July 24, 2014

What's the Launcher for me?

I stand beside my time honored statement that what allows Android to be successful is not this enlarged definition of open, but choice. You can choose a carrier, choose a style of phone, and choose a manufacturer before you even turn one on. Once you get in there, there is very little you can’t do to make your phone belong to you. My favorite example of this is virtual keyboards, but today I’m here to talk about launchers. Launcher replacements have been around for awhile, and every day it seems they get better and better. Today I am going to show you the three that I feel are the most amazing, and worth a show on your phone!

Launcher Pro

Based on the Stock Android Launcher, LP provides a highly customizable user experience that maintains a similar look and feel to the stock experience. The bolted on features allow for expanded home screens, improved speed and memory consumption, and added “pop up” features for certain items in the dock. Launcher Pro also offers basic theming for most of your app icons, offering a unique look and feel. These themed icons are updated and improved regularly, and provide a great deal of flexibility in how you make your home screens look. Launcher Pro offers a free and paid version, with the paid granting you access to additional features, and high quality widgets to interact with Twitter, Facebook, and more. It’s a worthy $2.99 investment if this is the launcher for you.

Go Launcher

Go is fairly new in comparison to some of the other guys out there, but it more than makes up for that with it’s arsenal of completely custom animations for accessing menu’s, widgets, and more. Uniquely, the App Drawer with this launcher has a built in task manager, allowing you to kill a program from the launcher. It’s somewhat lacking in app icon customization, which I atribute to it’s youth and the limited developer exposure it’s had to far. All in all, it’s a fantastically smooth launcher. Check out this video for more!

ADW Launcher

ADWLauncher provides a stable, highly adjustable, community driven experience. Allowing any developer or themer to completely alter the look of anything within his launcher, a community has grown around it in support of it’s continued development, and continue it has. So much, in fact, that a new paid version, dubbed ADWLauncher EX brings 8 new animated transitions and a terrific menu’d UI for navigating it’s many features. Take a look!

So, there are clearly many great options available, each with it’s only feel and comfort level. Feel free to do my favorite thing on Android, and choose one today!