Skip to content

How to change color to apps

Rate this post

How to change color to apps: Trying on your friend’s smartphone, you realized that he had customized the look of some apps by changing both the colors of the interface and the icon displayed on the Home screen. This intrigued you a lot, to the point that as soon as you got home you looked for more information about it and you ended up here, on my site.

That’s the way it is, am I right? Then I am happy to tell you that you are in the right place! In the next lines, in fact, I will have the opportunity to explain how to change the color of the apps both as regards the user interface of the latter and as regards their icons. In particular, I will tell you how to adopt a dark style in all the applications that allow it and how to change the icons present in the main screens of Android and iPhone.

I assure you that these are, in all cases, very simple operations. I would say, therefore, to ban the chatter and immediately take action. Find all the information you need right below. I wish you a good reading and, above all, a lot of fun!

How to change color to apps: Android

If you want to know how to change the color of apps on Android , as you use a smartphone or tablet equipped with the green robot operating system, below you will find all the instructions you need. As already mentioned, we will first see how to change the colors of the app interface (via the dark mode , or dark mode ) and then we will take care of the icons .

Keep in mind, in any case, that there are many versions of Android available; therefore the menu items that I will show you in the following steps (relating to a Huawei device with Android 10) may not correspond 100% with what you see on your device. That said, you shouldn’t have any particular difficulties in achieving the functions that I will indicate to you anyway.

Dark mode

The dark mode , or dark mode , is an option present in Android starting from version 10 of the operating system, thanks to which it is possible to have a black background instead of the white one (or in any case light) in the system menus and in all the apps that support it. It is ideal for reducing eye strain in the evening, but it is also perfect for saving battery on devices with OLED displays (where the black pixels are actually off) or to give an overall touch of class to the interface. In short, it is ideal for use in the evening, but there are also those who always keep it active for a matter of style!

Having said that, to activate the dark mode in the system menus and, consequently, in the apps that automatically adapt to the look of Android, proceed as follows: open the Settings (the gear icon located on the Home screen or in the app drawer), go to Display and brightness and activate the dark mode lever .

As just mentioned, some apps, for example WhatsApp and Instagram , automatically adapt to the look of the operating system and, consequently, activate the dark mode every time this is enabled on the system; however it is also possible to manage this aspect separately and have clear system menus and dark mode only in the apps (or vice versa).

To achieve this and / or activate dark mode in applications that do not automatically adapt to the system look , you must go to the settings of each application and choose the color to use for the interface from there. Continuing with the practical example above, if you want to change color in the Instagram app , just open the latter, press on your profile photo (or the little man icon ) located at the bottom right, then on the ☰ button and select entries Settings> Theme from the menu that pops up. You will be offered a menu in which to choose whether to use the light theme ( Light ), the dark one ( Black background) or whether to adapt the style of the app to that of the system interface ( Default by system ). Click on the option you prefer and that’s it.

Clearly, there are many other apps that support dark mode or even themes of different colors : the steps to take vary from case to case, so I can’t give you precise indications in this regard; the only thing I can suggest to you is to “peek” through the settings related to the appearance or general functions of each app.

There are also applications that allow you to use custom background images : in this case, you could download dark wallpapers and use them as a backdrop in the apps in question to get a sort of dark mode (or in any case to change their overall look).

Among the applications that allow you to use custom wallpapers is WhatsApp , which also allows you to change the backgrounds for individual chats: just go to Settings> Chat> Wallpaper to change the general background and to ⋮> Wallpaper> Change in the general settings of a single chat to change the background in that conversation only. More info here.

How do you say? Would you like to apply dark mode to an application that doesn’t support this feature and doesn’t even allow you to set custom backgrounds? I’m sorry but, in cases like these, you could only activate the inversion of colors in the Android accessibility settings and thus obtain inverted colors (therefore white text on a black background) in everything you see on the screen, also affecting the rendering. of images and videos. If you want to give it a try, you can find this setting in the Settings menu > Accessibility features> Accessibility> Android color inversion but, again, it’s too drastic a measure if you just want to change the background color of an app: it’s absolutely not worth it. !

Finally, I recommend: even if your desire to customize apps is great, stay away from any modified applications coming from unofficial sources . Although these apps often promise more customizations than the official ones, they are often a vehicle for malware and other unpleasant surprises (as well as being often outlawed, as they are not authorized by the original developers).

For more information, you can take a look at my tutorials on how to activate dark mode on Android, how to activate dark mode on WhatsApp and how to have black Instagram.

Custom icons


If you want to change the color of the app icons , you can install one of the many custom icon sets available on the Play Store and on the alternative stores for Android; provided that, of course, these are supported by the launcher you use on your device.

The launcher, if you don’t know it, is the software that manages the Android Home screen and, fortunately, there are several to choose from: among the most valid ones I point out Nova Launcher , which is very fast, it does not weigh down the operation of Android and offers many cool features, including the ability to apply custom icon sets on Android. It’s free but, if you want the most, know that a Prime version is also available which at a cost of 4.50 euros also offers the possibility of hiding apps, creating folders in the drawer and much more.

That said, to set Nova Launcher as the default launcher of your device, download it from the Play Store or an alternative store, then go to the Settings menu > Apps> Default apps> App Home and select it.

Now you can move on to downloading icon packs. The pack of icons for Android is downloading like any other app from the Play Store or alternative store: you can find them by searching with terms like “icons “, “icon pack ” and so on. There are both free and paid ones, really suitable for all tastes; they contain the icons of all the system apps and those of the most popular third-party apps (e.g. Instagram , WhatsApp , Facebook and so on).

Once you have downloaded an icon pack, to apply it on your device all you have to do is start the relevant app , select the name of your launcher from those available and confirm. Alternatively, if there is no app accompanying the icons (or this does not allow the application of the set), you must act from the launcher settings: in the case of Nova, you must perform a long tap in a point without icons of the Home screen and you have to select the Settings icon from the menu that appears. After that you need to go to Appearance> Icon Style> Icon Theme and choose the icon set to use from there. Easy, right?

For more information, I refer you to reading my tutorial on how to change icons on Android.

How to change color to apps: iPhone

Do you own an iPhone and would like to understand how to change the color of apps on iOS 14 or other versions of the Apple operating system? No problem: find all the information you need right below.

Dark Mode

Dark mode iOS

Even iOS , the operating system of the iPhone, supports dark mode , which allows you to reduce visual fatigue in the evening, save battery on models with OLED displays (iPhone X and later, except iPhone 11 and Xr) and gives a touch class to the interface of the entire operating system. You can activate it by starting the Settings app (the gear icon on the Home screen or in the App Library) and going to Display and brightness . This will open a screen where you can choose whether to use the dark theme immediately or whether to activate it automatically from sunset to sunrise (by activating the appropriate lever).

Perfect: from now on, all applications that support automatic dark mode, including Instagram , WhatsApp and many others, will adapt to the look of the operating system without the need to adjust any settings within them.

There are many applications for iPhone that support automatic dark mode based on the look of the operating system (probably more, if compared to those available on Android); however, in many cases, they do not allow you to fully customize the theme setting and therefore do not allow you to activate the dark mode within them while the system menus are clear (or vice versa).

Among the few exceptions worth mentioning is the very famous Telegram messaging app which, via the Settings> Appearance menu , allows you to choose between various colors for its interface (including some dark themes). In the same menu you will also find the setting related to the chat background .

In this regard, I remind you that you can customize the interface colors of some apps also by applying alternative backgrounds to them. Among the most famous apps that offer this possibility is WhatsApp : you can apply a custom background to all WhatsApp chats by going to the Settings> Chat> Application chat background menu , while you can apply custom wallpapers for each chat by pressing on its title (top) and then on the Background and sound item . More info here.

As explained for Android , even on iOS it is possible to apply a sort of dark mode to applications that do not support it, by activating the inversion of colors in the accessibility settings of the operating system: in this way, inverted colors are obtained (therefore white text on black background) for the system menus, for the apps but in this case not for the multimedia contents, which preserve their original appearance.

It is an “extreme” measure, which in my opinion is not worth applying, but of course it’s up to you to choose. If you want to give it a try, you can activate color inversion by going to the iOS Settings> Display and Text Size menu and activating the Smart Inversion option toggle .

Finally, I remind you that even on the iPhone there are applications that allow the customization of your user interface through themes of various kinds, to be downloaded and configured directly within them: to find out if an app offers this possibility, take a look to the general settings of the same, or to those relating to the appearance .

For more information, you can consult my guides on how to activate dark mode on WhatsApp and how to have black Instagram.

Custom icons

IOS icons

As you surely know, iOS does not provide the possibility to use launcher or customized icon sets as Android allows ; however, if you have updated to iOS 14.3 you can take advantage of the Commands application included in the operating system to create custom shortcuts to apps to add to the Home screen (having as an icon any photo saved on your iPhone).

In reality this possibility is also present in the previous releases of iOS 14 and in the older versions of the Apple operating system; in those cases, however, pressing on any link created with the Commands app first displays the screen of this app and then the actual application for which the link was created: an annoying and useless waste of time, do not you think?!

That said, if you don’t know, Commands is an application included “as standard” in the most recent versions of iOS (previously it was called Workflow and was developed by third parties, then it was acquired by Apple and integrated into the operating system) that allows to create scripts and automate lots of operations on iOS / iPadOS: you can think of it a bit like the mobile counterpart of Automator for macOS, but it’s even easier to use.

Having made this necessary premise, let’s move on to action: to create a custom link in the iPhone Commands app, start the latter and press the + button located at the top right. Then tap the Add action button , search for the term “open” in the field that appears on the screen and select the Open app action from the search results (below).

At this point, press on the Choose box , select the app for which you want to create your custom link, press the share icon (the square with the arrow, located at the bottom), choose the Add to Home screen item from the menu that appears, specify the name to be displayed under the link to add to the Home screen, press on its icon (in the field below) and choose whether to take a photo at the moment, select a photo from the iOS roll or choose a file from the app File.

Finally, select the image to use as an icon for the link (there are many sites to download free icons; to save the images in the iPhone roll, just perform a long tap on them and choose the Add to Photo item from the menu proposed), click on the Add item (top right) and that’s it.

To conclude the procedure, then click on the Next item (top right), assign a name to the command just created and click Finish (always top right). Perfect: now you just have to go to the Home screen, where you will find your shortcut with a custom icon: pressing on it you will open the app you have associated with it. To hide the original app icon, you can create a folder and insert it there, or you can move the link to the App Library only, by making a long tap on the icon and selecting the items Remove app> Remove from the Home screenfrom the menu that is proposed to you. To delete, instead, a custom link created with the Commands app, you have to make a long tap on it, select the Delete bookmark item from the menu that opens and confirm .

Finally, for completeness of information, I would like to point out that some applications, for example Telegram , contain several preset icons that can be used as an icon to be displayed on the Home screen (and / or in the App Library). You can choose the icon to be used directly in the settings of each app that provides this possibility: in the specific case of Telegram, in the Settings> Appearance menu . Happy?