Best Android Launchers


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Sep 27, 2015

Best Android Launchers

There Are Tons Of Launchers Available
For Andriod — These Are Some Of The
Best

Launchers are the way Android users
customize their smartphone and tablet
experience. There's superficial stuff, like
changing screen transitions, icons, and
fonts, but the best Android launchers out
there enable users to tweak the device's behavior to suit their daily usage, so long
as you're willing to put the time into
defining those customizations. You can
make your home screens as simple or
complicated as you wish, while tweaking
every little detail or just taking what's given to you by default — but either way
you can replace what your phone's
manufacturer gives you with the install of
a single app. If you're looking for a change of pace
from the out-of-box software experience
on your phone, consider a new launcher. I'
ve found the best ones available today,
and listed all of the pros and cons of each.

1. ACTION LAUNCHER:


Action Launcher is a great option that
mixes things up and changes the interface
paradigm from what you'd expect in a
"normal" launcher. There's no regular
dock and app drawer, instead replacing it
with a slide-in drawer to house your apps. You also get Shutters and Covers,
which give you innovative ways to launch
into folders and widgets with swipes —
it's all about getting to your apps and
content quicker.

The newest version, Action Launcher 3.5,
takes things up to a new design that fits in
with Android 5.0 Lollipop, and introduces
a few new features as well. There's a
free version of Action Launcher for
everyone to try, with a pro upgrade costing just $4.99 — and after you figure
out the time-saving features you'll want
to unlock it.

2. GOOGLE NOW LAUNCHER


The Google Now launcher is the obvious
pick for anybody looking for a pure, clean
Android experience. It comes right from
Google (and is pre-installed on Nexus
phones), so you can shear away anything
the manufacturer has loaded up in one install. Transitions are quick and clean,
and there's nothing superfluous getting
between you and your apps and widgets.
Beyond that, the left-most home screen
becomes Google Now, so you can launch
into searches, view cards populated based on the time of day, your location, and
general browsing habits, and execute all
sorts of hands-free "OK Google"
commands.

The only real downside here
is that you won't be able to enjoy the
level of customization available on more robust launchers — you get what Google
gives you here. Use the Google Now launcher if you're
looking for high stability and a consistent
Android experience. Pair it with the
Google Keyboard for the full experience.

3. NOVA LAUNCHER


Nova is a massively popular launcher that
offers a whole bunch of animation options,
folder views, and desktop behaviors. If
you shell out $4.00 for the premium
upgrade you can program gestures to
perform certain actions, and fully customize unread badges including corner
radius, border, background and text color.
One particularly cool addition is swipe
actions, which allow app icons to act as a
folder with a swipe, or a standard app
launch with a tap. If that's not enough, you can always explore the wide world of
Nova-compatible themes in Google Play to
dramatically change the look and feel of
your Android device. You'll even find
some Android 5.0-style options tucked
away in Nova.

Nova is a highly functional launcher that
can be as subtle or as loud as you like,
making it completely unique if you spend
the time.

4. AVIATE


Aviate builds collections of your apps
based on different types of activities. You
can, of course, tweak those collections
manually as well, and Aviate can offer
suggestions to fill in collections. Aviate
figures out where you are and what time of day it is, and serves up relevant
collections in custom-built interfaces called
Spaces so you can better handle those
activities. For example, if you plug in your
headphones, it offers you quick access to
media controls and your favorite music apps. Hit the road, and you'll be offered
shortcuts to navigation home and to the
office.

Aviate excels for having a high amount of
polish and requires minimal maintenance,
even though you might lose out on some
customizability. .

5. GO LAUNCHER EX


The Go Launcher is a particularly flashy
launcher with a great range of screen
transitions, including 3D ones. Launcher
settings are available through a readily
accessible drawer that's summoned with
an upward swipe from the home screen. There's a dedicated theme storefront app
that lets you cruise through available Go
Launcher compatible apps and punts you
out to the Play Store when you're ready
to download. It even has a section of
dedicated custom lock screens via the Go Locker app. For $5.99 you can upgrade to
Go Launcher Prime, which offers security
lock for individual apps, removes ads and
adds a few more bells and whistles.

It's impressive that even Go's settings
menus manage to stay flashy with all of
the functionality the launcher provides.

6. APEX LAUNCHER


Apex offers a similar range of functions
as Nova. You can tweak the icon tray size
and scrolling, change animations, adjust
home screen behaviors, and customize
gesture commands for various pinches,
taps, and swipes. A plug-in allows notification data to be fed to Apex from a
variety of apps, and out to any Android
Wear devices, too, so long as you're
willing to upgrade to the pro version for $
4.49. There are a wide range third party
themes available in the Google Play Store which let you change the overall look of
your Android experience, but as a
functional core.

Apex does extremely
well. Android power users will have a field day with the Apex launcher.

7. HONORABLE MENTIONS

Buzz Launcher
EverythingMe Launcher
Solo Launcher
Smart Launcher 2
Themer
Z Launcher

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