Customizing the Honeycomb Home Screen

June 24, 2011, By Christian Cawley

By default, the Honeycomb Home screen offers you five areas on which you can position, add and remove your shortcuts and widgets, providing you with a useful mobile workplace. With this knowledge, and the tips and tricks in this article, you should be able to customize your tablet’s Home screen to make things as easy and efficient for you to use as possible.

While there is nothing wrong with the default positioning of the apps that your tablet manufacturer might have added to the Home screen on your behalf, these are placed prominently so that you can see what is on offer when you first start your Android device, rather than as a design for the way you should use the tablet.

There are various gestures and tips that you will need to know before proceeding, however, related to the successful use and customization of your Android Honeycomb slate.

Customizing the Honeycomb home screen

Useful Honeycomb Gestures and Screen Customization

In order to take advantage of the display customization options in Honeycomb, you will need to know how to manipulate the app shortcuts and widgets that are already on offer, as well as how to add and remove other tools.

The first thing to do is learn how to move an app shortcut; this might be something you have stumbled upon already by tapping a shortcut for longer than necessary, and is done by tapping the app, holding your finger down until lots of small + symbols appear and then dragging the shortcut to its new position. If you decide that you don’t want that shortcut or app any longer, drag it to the top-right corner, where you will see the Remove area, and drop the shortcut here; the app will remain installed and accessible via Apps, but is discarded from your Home screen.

Adding New Widgets

To add new shortcuts and widgets, or even to change the background, use the large + symbol which can be found in the top-right corner in normal circumstances, or tap and hold a blank area of the screen. Here you will find options for adding widgets and apps, something that can easily be done by selecting the item required from the Widgets or App shortcuts list and dragging it to the chosen Home screen; each of the Home screens are previewed in the top half of the display, so this should be easy to achieve. Further adjustment of the position of the widget or shortcut can be performed using the instructions above.

You can also adjust the Home screen background using the Wallpapers option. Different options are available from standard static backgrounds to the more interesting (and battery draining) live backgrounds that feature small amounts of animation.

Note that some new apps will also add to the list of available widgets; the selection that is available to you will keep on growing. Using the gestures shown here you should be able to manipulate your Honeycomb Home screen to enable you quick and efficient access to your most oft-used apps.

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