February 27, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Root a T-Mobile G1 and you’ll gain several advancements to your phone, chief among them being the ability to customize the look of Google Android. You can also perform a little cosmetic surgery with Better Cut, a paid app that can customize home screen icons without having to root the G1. It doesn’t hurt that Better Cut performs several other useful functions along the way, too.
Any G1/HTC Dream user who has Any Cut is already familiar with the primary function of Better Cut – placing shortcuts on the home screen for common activities like calling or texting a contact. Rather than using the native method of calling or texting someone, Better Cut provides one-click communication shortcuts. The same is done for system settings like turning on/off (toggle) GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ringer, Silence, or Airplane Mode.
The Million Dollar Question…scratch that; the $2.99 Question is why pay for Better Cut when a tandem of free alternatives like Any Cut, Bookmarks 2, and Toggle Settings can provide similar features? The answer is a cosmetic one: this looks better.
Despite what your parents may have told you as a kid, looks matter. They matter a lot to some people. Better Cut can improve looks by changing home screen icons – whether because the default ones are unappealing or clash with the colors of a wallpaper – for anyone who doesn’t have the desire or chops to root their Android phone. And though many of you have grown tired of the endless iPhone v. Android comparisons, plenty of people wouldn’t mind using an iPhone theme for a T-Mobile G1.
Be advised that editing a Better Cut-created shortcut can lead to errors. I changed several shortcuts minutes after creating them, only to receive “Application is not installed on your phone” error messages when I clicked on them. I had to recreate shortcuts any time I wanted to change the icon. This is one problem that will need to be addressed in future updates.
Better Cut still managed to survive Android’s 24-hour rule because I like having more control over the way my G1 looks. Anyone who doesn’t share that desire may as well stick with the Any Cut and Toggle Settings apps.
App: Better Cut
- Easy-to-use interface
- Customize home screen icons
- Create customizable website shortcuts
- Create specific shortcuts for Camera, Dialer, Settings, etc.