October 21, 2014

Taskbar W8 - A Start button for Android

taskbarw8

Taskbar Windows 8 style (W8) adds a very familiar, but almost incompatible, feeling to Android.  Even though Microsoft did not think it was worth keeping, the Start button has been added to Android along with some new, Android-specific features.  Did Microsoft count the Start button out too soon?  (Hint:  Yes).

unnamed (4)W8 adds a small, Windows-like Start button to the bottom or top, left or right part of your screen, which gives you accessibility to your apps and a few settings.  Instead of having to navigate your app drawer and toggling any settings you may need to toggle, W8 provides all these actions within the easily accessible Start button.

From the button, a Windows-esque menu pops up with your customized list of apps.  You can hide apps and add folders or simply scroll through the list of all your apps to select and launch one.  It is very much a condensed form of the app drawer, and the menu offers just as much customization.

W8 comes with quick-setting toggles too.  These are, again, very customizable, albeit with less options than AOKP or CM for obvious reasons.  These toggles pull up beside the apps menu, and they offer the standard settings including favorite contacts for easy dialing and Bluetooth settings for convenient pairing.

Aside from the main features, W8 gives you quick access to your most-recent apps.  W8 is also customizable itself.  You can change the positioning of the button and where the menu pops up.  You can also change the transparency or opaqueness of the entire app as well as change themes and the Start-button look itself.

Some people may find the persistent notification off-putting, but it is necessary for the app to function.  The features of W8 are all features of Android itself, from the customizable app drawer to the quick-setting toggles, but W8 allows these two functions to perform simultaneously and without leaving your current screen.

If you are nostalgic for the Windows Start button, W8 has you covered on Android, and it brings all the functionality with it, including a search bar (with Google, not Bing).  W8 is discreet and fast while offering an easy way to open all your apps, your recent apps, and your quick settings.

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What we liked

  • Easily configurable.
  • Nice, unobtrusive button.
  • Very quick access to your apps and settings.

What could be improved

  • Ever-present notification in the taskbar.
  • Some features are already better implemented/easier within Android itself.

[download_link link="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rootuninstaller.taskbarw8"]Download Taskbar Windows 8 (Google Play)[/download_link]