As much as some cried foul on the Samsung Galaxy Note because of its size and, of course, the stylus, it is in my opinion one of the best Android devices out there. I could have chosen from any number of devices on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but I chose the Galaxy Note, and in fact -- I fell in love with it. And no, I really don't mind TouchWiz at all. If you're wanting to know how I have mine set up, jump on past the break for the full details.
If you're looking for some customizations here, you won't really find them. Yes, there is a leaked version of ICS out there, and the folks who are working on AOKP & AOSP ROM's are doing great things, but for now I've stuck with "mostly" stock. I say mostly because despite the appearance, the kernel is based off a TELUS Galaxy Note backup and has been rooted via Da_G's kernel and installed with Odin due to the fact that it never increased my flash counter.
My Home Screens
Much like Jerry, my home screens are kept pretty tame. I really do only keep the basics there and not much more. I do organize some app icons where I want them such as my Gmail, Rdio and the Google Play Store but overall, I really don't use widgets. The stock TouchWiz Accuweather widget works fine for me and looks great so I do use that.
You'll also see a custom wallpaper there. If you like it, you can grab it for your device in our wallpaper gallery but in the picture it is combined with an app called WPClock which is a live wallpaper that allows custom backgrounds and font adjustments as well as allowing you to pick what items you want shown on the screen such as SSID, Battery level and more. You can grab it from the Google Play Store as a free or donate version with the donate version having more features.
When it comes to apps, there are a few that are certainly a must have across all my devices. Rdio, Google+, Tumblr, PayPal, Facebook, Dropbox -- all make the cut across the board, and some I just keep on certain devices or use a different app on tablets vs. on my phone.
You'll also see Pulse, Google Currents for news and One Louders Bacon Reader for some Reddit fun plus numerous Twitter apps. I keep numerous Twitter apps because I really have yet to find one I like. Instant Messaging apps play a big role for me as well. Google Talk and Hookt are my main uses for that sort of thing. Some more social sharing such as Path and Instagram along with some root tools like ROM Manager and OTA RootKeeper round things out. Last but not least, keyboard. SwiftKey X -- nothing else needs to be said. In my opinion it is the best, if you disagree then I suggest you go fly a kite.. Just kidding. It is awesome though, especially on the Galaxy Note.
In comparison to some folks out there, I really do keep things simple. I used to try every single app everyone said was cool but now, I just choose what works best for me and stick with those. I do come across plenty of apps doing what I do and some tend to stick around longer than others, but ultimately it all comes down to "What do I need on my device to get shit done?" I have enough distractions in my life already, so keeping my device to the basics helps keep me on track. Tablets though are a whole different ball game for me. We'll get to that at another time.
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