5 cute Japanese apps that let you customize your mobile’s homescreen

This is part of our cute Japanese apps series (RSS), examining a trend of ‘kawaii’ success stories emerging from Japan’s mobile space.

If look at many of the popular mobile services used by Japanese girls, there is often some sort of customization feature. On the popular girls mobile blogging platform Decolog, which has a whopping 6.5 billion monthly page views, lets users customize their blogs using original photos or illustrations. This very flexible customization feature is one of the reasons for the service’s big success. Of course, these days the mobile homescreen is another area where girls want customization. Here is a list of five apps from Japan that allow users to do this in a very cute way.



CocoPPa is a collaborative mobile customization platform that lets users all over the world create and collaborate on app icons and wallpapers, with many of its existing designs falling into the cute category. CocoPPa was released last July and since then it has been downloaded over 7.5 million times about half of that coming from the US. Readers may recall that the startup gave a pitch at the recent Infinity Ventures Summit in Sapporo.

CocoPPa is availabe on iOS and Andoird, and on the web.

Touch Icon Creator 


Touch Icon Creator is a very simple app that allows users to create original app icons using pictures in their photo library. So for example, you can create app icons with a photo of friends or family. I can also imagine this being useful for people who read celebrity blogs on the major blogging platform Ameblo. Mainstream users may not read online news media very often, but I think many read blogs by friends and celebrities. Users can create shortcuts on their homescreen and set customized photos that appropriately match the blog.

The app is available on iOS for 85 yen.

Icon Whip 


Icon Whip provides over 30 varieties of cute, original icons such as Hello Kitty or cookie shaped icons. The icons all have a sort of hand-drawn style, and that makes your homescreen look very unique. Some icons can be unlocked by sharing them Twitter or Facebook, and over on the Deco Market, there are premium icons that can be bought.

Icon Whip is available for Android.



+Icon is for those who really wants to unleash their creativity. The app offers things like frames and symbols so that you can create your own icon very easily. There are also designs provided in collaboration with popular apparel brands like X-girl and Milkfed.

The app is available on iOS.

Nuko Shortcut icon 


This one is for all the cat lovers out there. Nuko Shortcut Icon allows you to change your homescreen icons to Japanese-style cats illustrations. Nuko apparently means ‘cats’ (Neco in Japanese) in the internet world, although I had to look this up.

The app is available on Android with both free and paid versions. There are over 41 icons provided in the paid version.


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