DIY connected video devices are a great way to add a layer of security to your home. Anker’s sub-brand eufy has two new additions to its video lineup that’s worth consideration. Follow along as we take a look a the eufy Indoor Cam 2K and the Indoor Cam Pan and Tilt.DesignThe Indoor Cam 2K is a pretty standard affair. For the money you get a 2K resolution camera with a built-in stand to install in your home. The camera is housed in a rounded square frame with the camera on the front with IR and motion sensors to detect movement and provide night vision.There is a slight swivel option offered by the ball-in-joint design of the stand mount to allow you some range of motion to get the camera angle you want. However, once you’ve set the position, you are limited to just a few degrees one way or the other.To the right side of the lens, the eufy Indoor Cam 2K has a dedicated microSD slot. We’ll have more on that later, but this allows you to store your data locally on the device.Around the back is a dedicated sync button that you’ll use to set up the device and a micro-USB power supply port. This is the one hardware portion of both cameras that seems dated in the age of USB-C. 1 of 4 The bottom of the Indoor Cam 2K has an integrated anchor system for mounting the camera in numerous ways. There are rubber pads to simply sit on a desk, or you can use the mounting ring and the plastic mounting inserts, to install it on the wall or ceiling.Moving over to the eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt model, you immediately see how the device got its name. It’s nearly the same, but the main difference is that it will pan and rotate up to 360-degrees horizontally and up to 96-degrees vertically.This attributes to the other addition with a much larger IR array to help pick up movements. While it has the same number as eight, they are much larger and more prevalent on the Pan and Tilt.Also, you’d be remiss to not notice how much the eufy 2K Pan and Tilt looks like a robot or RT-D2 from Star Wars. I’m not sure it makes it any less jarring for users not used to having indoor cameras, but it does have more personality. 1 of 2 Setup and SoftwareOnboarding with these cameras is great. Eufy has built a very well designed, quick app to walk you through the initial setup. These steps will get you powered up, connected to WiFi, access settings, and even add internal storage via microSD card.The SD card adds to the overall experience of the eufy Indoor/Pan and Tilt 2K . With all the missteps around competitors like Ring and Nest, it’s refreshing to see an option that doesn’t sit on anyone’s server. 1 of 8 Eufy says that if you don’t sign up for its cloud offering, and all videos are only stored locally, then it never touches its servers. You have end-to-end encryption that only transfers the live stream over data to see your live or recorded feeds.The app itself is very well done. You have a default screen to see all your cameras. Clicking on them presents you with a live feed with the history below.Digging deeper into the setting allows you can control notifications, motion detection, and opt into eufy’s cloud storage. There are additional options for turning off the LED, Night Vision, watermarking, and sound detection.Recording quality and options can be adjusted as well. Recording resolution defaults to 2K , hence the name, but if you prefer to save that local storage, you can downgrade to 1080p. Streaming quality adjusts automatically based on the bandwidth available.I also found notifications to be on point. First, it has the video preview inside the notification which I think every app in this space should offer. It’s nice to glance at this thumbnail to see if you have an exception or just the standard movement around your home without fully opening the interface.The speed of the notifications and the transition to opening the app are some of the best I’ve seen as well. Many apps in the video streaming security market struggle to make that handoff from you clicking the notification and actually showing you an image. eufy has found a good balance here that allows you to be in the live view with minimal delays.Last, you get almost instant pings when exceptions are detected. Whether it was the sound, movement, or pet monitoring, I have been getting consistent alerts. I’ve been very impressed with the overall app experience eufy has built with the Security app.Price and Upgrades to CloudThe initial pricing for both cameras is pretty decent. The standard Indoor Cam 2K will cost $32 with the Pan and Tilt seeing a $20 premium for $52 total. If you have a spare microSD laying around, then that’s the entirety of your buy-in.However, if you do want to have extended backup and cloud storage, eufy offers two different options. You can add each device for $2.99 per month ($29.99 annually) or you can go all-in with a 10 device maximum plan at $9.99 per month ($99.99 a year). Both offer the same 30 days backlog of video history and just allows you flexibility depending on how many cameras you’d like to support.ConclusionThe eufy Indoor Cam 2K plus the Pan and Tilt offer users a pretty cost-efficient way to add live video to their home network. Add that to a quick and well-designed app experience and eufy has a winner in my eyes.

AT&T Prepaid Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Many of you are likely familiar with the so-called “Big Four” wireless service providers of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. A lot of people might assume that this is pretty much all there is when it comes to carrier choice in the US. That couldn’t be further from the truth.Most of the top-tier carriers offer their own prepaid services with different rate plans, phone selection, and support. Let’s take a look at AT&T Prepaid.About AT&T PrepaidOnce known as GoPhone, AT&T Prepaid operates in the US using the same network as its tier-one brand and, for the most part, provides nearly identical coverage. One key difference is that there is no third party coverage in pockets of states such as Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska.AT&T Prepaid features include no annual contract, no credit check, and easy activation.READ: These dirt cheap rate plans are $20 or lessWhat are AT&T Prepaid rate plans like?AT&T Prepaid rate plans let subscribers go month-to-month with no long-term agreement or cancellation fees. Moreover, it does not charge for going over your allotted data; you receive “throttled” 2G  speeds on data for the remainder of the bill cycle.The prices shown below are with automatic bill payment, or AutoPay. Rate plans may vary based on limited-time promotions.$30/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 8GB high-speed data$55/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed data$50/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed dataWhat’s with the two unlimited plans?You’ll note that there are two plans with “unlimited” data. The $55 option normally costs $65 per month while the $50 one usually runs $75 per month.It definitely makes more sense to go with the cheaper plan as you get a lot more for your money. The main catch, however, is that it’s for new customers only.Here’s what’s notably different between the two:$55 plan: Data may be slowed in times of congestion$50 plan: Allows for access to 5G network speeds, data may be slowed in times of congestion after 22GB used, includes 10GB mobile hotspot, 100GB cloud storage, and video streams can be up to 1080pMobile hotspot/tethering is available to most of the plans as an add-on. There are other features available for the various plan, including unlimited calls and text to Mexico and Canada or usage in Mexico and Canada. Those on the 2GB or 8GB plans who do not use the allotted amount will be able to roll it over to the next month.Multi-Month PlansAT&T has three online-only offers for customers who opt to pay in advance. A 3-month plan ($99) gives users 8GB of data per month; a 6-month plan ($180) brings the price down to $30 per month; a 12-month plan ($300) equates to $25 per month.It includes unlimited talk and text within the US, Mexico & Canada, and unlimited text from the US to 100+ countries. These are limited time offers with no known expiration date.Are there any other features worth noting?AT&T Prepaid offers add-ons such as international calling and monthly data plans for tablets and hotspots. Moreover, add-on data can be purchased in the event you hit your plan’s data threshold.What about family plans?Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. As of today AT&T Prepaid offers a discount on each line, when adding a line of service. Additionally, there’s also a discount for AutoPay, automatic bill payment. It’s possible to mix and match plans based off of individual data needs.Tell me about the phones at AT&T PrepaidLook at the current lineup of phones offered through AT&T Prepaid and you’ll see familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, Apple, and Alcatel.As one might expect, the overall selection pales in comparison to the standard AT&T brand and skews toward affordability instead of power. For those looking to save money there are also a handful devices which are certified restored.A few phones have promotions which might add credit to your account or save money when paired with a particular rate plan.Can I bring my own phone to AT&T Prepaid?You can often use your current phone on AT&T Prepaid, especially if it was previously paired with the standard AT&T service. Contact your current service provider to see if you can unlock your phone for usage on AT&T.We’re also seeing a growing trend of unlocked phones with support for AT&T and its Prepaid bands sold direct to consumer. Examples include models from Samsung, Motorola, Blu, Nokia, and Alcatel.

The best phones available at AT&T (October 2020)

AT&T is one of the largest wireless network providers in the US, serving nearly 160 million subscribers. And being as big as it is, you’d expect it to offer a generous selection of phones. Indeed it does.Here, we gather up a handful of the best phones you can purchase at AT&T today. This isn’t a list of the best overall with the top-notch performance. Rather, our list aims to speak to specific users.Samsung Galaxy Note 20 UltraThe Biggest and BestIf you’re looking for the biggest and most powerful all-around device from AT&T, this is it. With a screen size (6.9-inches) that rivals early tablets, it packs an upgraded S Pen stylus and cutting-edge hardware. Oh, and then there’s a first-of-its-kind 108-megapixel camera, too.Powered by Android 10 with Samsung’s custom UI, the handset has generous battery, tons of (expandable) storage, and downright sleek design. Choose from Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black.Shop Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G at AT&TSamsung Galaxy S20 Fan EditionA Flagship for EveryoneIf you’re on the hunt for a phone that you plan to own for a few years, you don’t want to cut corners. You want a flagship phone. The problem is that too many of them cost way more than we’re willing to spend.The Fan Edition of the flagship S20 is what happens when you keep the most important stuff and toss aside the frills (and extra cost).Here, you get a large screen with high refresh rate, a large battery, three rear cameras, and a modern Android and user interface. Offered in three colors, it’s the S20 you deserve.Shop Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan EditionMotorola One 5GMid-ranger with Two-Day Battery You can’t buy a Google Pixel from AT&T right now, but this Motorola phone is about as close as you’ll get. Not only does it have a clean version of Android paired with moderately powerful hardware, but it’s also easy on the eye.The One 5G ticks all the boxes for us, including a large (6.7-inch) screen, great camera experience (48MP, 8PM ultra-wide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth), and a 5,000mAh battery that goes well into a second day.Shop Motorola One 5G at AT&TSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 5GBest Folding PhoneThe Galaxy Z Flip 5G brings back the familiar clamshell design that your parents had at the turn of the decade but with a much smarter operating system… and a heftier price tag. Fully opened, you’ve got a 6.7-inch screen that rivals other phones in size and quality. Under the hood are a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G support, and more than enough storage. Grab it in Mystic Gray or Mystic Bronze.Shop Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G at AT&TMicrosoft Surface DuoUltimate Productivity A phone built around business and productivity is far more than just giving it a digital stylus, or so Microsoft thinks. Its first Android-based phone is a a hybrid experience that is essentially a more portable Surface — that also takes calls.With two 5.6-inch displays that open to form an 8.1-inch screen, this is the sort of device you’d want for IT administration, work and school needs, and even gaming. Packed with all of the MS software you’ve come to appreciate, it’s just about as powerful as today’s flagship phones.Shop Microsoft Surface Duo at AT&T