Android Customization: Organizing and Beautifying Folders
4 min read

Android Customization: Organizing and Beautifying Folders

Folders using Simi Folder App
Just like your desktop on the PC, Android allows you to create folders. The default way of creating and using android folders is just fine but there ways to customize it. One way to customize folders is by not using stock android folders instead using specific folder apps. I found SiMi Folder to be just what I needed. I will run through the steps in customizing folders with SiMi Folder but you can use whatever alternate app you may like.

Download SiMi Folder App
Click the link below on your PC signed in to your Google account to automatically have it download and install on your phone. Alternately, search it in the market place or click the link with your smartphone.

Download Folder Icons
You can do this later but I suggest doing it now so that the workflow would be easier. For folder icons there are a lot to download from because any PNG, GIF, JPG would work fine. If you find icons that are for the
Windows desktops, you can use those too. There are a lot of resources available online like deviant art. Start your search here. For this tutorial let's use the Ecqlipse Icon (not the vampire ones) set from deviant art located here.

Note: To get the most out of customizing your phone, it's a good idea to stick to a certain theme.

Transfer Icons to your Phone
Now just get those icons unpacked (if it's an archived file) and create a copy of the icons in a folder on your phone.

Create and Organize
Once it's installed, go ahead and open it. You'll be greeted by the main interface. There's tons of stuff you can do with this app but let's focus on organizing and setting up a folder. First get an idea on what you want your folders to be named. Do you want to stick to categories like "games" or "tools"? Think of what suits your needs best.

Let's start creating folders. In SiMi Folder, Click the folders button and you'll see a blank space below where it will later show a list of your created folders. Click the Add Folder button to get started. You'll see a bunch of menus. Don't fret. Once you get the hang of it, it'll be second nature. Below you'll find the explanation to each menu.

Folder Type
Choose whether to have it display only a certain type like apps or contacts or have it as a combination.

Widget Settings
Here you'll be able to change the folder icon, the look of the layout (as to what it will display) and some other things like text and background color.

Launcher Settings
Basically, when you click a SiMi Folder it pops up a list of apps (or contact,etc). You can customize the ways on how it performs this task. You can set it to display vertically, show the names of the apps itself and set the sizes of the icons within the folder among other things. There are tons of options under Launcher style>custom so play around with it if you like.

Copy Settings from Folder
If you've already setup previous folders, you can copy its settings. For now, disregard this one.

Options for choosing a widget layout
Since we have each one covered, we have an idea on where to go. Here are my suggested steps in creating and setting up your folder
  • Create a name for your folder in the text field.
  • Click and choose a folder type (Let's choose apps for now)
  • Click the Widget Settings.
  • Select Widget Layout and choose proffered layout.
  • Press the back button or go back, then select icon.
  • If you haven't done so, transfer your chosen icons or choose a default one.
  • If you transferred your icons, select gallery and find and choose your icon.
  • Save and press/go back.Adding Apps to Your Folder
    You should now see the folder you created. Now it's time to put stuff in your folder. The process differs from the default Android folder in which you can just drag icons in it. SiMi Folder's process is actually faster and easier. Once you're in the list of folders, select one. You'll see a bunch of buttons above and a blank space below. The interface is the same as the folders list, the buttons above allow you to add, edit or customize then the space below is allotted for the apps you've chosen. Select add and you'll be greeted with the list of all your apps. Put a check mark on the apps you want to include in this folder then choose save to go back.

Possible Bug
In my experience, after putting a check mark on several apps, they came up with duplicates when I saw the list. If it didn't happen you're good to go if not here's a solution. Choose only one app then click save. Now go and repeat (choosing only one app per save). It might sound frustrating but it is a solution if you happen to  have duplicates.

Final Step
Now that everything is setup, it's finally time to place it in your home screen. Go back to your home screen. Long press an empty area in your home screen then choose widget. Scroll down and select "SiMi Folder" with you're preferred widget size (ex 1x1). You'll be able to see a list of folders you created. Select one and you're done.

There are tons more you can do with SiMi Folder. The steps included here are just the basics to get you started. You can play around with it if you like. Like previously mentioned, there are alternatives you could also use but I just happen to use this one.

Pictures are from:
If you're interested to check out the developer, he has posts in the XDA community.