After taking a break for Mobile World Congress, Monday Makeover is back again! There is a plethora of apps out there that allow you to customize just about every single thing on your android smartphone without even rooting. That is why we have started the weekly series “Monday Makeover.” Each week we will take one of these customization apps and talk about setting it up, discuss the features of it, and show you how you can make your android device truly one of a kind. Last week we talked about Action Launcher 3. This week we are taking a look at Go Launcher. There is a free version and pro version of this app, but we will be looking only at the free version.
Getting Go Launcher up and running on your phone is fairly simple. Once downloaded, you can tap your home button and select “Go Launcher Z” from the menu. If you are not presented with this menu after tapping the home button, you can open your settings menu and go to the “Home” tab. Here you will see your options for your homescreen and you can select “Go Launcher Z”. After this, you can return to your homescreen to see the default Go Launcher setup.
Go Launcher takes advantage of themes to make changing the look and feel of your phone quick and simple. They offer thousands of free and paid themes in the Go Store. On the homescreen, you will see the app “Themes” which will take you to the theme selection page. From here, you can browse themes to your heart’s content and apply whichever one you want. Selecting a theme will take you to that theme’s page which will either be in the Go Store or on the Google Play Store. If you cannot find the theme you want in the Go Store, you can find countless more themes in the Google Play Store. Selecting the icon in the top right of the Go Store will show you all the themes you have downloaded and you can apply them from there.
Swiping up on a homescreen will bring up six menus that we will take a look at individually.
This menu gives you the options to add widgets and apps to your homescreen, change the wallpaper, and change the scrolling effect. Under the “Widget” tab, you can select “System Widget” for access to different app widgets on your phone. You can also add widgets specific to Go Launcher like “Boost” which cleans up your RAM usage. The “Apps” tab lets you add apps to your homescreen, but it is different than normal. Instead of dragging an app to your desired homescreen, you first need to center the homescreen you want on the slider at the top and tap the app you want to add. This will move it to that homescreen. The “Wallpaper” tab lets you change the wallpaper on your phone. Tapping “Local” will give you access to wallpapers stored on your phone as well as your personal pictures. Under the “Effect” tab, you can change the transition that happens when you swipe between homescreens. Selecting each option will show you a preview in the top part of the screen.
This menu will open up the same menu you get from tapping edit, accept that you are taken directly to the “Wallpaper” tab.
The “Theme” menu takes you to the Go Store where you can browse and apply whatever themes you want. This can be useful if you delete the “Theme” app on your homescreen.
This menu holds most of the options for customizing and changing Go Launcher. The “Wallpaper Scroll” toggle allows your wallpaper to move when you swipe between homescreen pages. “Lock Edit” will lock your homescreen so that apps and widgets cannot be added or removed without unlocking the homescreen first.
This menu gives you several options for changing the setup of your screen. Grid size changes the amount of rows and columns on your homescreens. Screen orientation lets you choose the orientation of your homescreen. Infinite scrolling lets you scroll past your last homescreen and loops back to your first homescreen. Show status bar lets you show or hide your notification bar at the top of your screen. Dock rows lets you add pages to your dock that can be swiped between like homescreen pages. If you want to disable the dock, you can turn Show dock on and off. Dock loop is similar to Infinite scrolling because it loops your dock pages so you can scroll from the last page directly to the first page. Show indicator lets you turn the indicator at the bottom of your screen on and off. This indicator shows you what page you are on. You can place the indicator at the top or bottom of your screen with Indicator position. Indicator style lets you change the appearance of the indicator.
Grid size let you change the amount of rows and columns in your app drawer. The more you have, the more apps will fit on each screen. This can be useful for phones with larger screen sizes and tablets. Turning on Screens scroll circularly lets you swipe past the last screen of your app drawer to get to the first.
Under this menu, you are given access to five sub-menus that allow you to customize your phone. The Transition menu lets you change the transition between homescreens and the animation that happens when you open an app. The Icon menu brings up all the options for changing how your icons look. “Icon size” lets you choose how large or small your icons are. You can choose a preset size or a custom size. Show icon base deals with certain icon packs. If you have an app that is not supported by an icon pack, it may place a background behind the app to help it blend in. Turning off Show icon base will remove that background shape. Icon style lets you apply icon packs to your phone. This can quickly change the look of your phone more than anything else. The Font menu lets you edit app labels. App labels color lets you change the font color of app names. App labels display lets you choose when app labels are displayed and when they are not. Select Font changes the font used for app labels. The Wallpaper menu lets you choose what pictures you want to use for your wallpaper. App Drawer Background lets you choose a photo for the background of your app drawer or you can leave it transparent.
This menu gives access to more advanced features in Go Launcher. Gesture gives you access to gestures controls you can use on the homescreen to launch apps and perform actions. I recommend spending some time here because it can really help speed up doing things on your phone. App Lock lets you lock apps with a pattern so that cannot be accessed by others. This can be useful if you have kids and do not want them accidentally opening up an app. Backup Go Launcher Z allows you to save you current homescreen setup so that you can restore it at any time. You restore backups from this menu as well. Notification Toggle lets you turn on/off the Go Launcher notification in your notification bar.
Select language lets you choose what language you want Go Launcher to be displayed in. If you are ever having problems with Go Launcher, tapping “Restart Go Launcher Z” will restart the app without removing any of your customizations.
Tapping this will open up your phones settings.
If you are having problems with Go Launcher and you do not know what to do, you can go to this menu and send a message to the developer. You can also include screenshots of the problem if you have any.
The app drawer in Go Launcher has some cool features baked into it. Tapping the magnifying glass in the bottom left brings up an alphabetical list that you can scroll along to easily find apps that begin with a certain letter. This can be useful if you have a lot of apps and want to locate a certain one quickly. The icon to the right of the magnifying glass bring you directly to the Play Store. The icon that looks like a game controller will open up a window that allows you to download games to your phone. However, you could easily use the Play Store instead. The paintbrush icon in the bottom right shows you what apps are running and lets you manage your RAM usage.
Overall, Go Launcher is a relatively fast, simple launcher. With 200 million downloads and a 4.5 star rating with over 5 million votes, it is an extremely popular launcher, too. There are some cool customization options and more themes than you could even use. Some may not find enough customization features, but for most people it will be more than enough. It is nice to look at and the animations are gorgeous. You can pick up Go Launcher for free in the Play Store or you can unlock more features with the pro version for $5.99. If you have used Go Launcher in the past, leave a comment telling everyone your impressions. While you are down there, go ahead and give us some suggestions for apps you would like to see in future Monday Makeovers. Have a great week!
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