Saturday, 7 September 2013

App Spotlight, Episode 5 - Zedge

Customisation is probably the greatest strength of Android. There are of course other reasons why Android is so great, but when it comes down to something that every Android user can easily do, without needing to do any hacking (i.e., rooting), simple customisation is what I see as Android's greatest strength. Some of the more advanced methods of customising an Android device like changing icon packs, the colour theme, grid size and transitions may require a bit of know-how with regards to custom launchers, but there are three things I believe anyone can do on their own right from the start; changing their wallpaper, ringtone, and notification tones. Don't laugh, it may seem trivial to many of us, but there are a lot of Android users who seem to not know about this simple customisation, or simply don't care. I've seen friends' phones that still use the stock wallpaper even after months of owning the phone, they use boring ringtones that come out of the box, and I can't tell you enough how annoying it is to me to hear that Samsung whistle notification tone. No joke, I hear it everyday in public. Some might say they don't know where to find wallpapers, ringtones and notification tones, which is a fair excuse. So here is an app to solve that particular problem accompanied by a few reasons why it's my go-to app for downloads; Zedge.

User submissions keep content fresh
Content in Zedge - just like any other resource for wallpapers and tones - is user submitted. This means that everytime you launch the app in search of a new wallpaper or ringtone, you are bound to see many new choices you didn't see the last time you launched the app. User submitted content also means that many choices will be up-to-date with current happenings in pop culture. Batman movie coming out? You'll see many Batman wallpapers in the app. World Cup around the corner? There'll be wallpapers of your favourite teams and players. In love with Minions from Despicable Me 2? You can get ringtones and notification tones of their laughter and even the famous Banana Song (which is my current ringtone). Yup, your device will never be outdated so long as people keep contributing to the service, which is likely to continue for a long time yet.

Browse by category
With so many contributors and literally millions of wallpapers and tones to choose from, browsing can be a pretty demanding task. Which is why the ability to browse content according to your favourite categories is a very useful feature. 25 wallpaper categories, and 27 ringtone/notification tone categories make looking for your favourite content much easier. Wallpaper categories range from anime, to nature and sports, while you can search for tones in categories such as bollywood, electronica and reggae. Your preferences can also be remembered by the app, so you will be greeted with content in your favourite categories each time you launch the app, instead of having to set filters each time.
Categories make browsing for favourite content as simple as it can be.

Search for specific content
Browsing is good if you don't really know what you're looking for. But if you specifically want to find a Man of Steel wallpaper, or a Joker laugh ringtone, you can do so using the built-in search functionality. And since the search engine is app-wide, entering one search term will give you results for wallpapers and tones, so you can have your device both look and sound according to your desired theme. 
Joker wallpaper accompanied by a his laugh as a ringtone?

Ever since I started using Android 14 months ago, Zedge has been my only main source of wallpapers, ringtones and notification tones. Of course, there are many other sources as well, but Zedge to me is easy to use and has millions of downloadable content. All for free. That's right, the app is completely free and content is free as well, so you should know what that means - in-app ads. Don't complain. With the amount of content that's available, I'm happy the app has ads. It keeps content free for us users, and keeps the developers (and I assume contributors) happy as well. 

By the way, if you are on iOS, there is a Zedge app as well, but content is currently only limited to wallpapers. Because you know, iOS. But the developers promise ringtones in the future.

So what are you waiting for? Get rid of that stock whistle notification on your Samsung device and get something new and fresh!