September 20, 2010 | by Lars Aronsson
It’s commendable how versatile, customizable and open Android is, unlike some other mobile platforms, and nearly every aspect of the OS can be personalized. Many people, me included, want their phones to not only be functional, but fun, unique and elegant as well. The combination of LauncherPro Plus and the widget Desktop Visualizer is yet another way to make your Android reflect your personal preferences.
Here’s a tutorial for creating a tile based homescreen with custom shortcut icons, vaguely resembling Windows Phone 7. At the bottom of the post are screen shots of a few layouts I have on my HTC Desire, and they will give you an idea of what you can make LauncherPro look like with this method.
- Download LauncherPro and purchase the Plus version. You need it to resize widgets properly.
- In LauncherPro, activate the “five rows” option from Preferences > Advanced > 5 icon rows in homescreens.
- Install the Desktop Visualizer widget. It’s free.
- Long-press on your homescreen and select “Desktop Visualizer (2×1)” for shortcuts with a horizontal design, and “Desktop Visualizer (1×2)” for vertical shortcuts.
- On the resulting screen, select which icon to use for your widget/shortcut by pressing the top button. On WVGA devices, the resolution for horizontal icons should be 355 x 132px, and 115 x 266px for vertical icons.
- Tap the “Select Action” button to choose an action for the shortcut.
- If you picked an icon that already had a title, delete the label in the text box and press OK.
- Now it’s time to resize the shortcut widget to fit the icon: just longpress the widget and release it. You will then see a gray border around the widget: grab the bottom-right corner, and when you’re done resizing, press the Back button to trigger the change.
- Arrange the widgets to your liking. For more info and an icon pack (including a couple of Photoshop templates) to get you started, head over to this thread at the xda-developers.