Posts Tagged

launcher

Most Android users have installed, and uninstalled, dozens of launchers in an attempt to improve or personalize their devices. A lot of these users find that a cool launcher skin can cover up an outdated OS interface, but can slow down the device. This is a shame as Android lends itself so well to customisation and launcher modifications — as evidenced by our epic coverage of the different available options in our Customization Month.

With KitKat installations climbing every hour, a lot of space and processing power on Android devices will be freed up for a better, more robust launcher that truly ticks all the boxes. MyColorScreen’s Themer is trying to be that launcher.

The company has just announced the launch of the app’s public beta onto the Play Store. Before this, it had been in private beta and required an invite code and direct download from their website. Users running Android 4.1 and up should find their devices supported. Let’s take a look at the launcher and the amount of customisation it permits.

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I am an Android customization addict and, to be honest, even the word “addict” is an understatement. Two months ago, I would have told you that there should be AA meetings for the kind of compulsion that I had. I kept hundreds of folders of iconsets ready in my Dropbox account, I mastered the dark corners of UCCW and Minimalistic Text, I spent hours every week on MyColorScreen, and even maintained a Google+ photo album as a visual history of the different homescreen designs I have made since 2010.

But most importantly, I installed Nova Launcher on any Android device I had in my hands for more than an hour, and enjoyed tinkering with every single setting the app allowed from gestures to grid layouts and more. Then I got an invite code to join the Aviate Launcher Beta, installed it on my LG G2 and … well, life wasn’t the same anymore. I haven’t had the impulse to switch back from Aviate to Nova in more than six weeks, I haven’t felt the need to change my icons either, and given my history with Android customization, this is the geeky version of a personal miracle.

In the following post, I’ll explain how Aviate won me over from Nova — and Apex, ADW and all their brethren — and why it squashed my urge to tinker with my homescreens every couple of days.

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Social networks are becoming extremely prevalent in our daily lives and people check them from their bed as soon as they wake up. Many need to be constantly connected to their friends and share what’s happening with them. With this need to keep in touch with friends, it only makes sense to access this kind of information more easily.

Facebook Home offers to replace your Android launcher with a new social experience that ensures you’re always aware of your friends’ activities. With this home screen, a quick glance lets you see their photos and posts and your Facebook notifications. It definitely becomes easier to know what your friends are up to and interact with them, but is it worth ditching your current launcher?

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Earlier today, Connor shared with you the Facebook Home launch news in This Week in Android’s recap. The new launcher should be available to some Android devices on April 12th, and its still unclear whether it will include all functionality — like chat heads and the notification tweaks — or just the launcher and app drawer.

This leaves me rather perplex. On the one hand, it’s interesting to see someone taking a different approach to the Android home beyond widgets and launching apps. On the other, you might not benefit from the full experience unless you have dedicated hardware like on the HTC First.

Besides, it’s still Facebook, which means that the experience will be reliant on your friends. If you have awesome friends who travel, throw parties and are always doing something interesting, then you’ll probably love Facebook Home. But if your “friends” are just high-school acquaintances who post duckfaces, flood you with not-so-adorable kid photos, and chronicle every meal they eat, then you probably won’t enjoy Facebook Home as much as Zuckerberg wants you to.

Will you give this new launcher a try? Or are you not the least bit interested in having Facebook as your home?

It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

What better way to celebrate the end of Customization Month than with some of the most insane examples of Android homescreens out there? The Android customization community is one of the most passionate bunch of smartphone geeks out there and they’re working dilligently every day to outdo themselves and their colleagues to explore possibilities of what you can do with a phone, a bunch of ingenious apps and some insane bursts of creativity.

And one of the best places to see this creativity at work is MyColorScreen, a site that encourages users to share their homescreen setups and discuss them with fellow modders. Without further ado then, here’s a list of some of the most awe-inspiring homescreen setups on Android, hand-picked from MyColorScreen.

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It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

At the heart of your Android experience with your device is the launcher — this is the program that allows you to view and start all your apps, add widgets to your home screen and customize the way you interact with your phone or tablet. Setting it up correctly will allow you to not only access the information and tools you need quickly, but also personalize the way the OS looks and feels, to suit your taste.

You’ll want to choose a launcher based on your version of Android as well as your personal needs and preferences, and there’s a vast array of them to choose from in the Play Store — but to get started, you should probably first explore the default launcher that your device ships with — especially if you’re running Android 4.x. Today, I’m going to go over some basic ways of setting up your launcher, with tweaks that are generally available across the spectrum of different launchers to help you get familiar with the possibilities and benefits of doing so.

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It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

Android as a mobile operating system has grown tremendously over the last few years and with the last couple of increments has arguably taken over the mantle of the most mature mobile platform over from iOS. One of the things that has made Android as popular as it is today is the extreme customizability. And what better demonstrates this capability than the huge array of launchers and home screen replacements that are available for the platform?

We have already covered launchers on a number of occasions in the past, but the playing field has changed incredibly fast in the last year or so, and so it is time we take another in-depth look at the currently available options for customizing the most intrinsic aspect of your Android experience. This time, we are splitting the list of apps into two sections – the traditional home screen replacements and a newer breed of apps that work on top of your launcher as helpers to give you quick access to your apps from wherever you are.

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Chameleon is Teknision‘s bold attempt to re-imagine and re-invent the way Android home screens look and operate. Their view is that the home screen is what you look at on a device 90% of the time, so why shouldn’t it be fully customizable, tailored to your exact needs?

Earlier this year, the company launched a Kickstarter project, accompanied by a demonstration video of Chameleon. The project raised over $60,000 — over twice what they needed — and the beta has now been released.

In this Preview, let me take you through the current version of Chameleon…

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One of the quickest ways to change your home screen appearance is to change your launcher, which will apply themes, icons, and effects, all from one unified app. A seasoned Android user usually knows what to expect from a launcher, but Rabbit Launcher takes a different approach to most…

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One of the reasons I chose to get an Android phone instead of one from any other platform was because of the ability to customize practically every aspect of the user interface. Whether you have a problem with the keyboard, need more functionality from the dialer or dislike the default SMS program, there’s an app to help you change and tweak these to your liking.

Similarly, if you’re looking to change the way your icons, widgets and shortcuts are presented, all at once, you can try an alternative launcher. Hi Launcher is one of the new kids on this block, with a functional screen layout, a boatload of options for customization and some clever new features to keep things interesting. Let’s take it for a spin and see if it can become the default launcher on your device.

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