Developer Nicolas Pomepuy has been quickly working to improve the Android Wear experience through a custom launcher, Wear Mini Launcher, for Wear-based devices. He already released an alpha version of the app for testers to try out and has been providing updates over the course of the past couple weeks. Now, the Wear Mini Launcher app has moved to the beta stage. » Read the rest
ZTE has announced that they are adopting the Google Now Launcher for a couple new devices, and probably more later, instead of loading a custom user interface making them some of the first smartphones outside of Nexus devices and Google Play Experience devices to do so. The ZTE Blade Vec 4G is a mid-range device that has been selling in China and Europe. ZTE’s announcement regarding the use of the Google Now Launcher coincides with the device’s entry into the Hong Kong market. » Read the rest
Nova Launcher is one of the best third-party launchers available, and today’s update makes it even better. The latest stable update brings some visual flair from the Android L developer preview, including different animations and theme tweaks.
There’s a new animation option for opening and leaving apps called slide up, which causes apps to appear from the bottom of the screen like they do in Android L. Many of the default theme elements have adopted the same aesthetic, including the Google search bar and the app drawer icon. The folder icon previews can now use Android L style grouping, too. » Read the rest
The Android Wear interface is simple, which is a good thing, but opening apps is a little convoluted. If you want to use your voice, it’s not too bad, but if you want to navigate with your finger, forget it.
Wear Mini Launcher aims to make things a lot easier, and it does. Once the app is installed, just place your finger at the top left corner and swipe to the right. An opaque drawer will open with all of your apps. Six app icons can appear at the same time, but you can scroll down revealing more.
One of everyone’s favorite Android launchers is receiving an update that puts it even closer to the stock launcher. Nova Launcher’s latest update adds the “OK, Google” hotword commonly found with the Google Experience Launcher. This feature requires Android 4.1 or higher and a device than can sit in low power consumption while listening (as not all devices can do so). Another addition is the fixes, tweaks, and changes made within the beta version of Nova Launcher. They have all been brought over to the stable release in the Play Store.
Hit the break for download links. » Read the rest
GO Launcher EX is one of the most fully-featured third party launchers you’ll find on the Play Store, even if it can be a little bloated at times. The GO Dev team has updated the launcher to version 5 that comes with a handful of new features and a flattened interface design that’s all the rage with design teams right now.
The app now has “smart cards” that function pretty similarly to smart assistants or Google Now, plus a new GO Panel that gives you quick access to frequently used apps and features. The entire interface has also adopted a flat theme, which honestly does look quite a bit like something forked from TouchWiz. If you’re a fan of Samsung’s new TouchWiz design, you’ll probably like this new interface, but if you don’t like TouchWiz, nothing here is going to change your mind. » Read the rest
Chances are, you look at the home screen of your phone more than almost any other screen on your device. It should look good, but still be functional. Sometimes, the default launcher just doesn’t cut it for what you want to accomplish. We did a guide of the best launchers back in September 2013, but we thought we would update things with some of the newer launchers. Without further adieu, here are a few different launchers that provide the best experience for everyday use, in our opinion. » Read the rest
One of the things that has set Google’s Android operating system apart from other smartphone interfaces have been some of the unique features and stylistic cues that Google brought to the screen. With Google I/O coming up in a few weeks and rumors swirling of a pending release of another significant update to Android, likely 4.5, we have suggestions that an overhaul of the home screen and notifications menu may be in the cards. » Read the rest
The Android Wear SDK was announced just a few days ago, and the actual launcher was extracted from the emulator. This means that you can install it on your phone or tablet as a third party APK. Now don’t expect this to end of up being your new launcher of choice, but it will give you a decent look at and how it works.
The folks over at Android Police also did a teardown of the APK to see if there was anything interesting that we didn’t already know. It looks like Wear will most likely support daydreams. There is also a mention of Google Ears functionality as well as TV controls.
We also have all the icons as well as some other pics of the UI and APK download after the break.
Are you a fan of Aviate Launcher? You’ll be glad to find out that the developers behind Aviate Launcher recently released a new update which adds support for custom icon packs. This means that you can now use the same icon packs that you use with other launchers.
To enable custom icons, swipe left through Aviate to get access to the spaces menu and go to settings. Once you’ve opened the settings, you can tap on the “Set Icon Pack” button. You will then be brought to a menu where you can set an icon pack, download new packs, or go back to the default Android icons. It was reported on their blog that most icon packs that work with the popular launchers such as, Nova and Apex, should work fine with Aviate Launcher as well.
This is a major update for Aviate Launcher and if you haven’t grabbed the latest version yet, click on the download link after the break.