by Jules Wang | July 4, 2015 3:33 AM
From cruise control to do-it-yourself, the amount of control users can have over Android Back in late 2013, we covered an extensive range of Android launchers for the different people who might have wanted something a little different from their phone's native skin. Hell, even before then, we were all up in Launcher Wars. This was back when Android 2.2 Froyo was out and HTC's Sense UI was drool-worthy. Obviously, Android's facade had a good helping of TLC over the past few years. And while OEMs trend toward cleaner appearances, the appeal of Material Design guidelines as well as the ...
by Stephen Schenck | June 27, 2014 3:05 PM
The past few weeks have seen a flurry of interest in alternate launchers for Android phones. Nokia surprised a lot of Android users with the pre-beta release of its Z launcher, and we just saw Yahoo's Aviate launcher leave beta and become widely available. Sure, custom launchers have long been an option for Android users, but it's only recently that we've seen them mature from more of an enthusiast pursuit to software focused on the casual smartphone user. That trend is due in no small part to Facebook's efforts last spring with Facebook Home, and the corresponding HTC First handset. While ...
by Joe Levi | June 25, 2014 7:31 PM
Coming in right before Google I/O 2014 kicked off, search-engine giant Yahoo! got into the Android launcher game by releasing its app - Aviate Launcher - out of beta and into the Play Store - no special invitation needed. In the past, launchers focused on widgets, wallpapers, and making icons for your apps look good, with slick transitions between homescreens. Recently, however, that seems to be shifting. We just saw Nokia's new launcher (which is in a very limited pre-beta and won't run on rooted phones). It promises to learn how you use your device and show you the apps that are relevant ...
by Stephen Schenck | June 19, 2014 11:52 AM
Last spring saw Facebook release its Facebook Home for Android, an alternate launcher that placed the company's social interactions at the core of a user's smartphone experience. Quite ambitious, Home ultimately failed to convince a lot of people to replace their default launchers, and the Home-running HTC First similarly struggled to find an audience. In spite of those failures, we just couldn't shake the idea: were alternate launchers about to spread beyond the circles of ROM hackers and serious Android tinkerers, and start arriving from major commercial names? Not a ton of progress has ...
by Taylor Martin | December 12, 2013 3:54 PM
One of the undisputed best features of Android is its ability to be tweaked, manipulated, and molded into practically whatever the user sees fit. Through custom ROMs and heavy theming, the sky is the limit for what users can do with their Android handset's UI. However, not everyone wants to deal with hacking, modding, and destroying warranties. Likewise, not everyone likes how their phone's UI looks out of the box. Third-party launchers are the middle ground – they allow enough changes and tweaks to get the look and feel you want, without having to deal with terminal, root access, and ...
by Adam Doud | April 16, 2013 7:00 AM
When Facebook came out with their Facebook Home announcement, I was intrigued. I am a pretty active Facebook user, so I figured this was an update/app/whatever I could get behind. Since then, we've waxed poetic about Facebook Home on many occasions. We've even demonstrated how to install in on non-approved devices worldwide. Now, I've had some quality snuggle time with Facebook Home on my Galaxy S III. I installed in on Friday, just before the Pocketnow Live and used it up to, and including the time I'm writing this. And then I planned to remove it and never look back. Facebook Home brings ...
by Joe Levi | February 28, 2013 1:43 PM
I love showing off replacement launchers on my devices. Why? Any Android user can quickly and easily change the entire look and feel of their home screen experience just by installing a new app. Android is the only OS in the top three that can do that. Today I want to show you Vire Launcher, currently in beta, that takes how launchers look and their overall experience to a whole new level! Vire Launcher is a fast and very fluid launcher replacement that the developers say will make even "low-end Android phones feel like high-end" devices. Vire and adds realistic 3D effects right on your ...
by Joe Levi | January 18, 2013 1:23 PM
One of the complaints we have here at Pocketnow is how the iOS experience is getting someone "stale." Over time people may want to change the way their smartphone or tablet looks. On Android, it's not difficult to refresh your experience just by installing a new launcher to give your device an entirely new feel. If you don't like it, or tire of it after a little while you should be able to change it. With Android, you can! Today we're going to take a look at Tile Launcher Beta, a launcher that attempts to emulate the look-and-feel of Windows Phone 8's tile-based home screen. The tiles ...
by Joe Levi | January 15, 2013 12:38 PM
We've said it before and it won't be long before you'll probably hear us say it again: one of the things we like best about Android is it's ability to be customized quickly and easily through the installation of a custom Launcher. The Launcher is the app that holds your homescreen, widgets, wallpapers, and app drawer. Having a fast Launcher is vitally important, otherwise your entire smartphone or tablet will feel "laggy". Sometimes in the interest of speed, developers will remove various bells and whistles such as animations, custom icons, and the ability to be themed. Other developers ...
by Joe Levi | June 13, 2012 11:54 PM
One of the things we love about Android is the ability to change the look and feel of the launcher just by installing a new app. There are lots of replacement launchers, so many in fact that we've devoted an entire series to them: Launcher Wars. In this episode we'll walk through Regina Launcher, a very 3D, smooth, and animated launcher. Regina Launcher comes in two flavors: standard, which is free; and pro, which costs a few bucks. It also has more than a few add-ons that you can download from the Play Store to add extra widgets and functionality to the launcher. There are a few ...
by Joe Levi | May 30, 2012 8:31 PM
The easiest way to customize your Android-powered phone or tablet is to install a 3rd-party launcher to replace that which comes pre-installed on the device. In previous episodes of "Launcher Wars" we've shown off various launchers, each with their own advantages. Today we'll dig into Trebuchet by Cyanogen, the launcher that comes pre-loaded in the CyanogenMod9 custom ROM.
Posts tagged with: launcher