Quick, name the best part of owning a smartphone that uses a Google operating system. No, not the sophistication of the interface or the user-friendly design. While both of those are huge positives, the glory of a Google Android cell phone lies in its customization options.
What’s a Launcher?
At its core, a launcher provides the connection a user has to an Android phone. The operating system uses your choice of launchers to give you access to everything else on the device. The reason an Android looks different on some brands such as Samsung than others such as HTC is that certain manufacturers pre-load their phones with launchers. You want the control of adding your own based on your needs. Here is a list of the seven best Android launchers on the market.
Nova Launcher has the pedigree of being one of the top two Android launchers available. Users give the launcher rave reviews for its power and seamless integration. The explanation for its popularity and glowing reviews is that its free version offers a dazzling array of features. You can add themes, scroll effects, and dock widgets, thereby enhancing your functionality beyond the basic pre-loaded Android software.
For a modest four dollars, you can upgrade to the premium version. It adds gestures, enabling the user to launch an app from anywhere on the device, even if you are in a different program at the time. Plus, there is an app drawer added in the latest version.
Among the non-Google launchers, Apex and Nova stand above the rest. Apex is revered for its customization opportunities, which exceed Nova’s options. A user can create as many as nine home pages via Apex. People who use their smartphone for work and home can take advantage of this by building a home page for each aspect of their life.
The premium version of Apex costs $3.99. Among the useful functions included are the ability to see the number of unread messages directly on your home page, the addition of overlapping widgets, and ability to use two-finger gestures for swiping.
Google Now Launcher
The pre-load for some devices, Google Now must be taken seriously and not just because Google already makes the firmware that meshes with this software. The idea behind Now is that your launcher should double as your personal assistant. The company is directing a lot of manpower toward the belief that in the future, people will want direct answers from their smart devices rather than links to discover solutions on their own.
Now aims to give you as much data as possible within a few swipes. There is also always-on voice capability. Google relays the information you need instantly. You are thereby using your mobile internet in the most efficient way possible, and if you’re on a reliable and fast T- Mobile 4G LTE network, your results using this feature will be even more satisfying.
Buzz leverages their user-base to provide unique functionality. Their launcher includes a user-created library of widgets and themes that loyal supporters of the product have developed. Tweak these items to make them your own. Keep in mind that most launchers offer free options, so consider downloading all of these. Test each one to decide which is best for your needs.
Are you a Windows Phone 8 fanatic forced to use an Android phone for work? This launcher bridges the gap for you by emulating the Windows smartphone OS. You also receive the prime benefit of such devices: live tiles. Any Windows 8 user knows what those are.
Smart Launcher 2
Fans of minimalism will appreciate this launcher. A minuscule 2 MB download, it covers all the basics of a launcher without overwhelming the user through needless choices and menus. Don’t think it’s skimpy on functionality, though. Smart Launcher 2 even supports Google TV. If you simply want a launcher to make your phone work, this is the best choice.
Ascending in popularity, Action Launcher offers the best feature set of any launcher on the market today. Its Quickdrawer service places all your apps a swipe away, no matter where you are on your phone. Users seeking the new hotness should give Action Launcher a shot.
If you use an Android smartphone, your choice of launchers is crucial to preventing frustration every time you use your device. Pick any of these products to ensure a happy user experience.