Ricing is a term that refers to modifying the user interface of a device to pursue a certain aesthetic or provide tailored, perhaps missing functionality. This guide will focus on Android ricing, centering around user-friendly choices, and will avoid technical stuff like ROM flashing, rooting, bootloader unlocking, custom recovery and such.
Brief note: paid versions of apps below are not required to rice but can provide useful additional features. Open-source alternatives are provided as well.
A launcher is an application that shows up whenever you press the home button and it lets you open stuff – it’s the home screen. It offers a desktop with icons and a drawer where you navigate around a list of every installed application. It can also fit widgets, small panels which allow you to interact with an app without completely opening it (think looking at the current weather). Your default launcher is likely not too customizable; for one, custom icon packs are typically inapplicable on default launchers. As such, here are some recommended alternatives:
- Nova Launcher: simple to use customizable launcher that will serve and will serve most, if not all, of your ricing needs
- Total Launcher: a launcher with more features than Nova
- Lawnchair: open-source alternative to the above two
With a custom launcher, you are now free to apply custom icon packs, which override stock icons. Suggested icon packs include:
The next step is to create your own widgets or for more flexibility, live wallpapers. For the former we recommend KWGT and for the latter, KLWP. These apps provide you with options to display almost anything on your homescreen, from the music playing to the weather to displaying RSS feeds.
KWGT/KLWP might be daunting for a newcomer. The best way to learn is to tinker with it and by reading or watching tutorials. For that, Craftmath’s KLWP Guide as well as Jagwar’s Guide are recommended.
This provides you with a sufficient foundation to begin ricing! More specialized information about ricing is located below.
Most of the time you want to follow these guidelines.
- Avoid unnecessary duplicates (e.g two clocks): Don’t have more than one instance of anything on your homescreen. The typical offender is having one clock in the status bar and one as part of a widget or live wallpaper.
- Hide icon labels: You shouldn’t need these since the icons themselves should be informative enough.
Sometimes seeing others’ rice and related discussion can spark ideas. In such case, communities centered around phone ricing are worth checking out. Our own community includes the homescreen threads located on /wg/ as well as its affiliated chatroom.