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
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
Because there are so many different Android devices (and so many variants of those individual devices), developers tend to begin programming their apps on iOS before putting together the resources (and endless hours) to begin porting their creations to Android.
Developing for Android is an arduous task, and Google knows it. That’s why the company will soon be making a concerted effort to streamline the development process. Google has also pushed manufacturers/carriers to stay as close to stock Android as possible by criticizing bloatware and OEM custom skins. But with different phones running different processors, having different amounts of RAM, different screen sizes/resolutions, etc., it’s tough to make sure an app will work seamlessly across the platform, no matter what Google does to ease the process. Android’s vast device offering can be seen as a major strength (and something that has led the platform to be an industry leader in market share) but it’s also been a weakness from the development side.
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
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.
Today Firefox announced that they are currently working on an Android launcher. While they didn’t really reveal too much on its features, they did give us a screenshot giving us a small sample of what it looks like. According to the Firefox team:
Firefox Launcher for Android makes it easy to discover the content you want in any moment and is optimized for the way you use your phone. The app integrates the contextual adaptive app search from EverythingMe with the Firefox for Android Web browser to offer users a personalized and customizable Web experience that is fun and intuitive.
EverythingMe hopes to get in on the market for alternative launcher apps that work in place of the stock interface on Android devices. Continuing a trend that we see with launchers, EverythingMe tries to be predictive in nature, changing homescreen components based on factors like time of day. Moving from beta to an official release, the EverythingMe Launcher does include a few additional features in addition to the homescreen replacement function. » Read the rest