I love the always on display on my Samsung Galaxy S9, but have been wondering; is there any way to change the AOD or add a graphic?
Turns out that there’s a fun and easy way you can change your AOD (always on display), as Samsung folk like to call it. Turns out that the Samsung Galaxy Themes app offers a lot more than icon sets and one of those extended features are free to download – or very inexpensive – AOD displays and graphics. Yup, I said “free”, which usually gets people to be very enthused!
Hopefully you’ve already figured out how to change your themes so that your phone reflects your personality a bit more than it did when you pulled it out of the box. If you haven’t, check out the Samsung info on the subject. It’s that same “Galaxy Themes” app that will let you tweak and change your always on display too. Let’s have a look!
To start, here’s my default always on display. Functional but, well, a bit boring:
To update it, I’ll log in to my Android phone and look for the “Galaxy Themes” app. Yours might be on a secondary screen or even tucked into a folder, so poke around if you can’t immediately find it.
A tap to launch and it’s immediately obvious that this app is focused primarily on, well, themes:
The top portion shows the themes I’ve already downloaded and can switch between, but it’s along the bottom that you want to look more closely. See the four choices? Wallpapers, Themes, Icons and AODs. Now you know what ‘AOD’ means, you can easily guess that’s where you want to tap so you can proceed. So tap!
Choose “Top” rather than “Featured” and you can constrain the results to just those that are free too, as shown:
In the background, you can see that there are a fair number of paid AOD themes, but that $1.09 is the most expensive and the most common price for paid ones is $0.79. Not a major investment, I’d say!
Here are some of the free ones available as of this writing:
The one with the Earth against the black background (all AODs have a black background) looks cool, so I’ll tap on it to get more information and a bigger preview:
Turns out it’s called “[cloud] Rotating Earth”. Very nice, actually. And free, so if it doesn’t look good, no harm done, no money spent.
To download and install it is not intuitive, however. You want to tap on the Free or price field, which is actually a stealth button. Since it’s free, that immediately begins the download process. Once that’s done and the progress bar vanishes, you’ll see this:
Again, not so intuitive, but now you know how to proceed anyway. There’s still one question you need to answer with these AOD themes, however:
If you love your current clock font, choose “Image only” but since most artists try to pair fonts with their image theme and style, I suggest that in most cases “Clock and image” probably makes more sense. Tap “Done” and… you’re done!
Now here’s the updated always on display (AOD) on the Samsung Galaxy S8:
Not a huge change, but that rotating Earth is pretty cool, I have to admit. What I haven’t ascertained, however, is whether an animation sequence on the AOD will result in slightly less battery life, so be aware that might be an issue if you have something particular complicated instead of the default. But have fun and try a bunch of options!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Android for many years and have a ton of Android help pages here on the site. Please do check them out while you’re here!