There is nothing I like about android OS more than the ability to customize the phones to my taste. I can customize my android with various applications; but in this post I’ll elaborate on the type known as “Launchers“. In a nutshell, Launchers is to Android as themes is to other devices like symbian smartphones. However launchers does much more to android than themes does to other devices. Launchers are an Android device User Interface. It’s a set of softwares used for the principle purpose of skin customization and they comes in a variety of designs; this include your app drawers (enables it have more scrolling and sorting options), how applications are launched and it makes your homescreen have different animations, a particular number of homescreens, and dock bars.
Though there are many launchers, I’ll only write about the top ten.
- Go Launcher
- MxHome Launcher
- Nova Launcher
- Apex Launcher
- Zeam Launcher
- Regina 3d Launcher
- Holo Launcher
- Lightning Launcher
GO LAUNCHER EX
A freeware developed by GO Dev Team (GDT), is one of the most popular launchers which enables you to launch applications as so desired, and it is still preferred by android users (especially those using Gingerbread OS and less); as it works for version 2.0 and higher, comes with a lot of customization tools for your android. With a screen grid of upto 10×10, the app drawer shows recent, running and all the applications installed on your device with . It’s conventional, comes with an inbuilt task manager and smooth transition animation and effects (which can be disabled). It supports “drag and drop” feature for app drawers and homescreens. It features a customizable dock bar of upto 15 icons/apps with scroll support and several of it’s free themes are available for download. It lets you add as many homescreens as you desire and you can slide up/down a homescreen.It also has a feature which enables you to clean your phone memory. If you don’t like the default theme, you can download another from Google Play or GO Launcher in-built app store where tons of apps and widgets can be downloaded for free. It has outstanding customization options and everything you would want an ideal launcher to have. It only short-coming is that it’s too many features drains the life out of your battery!!!.
Download Go Launcher Ex
If you’re a 3d freak then Mx home launcher is for you. Developed by NeoMTel Co.Ltd., it has a lot exciting features such as g-sensor movement and 3d effects for home screens. It consists of a couple of pages on the home screen and a dock bar (at the bottom). To activate the awesome 3d effects, all you need do is to tap the middle button on the dock bar. It’s 3d effects includes a flying aeroplane, a flying balloon which serves as a battery indicator, a rocking dandelions, a flower and falling leaves. The launcher enables you to change your icons, and also has a structured app drawer and scrollable 6 home screens. It supports a customizable App drawer and a dock bar of upto 5 to 20 icons. With Mx Home launcher, you can organize your apps into several categories which can be viewed, managed or sorted. To crown it all, it’s free and functions perfectly on Android 2.0 and higher, but unfortunately it’s a little slow on older android OS phones and it’s widgets are not scrollable.
Download MXHome Launcher
Adw. Launcher, the free version of ADWLauncher EX was developed by AnderWeb with vast customization options. It’s notable for being CyanogenMod’s default launcher upto version 9. It can be used on android devices running version 1.6 and higher. It has several customizing tools such as widgets, notifier and skins which can be used in conjunction with other customizing application. It’s highly customizable features include home screen layouts, various dock styles and resizable icons. Just like Go Launcher Ex, it has many beautiful themes and transition effects but unlike Go Launcher Ex, it possess different 3d app drawers such as 3D Roll, 3D waterfall, 3D wall. It’s user friendly. Most of these features are only available for the paid version (ADWLauncher EX) which is sold for about $4.
Nova launcher, developed by TeslaCoil Software, it works for android devices running version 4.0 and above and like Adw.launcher launcher has both free and paid version. It supports upto 7 home screens and scrollable/customizable dock bar. It’s often updated though the free version doesn’t support pinching. Nova launcher makes the widgets on your home screen to overlap, and you can easily change the position of the widgets. It has several color and icon themes, a transparent scrolling style and a backup/restore feature. The premium version offers the ability to organise apps and folders in the app drawer. And it’s custom tab enables you to manage installed applications through folders and tabs. The premium version is for those who wants to have a complete customization control of their home screen as it supports gesture feature, unread messages counter, enables you to hide apps, and execute dock swipes.
Download Nova Launcher (free version)
Developed by Android Does, is one of the best android 4.0 and 4.1 launchers that supports Ice Cream Sandwich devices. It supports a highly customizable home screen (upto 9 home screens), a flexible scrolling options for home screen, app drawer (supports transparency) and a dock bar of upto 35 icons. It also supports gestures which enables you to hide the status bar and dock bar. It’s app drawer with many styles enables you to hide applications. It has trunks of beautiful transition effects and supports a great variety of themes which can be downloaded. It also has a customizable screen grid of upto 7×7 for phones and 10×10 for tablets. Just like it’s main competitor(Nova Launcher), it has a free and pro version which supports slide gesture, multiple drawer app and supports themes from Go Launcher and Ad.launcher.
If you’re looking for a small, light weight and speedy launcher then zeam launcher will suit you. Developed by Michael Bentz, zeam launcher support Ice Cream Sandwich devices and was designed to consume less memory which makes it more suitable for older or slower android devices. It doesn’t have flashy themes like other launchers but but it has an app organiser for organising your apps on home screens. It’s not very feature packed and it offers very few customization options. It supports upto 7 home screens, unlimited dock bar icons, non scrollable widgets, and a customizable app drawer and home screen. It’s a free launcher.
Download Zeam Launcher
Developed by Nemus Tech, Regina 3d is another popular 3d launcher that functions perfectly on android versions 2.0 and above. It’s a handy launcher which possess impressive graphical effects with a variety of beautiful background on your background. It has a feature which enables the dock bar to be dragged to the left or right. It offers non-resizable scrollable, unlimited widgets and a non customizable dock bar of 3 icons with no custom gesture. There’re some special display features that I like about this launcher: you’ll see the reflections of each panel in 3d as you scroll through it and when you scroll between the pages on the app drawer, it sways. Even with it’s 3d effects, it has very few customization options which makes it not suitable for customization-loving android users. No customizable shortcuts, no live wallpaper, no gestures, no landscape mode, it’s not optimised for tablets and it doesn’t support themes; so because of the absence of these, it isn’t slow on older devices.
Download Regina 3d Launcher
An alternative to Apex and Nova launcher, is Holo Launcher. Developed by Mobint Software, it supports android version 2.2 and above, runs on gingerbread with Ice Cream Sandwich; every of it elements can be edited to your thirst. It’s simple but it has a lot of features. It supports backup/restore which enables you to restore your previous configuration after you install a new Android System. It’s plus($3.99) version enables customizable drawer tabs, unread notification counter, gesture, overlapping widgets and supports go launcher icons. It supports a scrollable dock bar (upto 3 pages) and allows you to customize the gride size for portrait and landscape mode.
Download Holo Launcher
It’s a free 60kb launcher developed by PierroX with a blank background for the home screen. If you’re searching for a launcher that runs fast with some amount customization; then your search ends with lightning launcher. It was designed on the basis that the more memory your device have for applications, the more faster they will function. It supports basic customization like adding icons to the home screen. You can pinch the screen to zoom in or out.
Download Lightning Launcher
This is the last launcher on my list, it’s a freeware developed by Frederico Carnales. It’s simple, speedy and customizable. It’s drawer is both 2d and 3d and it features a scrollable dock bar with animated screen previews, a replacement icon pack and live wallpaper. It supports android phones running versions 2.0 and above.
Note that the download links for each of the launchers is from Google Play.