Android homescreen replacement apps are certainly improving along with the OS itself, an ideal testament of which can be seen in the form of the revamped version of Claystone Launcher. The app has been around in the Play Store for quite some time now, but owing to its inconsistent performance and laggy transitions, hasn’t been able to catch the attention of hardcore Android fanboys. However, that all seems to be a part of history now, as the team behind said launcher has just launched version 2.0 of Claystone in the market. Dubbed as the first ever ‘tandem’ launcher, Claystone Launcher brings to your Android’s homescreen some visually refreshing animations, plethora of up-to-date content from multiple online resources, ultra-convenient accessibility of, and navigation to, favorite content, and an interface that works in concurrence with whatever homescreen app you’re currently using. The app utilizes the concept of a unified 3D homescreen to present you with your favorite Android apps, contacts, latest news & Facebook feeds, Amazon Apps & Videos et al, on a vertically scrollable screen. Also present on the same screen are a handful of shortcuts to your frequently used Android apps, such as Phone, Email, Messaging and Camera.
Switching back and forth between Claystone Launcher and another launcher is as simple as just hitting the home button on your Android. There are no multiple homescreens to scroll through, various app drawers to worry about, or extensive configurations to take care of. You contacts and all aforementioned online content is presented in the form of cards that can be scrolled horizontally to cycle between the included content. Alongside each online category, you can find a dedicated search bar to easily find relevant content, whereas beside your contacts, you get the call, message and email buttons.
Heading to the top of the launcher’s interface reveals the ’More Stacks’ card that can be tapped to pick the content that you want to appear on the launcher screen. Available options include Apps & Videos featured on Amazon, contacts, Facebook Walls & Friends, top stories, and the latest news content pulled from the world of sports, science, entertainment and business. Below the More Stacks card is the option to toggle, as well as select a wallpaper for the launcher.
However, not all’s well and good with Claystone, even in its current (updated) form. Images look distorted right throughout the entire interface, and control over customizing the UI and, more importantly, the content is close to none. Also, folders, shortcuts & widgets are missing, the content-intensive categories of the app itself seem to be taking a toll on the battery, and the rather prolonged route to navigate to your favorite apps doesn’t look to be going in the favor of Claystone Launcher a great deal.
That said, the app certainly deserves a try for its unique concept, eye-soothing animations, and the convenience of accessing your social and local content from under the same roof. On top of all that, the fact that Claystone works perfectly in tandem with your favorite homescreen replacement app makes it all the more special as compared to the other alternatives that you might be used to trying out.