Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My favourite android launchers (a way to give any android device a make over!)

One of the great things about android is the range of launchers that can be easily downloaded to change the appearance or behaviour of your android device (making it feel like you've got a new device:).

I've used a few launchers including:
  • Nova (my favourite. Lots of useful options: 
    • have more rows and columns;
    • configure what happens when you press an icon compared to when you swipe it up eg quick dial icon to call someone & swipe up that icon to launch their contact card;
    • Configure what happens when you swipe up or down (eg set a single swipe up anywhere on the screen to launch an app such as voice search; swipe down anywhere to pull down the notification panel;
    • use multiple rotating docks (useful as this section of the screen is always easy to reach).
    • Ability to lock the set up so people don't accidentally pull icons or widgets around.
    • Change the text under the icons to make it more meaningful for yourself.
    • ...
  • smart launcher (mixing simplicity and complexity, and a pleasingly different appearance to IOS and android which can sometimes look a bit similar)
  • Wave launcher (a unique and refreshing way of swiping up at different angles to get to apps and shortcuts. Definitely worth a play! I used to use this a lot on top of smart launcher on mid sized android devices).
  • apex (very similar to Nova)
  • big button  (which went up to a staggering £8 a while ago, but which is great for a simple, clear UI for those with limited finger movement).
  • SPS shell (some nice ideas in this and a nice looking 3d carousel style that perhaps take form a bit further than function. Sadly, though it hadn't changed for a while since I last used it)
  • And several others including Go, several Windows mobile look alikes (for that tiled appearance, though superficial mostly)...

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