Do you guys remember this past Google I/O when Google announced that they would sell a Galaxy S4 with a stock Android experience. Now this is all well and good, but what about the millions of Galaxy S4 owners who don’t want to pay another $649 for the Google AOSP experience? Well you guys are in luck because we have some handy tips you can use to supplant TouchWiz for that stock Android look.
First and foremost, let’s try to emulate the relatively subdued IPS display characteristics on the Nexus 4 by changing the “Screen mode” setting. To access this menu goto Menu > Settings > Display > Screen mode. Now select the “Natural” mode—in addition to reducing over-saturation, this will save a little bit of battery life.
Now let’s proceed with the rest of the cosmetic reconstruction.
Jelly Bean Lockscreen
The first thing you will notice when you turn on your phone is the lockscreen. To get the holo themed lockscreen from Jelly Bean, download and install the app Holo Locker. You can change what apps can be opened by unlock ring in the app’s shortcut settings. Don’t forget to customize the lockscreen wallpaper to your liking via the Appearance settings.
If you are having difficulty with the new lockscreen conflicting with the original, go to System settings and change the Screen lock option to “None.”
Now to get that stock Android look on your homescreen. To get the stock wallpapers, download the app called Android Stock Wallpapers. Once you’ve installed the app, find the Nexus 4 wallpapers and select the one you would like to use—we like #5.
Now to get onto the default Android icons and launcher. This step will make the most significant change so be prepared to forget TouchWiz and move on (don’t worry, you can undo all this business if it turns out you like TouchWiz better). Download Nova Launcher from the Play Store and when prompted, set it as your default launcher. Nova Launcher has numerous different settings that allow you to fine tune and tweak the launcher (even more so than the stock Android launcher) to your liking while retaining the stock look.
To update your icons, goto the setting menu and scroll down to “Look and feel.” Select the stock JellyBean icon pack and go back to your Nexus-esque homescreen! Read on to the next step to finish the transformation.
One of the best parts about Android is how customizable the keyboard is—even better is how good the stock keyboard already is. With excellent word prediction and perfectly tuned swipe-based typing, the simple Google Keyboard app is the perfect replacement to Samsung’s busy stock keyboard.
Bonus: disable pre-installed apps!
For the finishing touch (completely optional), you can hide pre-installed apps that wouldn’t be included in a stock Android installation. Go to your System settings > More > Application manager.
Scroll down to the application in question and select “Disable,” you may have to “Uninstall updates” first before the disable option occurs.