One of the main features of Android is that this operating system is highly customizable. Here’s what a launcher is and how you can easily change the look of your smartphone’s home screen.
A good solution so that you are not bored of your mobile and to give it a breath of fresh air.
What is a launcher?
When we talk about the Android launcher, we mean the desktop and the application drawer of our smartphone, where applications are “launched”.
The desktop (or home screen) is an app itself, a part of the user interface whose purpose is to organize and “launch” applications. Hence its name.
There are several launchers. Each has its own animations and a different toolbar layout. Most of them also allow you to change the number of home screens or the speed of scrolling between them.
I’m sure you’ve ever heard of “Pure Android” or Android stock. This term refers to Google’s own interface for Android systems without any external addition that changes the design or functionality of the home screen.
Many users consider Google’s own launcher to be good enough and not worth modifying.
Which launcher to choose?
Each smartphone manufacturer installs its own launcher on its devices. In this way they differ from the rest in the design of organization of screens and applications to present original features.
The most famous Android user interfaces, apart from Google’s, are EMUI for Huawei, MIUI for Xiaomi or Samsung Experience for Korean smartphones.
Many users are satisfied with the launcher that comes standard on their device. But depending on the needs of each and the intended use of the smartpone, different launchers can be installed in Google Play.
These applications are created by independent developers and are often able to optimize responsiveness, window scrolling speed, and even performance.
The best launchers to personalize your Android
Thanks to launchers it is possible to modify the appearance of the home screen of any Android device without having to make any permanent changes or install a completely new ROM. This is one of the most customizable aspects of any smartphone or tablet. Here you have the most interesting that you can currently find in Play Store.
Jump directly to each section:
- Pocophone F1 Launcher
- Nova Launcher
- Smart Launcher 5
- Microsoft Launcher
- Apex Launcher
- Niagara Launcher
- Action Launcher
Pocophone F1 Launcher: born to run
This Xiaomi pitcher is all about speed. The Pocophone F1 became one of our newsroom’s favourite smartphones and the software is essential to achieve such speed.
The launcher plays a very important role in this. It’s actually the launcher I’m using right now, and it really flies.
The option to search for applications by color is also surprisingly intuitive. If you’re looking for a fast and easy lanuncher for your Android smartphone, look no further.
Nova is one of the best and most widespread launchers with some of the features we can see in Google’s official Pixel Launcher.
We even dedicated an article to him to get the most out of all his tricks. Many use this app as an excuse to buy an Android device rather than an iPhone, and it’s easy to understand why.
Nova isn’t very impressive the first time you open it, it looks like anyone else. But it’s when you access their settings that you realize their full potential.
From changing icon size, font color, animation effects, gestures, animations, application drawer design and a long etcetera. It’s the deepest customization you can have without being root.
Smart Launcher 5
Smart Launcher 5 has its own character and is a complete revision of previous versions of the launcher (which have always occupied some space in our list).
Now it is faster, that if you fix them retains the simplicity that characterizes it. different from the rest of the pitchers on the list. Start with a few small steps to set it up where it asks you which app you prefer for the calls, music, and photos you have installed.
This launcher will adapt its colours to “match” any of the wallpapers you choose, so it takes very little effort to make your smartphone look great.
Android Oreo icons are compatible, so you’ll have all the shapes and sizes you can imagine. In the same way you can go crazy with widgets using as many as you want and resize them without having to adjust the grid.
Smart Launcher 5 is easy to use with one hand and keeps your smartphone in perfect order by sorting your applications into folders, which you can also protect with a PIN.
This launcher is developed by Microsoft, as you can imagine by its name. Before you run off, I’ll tell you a few reasons to consider it.
First of all it looks very different from the rest, it has no bloatware and it’s free, so there’s nothing to try.
This launcher does not put adornments or animations and is more aimed at commercial users.
This is noticeable in their fairly flat wallpapers and home screens with titles like People and Reminders. The latter is a screen dedicated to appointments, tasks and reminders that you can not miss, you can even integrate applications of tasks such as Wunderlist.
Another of these interesting screens is the Recent one. In it we find files and recent actions by topics such as images, downloads, contacts, etc..
With Microsoft Launcher you can use custom icon packs but it is not a launcher that focuses on the visual aspect either, its bet is entirely directed at productivity. Of course it’s fresh and unique.
Apex Launcher has good features in both the free and paid versions, and neither has ads or bloatware.
Apex is quite similar to Nova, offering a lot of customization which you can even export to other devices thanks to a configuration file. It also supports a large number of themes, icon packs and wallpapers.
Your start button can be customized to accommodate more than one action.
One of the most interesting features of Apex is that you can configure several application bars at the bottom of the screen. Normally there are only four applications and the application drawer access, but with this launcher you can slide the bar to the sides to have more applications.
If you want a minimalist pitcher there’s none better than the Niagara Launcher, which is even more agile than the popular Evie Launcher that used to be on this list. You can have up to 8 frequently accessed applications on your home screen.
In addition, you can access a full list of applications placed in alphabetical order by using the sidebar, previewing them or opening the full list. It’s all super tidy. Best of all, it’s very fast, which can bring new life to some of your older tablets or low-end smartphones.
Action Launcher: Pixel Edition
Shortly after the presentation of Material Design, developer Chris Lacy persented Action Launcher.
This launcher was one of the first to offer a display list of apps aligned to the left of the home screen, like the famous hamburger menu. Then the launcher has been growing in functions incorporating some as novel as Cover and Shutter.
It currently has a style similar to Google Pixel Launcher but the possibilities of modification and customization have nothing to do with it.
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