Thursday , May 24 2018

Howto: Theme your Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge out of the box

S6 and S6 Edge

If you’ve recently bought (or received) a Samsung Galaxy S6, or Galaxy S6 Edge, you might be wondering about how customisable it is. Being Android, of course, there’s a lot of flexibility there, but unlike some other solutions, Samsung’s latest software supports themes out of the box without having to install a third party launcher or anything else.

Themes with Samsung’s software

There appear to be three themes available out of the box, but you can add more quite easily from the Samsung store. Some of the themes available at the time of writing include Marvel and Lego inspired themes that really aren’t too bad.

What do the themes cover? The home and lock screens, icons and 14 applications including Phone, Messaging and Clock. In particular, the clock widget which you can place on your homescreen is themable too, as you can see below in the PixelArt theme screenshots. Third party applications are probably not covered, but if you’re into that level of theming, there are other ways to do it.

Still, let’s cover how to do themes on the S6 and S6 Edge:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Click the Themes icon up the top in the quick settings area, or
  • Scroll down to the Personal section, and click Themes

As another alternative, you can access Themes by long-pressing on the home screen (or via a pinch zoom gesture):

Theme_home_main

Clicking on a theme with a down-facing arrow (such as Pink and Space in the picture above) will take you to the Themes store where you can download other themes. You can also go direct to the Themes store by clicking the Store button in the top right corner, which allows you to browse themes created specially for your handset. Simply select your theme, read the description and make sure it’s for you, then click download:

Theme_store_main

Applying the downloaded theme is as simple as going back into the Themes window and selecting your new theme once installed. Jason has helped me out with some screenshots of a few of the themes on offer including the Lego theme (which looks kind of cool):

What if Samsung’s offering isn’t enough? Action Launcher 3.

If you’re into more hard-core skinning for your phone, but without going to the extent of rooting/modifying the phone, you might like to consider a number of other options, which include Action Launcher 3, Nova Launcher, ADW and Go Launcher. There are others as well, but we (personally) recommend Action Launcher, because it’s Aussie made.

If you go down that path, you can install delicious icon packs which theme many thousands of app icons, offering a completely different visual style for your handset. One Icon Pack that I use and definitely recommend is Moonshine.

It’s beautiful, and contains icons for just about every single app that I use, except for some less commonly used (and Australian-only apps) such as Foxtel Go, Hyundai A-League app and so on. However, the majority of popular apps are supported, and icon packs such as Moonshine cover many thousands of apps, and some developers will design new icons on request (though you have to be patient).

Above, you can see modifications to the home screen (Action Launcher 3, with custom icon pack and changed icon spacing), as well as custom icons in the app drawer.

Moonshine - Icon Pack
Moonshine - Icon Pack
Developer: Nate Wren Design
Price: Free

There are others, too, which you can find on the Play Store by searching for Icon Packs. Some of these packs, and the design that’s gone into them, are absolutely stunning and well worth your trying out if you’re into a bit of a visual modification to your phone (without any of the risk attached to custom ROMs or modding).

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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