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Fonts are the book covers of the digital age: no matter how good the content might be, an ugly font is enough reason to turn away forever. Indeed, an ugly font is more than just ugly. It makes reading into a chore that proves exhausting for the eyes. On the other hand, a well-designed font can completely change the atmosphere and mood of a website or app.
That’s why finding the right font for your phone could be the difference between a wonderful Android experience and an Android that you despise using.
Fortunately for us all, there are plenty of ways to change the font on your phone if you can’t already do so in the Android system settings. Beware that some of these methods will require a rooted device, but that shouldn’t be a problem thanks to our Android rooting guide.
Method #1: System Settings
Stock Android doesn’t have a built-in method for changing system fonts; however, depending on the manufacturer of your phone and the flavor of Android that they install by default, you may have the feature available. For example, on older versions of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface:
- Open Settings > Device > Fonts > Font Style.
Newer versions of Samsung phones that come with Android 4.3 or later can access font changes by:
- Open Settings > My Devices > Display > Font Style.
Samsung has an online store where you can purchase new fonts to use. To access the store, tap Get Fonts Online on the font changing screen. Each font can cost anywhere from $0.99 to $3.99.
Again, non-Samsung devices may or may not have this feature by default. If your flavor of Android doesn’t have a built-in way to switch fonts, try one of the following apps instead.
Method #2: HiFont
HiFont is a free app on the Play Store and my weapon of choice when it comes to font changes. It comes equipped with hundreds of fonts that will replace the default system font of whatever version of Android you have. It’s incredibly easy to use and the font installation is separate from the app itself, so you can uninstall HiFont once you find the right font. Despite the fact that HiFont comes with its own fonts, you can install your own custom fonts through it as well.
The app perfectly supports all Galaxy phones without requiring root. All other phones will require rooting for it to work properly. And if you ever decide that you want the old font back, HiFont can restore the default system font with one tap.
Method #3: Font Installer [No Longer Available]
Font Installer is another free app on the Play Store that lets you choose from a gallery of hundreds of fonts. Custom fonts can be installed directly from your phone’s SD card and fonts can be shared as well. This is one of the apps available in ROM Toolbox Pro [No Longer Available], which should speak to the quality of Font Installer. No matter what device you use, Font Installer requires it to be rooted.
All in all, I prefer HiFont over Font Installer, but it’s a viable alternative if you can’t or won’t use HiFont for whatever reasons.
Method #4: PerAppFonts
PerAppFonts is a nifty app that’s built on top of the Xposed Framework that lets you change fonts with one awesome difference: it works on a per-app basis. Normal font changes, like the ones listed above, change the system font which applies to all of your phone’s apps. This one lets you set each app to a different font.
The one minor downside to PerAppfonts is that it only comes with 8 fonts: Monospace, Serif, Sans, Roboto Condensed, Storopia, Rosemary, Roboto Slab, and the default system font currently in use. Fortunately, you can add more fonts by uploading them to your phone’s SD card and selecting them in the PerAppFonts settings.
The Xposed Framework itself is an awesome concept and it has come a long way from when it was first released. However, it’s more advanced than simply installing a new app from the Play Store, so you should only try it if you know what you’re doing and if you’re aware of the risks involved.
Great Fonts to Use on Android
Now that you can change your font, which font should you use? My personal favorite repository of free fonts is Google Fonts. We’ve written about Google Web Fonts before, even going as far as listing the 12 most beautiful fonts you’ll find there.
As the name implies, the Google Fonts repository exists so that websites can plug fonts into their sites without effort, but users can always download the fonts directly if they want to use them elsewhere — like on an Android phone. Looking for other free font sites? I recommend FontSquirrel and DaFont. My top 5 font choices for Android devices, most of which can be installed with one of the apps above:
Font choices are personal so find a font that you love and run with it! If you happen to find an awesome font while browsing the web and you want to start using it for yourself, you can use free services like Identifont and WhatFont to determine the name of a font.
Did these instructions help you out? Let us know which font you’re using on your Android device in the comments below!