Espier Studios have been in the business of developing iOS-mimicking apps for Android for quite some time now, and have become famous for providing the closest and most accurate iOS experience compared to other such attempts made for the platform. We have already covered a handful of app from Espier Studios, including Espier Launcher, Espier Notifications and Espier Screen Locker. Now that iOS 7 is official, the developers at Espier bring to you Espier Launcher iOS7 - the best iOS 7 Springboard clone out there on the Play Store right now. Couple it up with the equally accurate Espier Screen Locker iOS7, and you have a near-perfect iOS UI right on your Android device. For screenshots and more information on the functionality offered, read on after the jump!
Espier Launcher iOS7
Personally, I’m no fan of the iOS 7’s newly designed icons, but once you move past that, the actual user interface may actually grow on you. As for Espier Launcher iOS7, you will find that it not only looks like the iOS 7 Springboard, but behaves like one as well, complete with jiggle mode, full screen folders, swipe gestures and much more. If it’s a matter of concern for you, the Calendar icon is dynamic, displaying the current day and date, and the icon and dock backgrounds change color dynamically as well, depending on the currently set wallpaper. It is nice to see that the launcher comes with its own notification badges as well.
Long-pressing any icon puts your home screen into the iconic jiggle mode, allowing you to move the icons around, create folders, add or remove icons from the dock bar, or delete applications for that matter, just like you would on an iPhone.
The jiggle mode is applicable to the App Switcher as well, so you can remove your most recent apps. I said ‘most recent’ because it only seems to start keeping track of the apps launched after its installation, so any apps you had running before won’t show up here, and the feature can not be considered a full-featured alternative to Android’s native task switcher. You can access the App Switcher by swiping up on the Springboard, and then switch to or remove any apps from there. Note that even after dismissing them from here, you will still find all these apps running in the native task switcher of Android.
Spotlight has been removed from the leftmost screen in the iOS 7 Springboard, and replaced with a simple swipe-down gesture that brings up the Search bar. The search settings can be customized in the settings menu, but more on that later.
The App Switcher retains the much needed system toggles, but given that you’re running Android, chances are you already have toggles placed in your Notification Panel. In case you’re wondering if this space could have been used for something more suited to your needs, you’re right, and the developers have allowed you to do just that. Since the App Switcher tray does not have music playback controls, how about we add some of our own? Or maybe the weather forecast? Let’s show you how.
Access the Settings Menu and enable ‘Widget on Taskbar’ to add a 4×1 or 5×1 widget to the App Switcher tray. Just so you know, this widget will replace the System Toggles there.
Espier Launcher iOS 7 comes with the options to customize your icons as well. To do so, enter Jiggle mode and tap an icon to bring up an options menu. Please note that ‘Hide’ and ‘Lock’ functions do not work in the free version of the app, and require an in-app purchase of an extended license. From the options menu, hit the ‘Design Icon’ button to stylize your icon.
You can also tinker with global settings for Icon Layout and Font via the main Settings menu.
An interesting feature is the ability to set the launcher’s layout to Auto, Phone or Tab mode in the Settings menu. Tab mode should make this launcher a worthy addition to Android tablets, since not many users are happy with the lack of proper tablet optimization in most launchers till date.
Espier Screen Locker iOS7
The lock screen clone by Espier is awesome as well, and completely replicates iOS 7’s lockscreen. You can also unlock directly into the camera app by grabbing the camera button and swiping upwards.
Setting up the passcode to prevent unauthorized access to your device is a breeze via the settings menu. However, here’s the catch. Even with the passcode set, unlocking into the camera app and pressing the back button on my device gave me access to the entire OS (running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean). This is certainly a matter of concern for those who really require solid lock screen security measures.
The pass code screen dynamically changes its background color depending on the wallpaper of the lockscreen. However, in the free version of the app, you cannot set a custom background for it, and doing so requires upgrading to the full version via an in-app purchase from the settings menu. What the free version does offer is the ability to set a custom device and operator name, as well as a custom unlock text if you’re bored of the default ‘Slide to unlock’.
As with Espier’s other apps, both Espier Launcher iOS7 and Espier Screen Locker iOS7 are available for free, and can be installed from Google Play via the links provided below.