Android

How to use the Android Taste Test to get the perfect home screen launcher

If the amount of customization options for Android have you overwhelmed, Google has created a service called Android Taste Test that helps make some of those decisions.

tastehero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

One of the great things about Android is its ability to be customized. If there's something you don't like about your Android experience, you can change it. Don't like the home screen launcher? Change it. Don't like the icons? Change them. Pretty much every aspect of the platform can be customized to perfectly fit your needs. And when your device is customized for you, it can become a more efficient, productive platform.

Thing is, customizing your device can be a bit daunting. Considering how many options are available on the Google Play Store, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with trying to make a choice. That's why Google rolled out the Android Taste Test. With this handy web tool, you answer a number of questions (there are quite a few) and are rewarded with what the Taste Test algorithms believe to be your perfect match for:

  • Home screen launcher
  • Icons
  • Wallpaper
  • Widgets
  • Keyboard

Once the Taste Test presents you with what it believes is your perfect match for the above, it offers up download links for each option, so you can easily install them. You can even share your look with others.

Let's take a peek at how the Android Taste Test works and see just how accurate it is.

How it works

When you head over to the Android Taste Test site, click FIND YOUR MATCH, and the site will walk you through a number of questions. For each choice, you only have to click an image to answer the question (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The first question in the Android Taste Test.

The entire barrage of questions are:

  • Monochrome or Multicolor
  • Vibrant or Muted
  • Light or Dark
  • Warm or Cool
  • Geometric or Organic
  • Patterned or Random
  • The choice between two sammiches (Figure B)
  • Photoreal or Illustration
  • Realistic or Abstract
  • Modern or Vintage
  • Maximalism or Minimalism
  • Flat or Depth
  • Smooth or Textured
  • Man-made or Natural
  • 2016 or 2017
  • Animated or Static
  • Circles, Squares, Rounded, or Unique
  • "I message a lot," "I game a lot," "I work a lot," or "I do everything"
  • "I want quicker info," "I want something different," or "I want a cool look"
  • "Give me weather," "Give me news," "Give me music"
  • "I'm an Android beginner," "I'm an intermediate user," or "I'm an Android expert"
  • Hot dogs or Legs

Figure B

Figure B

Select which sammich you like best.

Once you've made all of your selections (you simply click one image or another), the Taste Test will present you with the options it believes are best suited for your taste/needs. If you've taken the test on your Android device, you will be presented with download links for each application (the link will automatically open the Google Play Store). If you take the test in a desktop browser, you'll just have to remember the selections made for you and find them on the Google Play Store (or install them remotely, if you are logged into Google with the same account as is used on your phone).

The caveat

As you might have figured out, this isn't nearly the "plug and play" affair it could be. What I mean by that is you do have to walk through the process of installing the individual applications on your own. As well, you will also have to set the installed icon pack and homescreen wallpaper. It would be nice if the process would (at least) take you to a single button that would then install all of the chosen apps for you at once. Even better would be if the tool would install and configure the chosen options to automatically serve as the default. Convenience aside, it's probably best that Google allows the users to install only the apps they want. You might not be a fan of widgets or don't much care for the choice of icons selected. Either way, it's up to you to install or not to install.

The results

After taking the test on a Nexus 6, I have to confess the choices were pretty accurate (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The newly configured Android, as suggested by the Taste Test.

Will the results of the Android Taste Test usurp the choices I've made on my daily driver OnePlus 3? Probably not. But that the tool did a fine job of guessing what I might like, I can certainly see how the Android Taste Test would be a real winner among a lot of users. Give it a go and see if you don't stick with the results.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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