The dock on your Android just might be the most important part of your homescreen. It’s where you like to leave your most used apps and it’s your quick launch guide. Apps are on your dock for functional reasons but that’s not the only thing you can stick there.
One of the more basic decisions you can make dock-wise, is choosing to keep an app drawer button or instead use a gesture to access the app drawer. Using a gesture instead of a button frees up more space on your dock for another app. There are also plenty of ways to enhance the functionality of your app without compromising your app drawer button.
You can also add more slots to your dock. It’s true that it isn’t an option with every launcher, but if your launcher supports more than five dock icons, it’s worthwhile to consider adding a few more slots. The Action Launcher for instance can support up to 12 icons in its dock.
Of course, the more icons you add to your dock, the smaller each icon becomes. So if you want that additional space without downsizing your icons, see if your launcher supports dock pages. Dock pages can allow you to double or triples the amount of icons in your dock by swiping back and forth like the pages of your home screen.
Another way to beef up your dock capacity is to add folders to it. Putting folders in your dock can help you achieve a less cluttered home screen, or just make way for more widgets and apps on your home screen.
In Action Launcher, covers allow these folders to resemble a simple app shortcut. Gesture actions are quite useful in folders and some launchers like Nova allow you to use them in regular apps and on your home screen. Gestures can allow you to hide one app in another or hide specialized shortcuts. You can have both the phone on your dock and gesture shortcut that when you swipe up automatically dials your bestie.
A long press or a swipe up on supported apps can reveal a small list of direct action shortcuts you can choose from.
Theming a dock is simple and it can either show off the apps in your dock or hide them from snoops. The key to an awesomely themed dock is symmetry and individuality.
It is important to keep your dock looking even. When choosing icons for your dock, pick one icon from your folder to represent the whole folder, so that rather than a mix of different sized app icons, you have one consistently sized line.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a consistent dock and a boring dock. So keep in mind something as simple as a custom app drawer icon can really bring your whole dock theme together.
Custom dock icons can be subbed for any icon or folder and can be used to disguise certain apps. It may make it harder for a snoop to find their way around, but you need to choose icons that help you remember what they represent.