Android is all about customization. From widgets and wallpapers to locks screen, custom ROMs and what not, purchasing an Android device puts hundreds of customization options at your disposal. Unlike most other operating systems, Android even allows you to customize its home screen interface itself in form of custom launchers. Previously, we have covered a wide array of Android launchers and today, we have another one for you - Tile Launcher. Based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean’s native launcher, Tile Launcher brings elements of the Windows 8 Modern UI to Android in a fast and minimalistic package.
Tile Launcher is currently in early BETA and doesn’t contain as many options as you’d find in other insanely popular launchers such as Apex, Nova, GO Launcher EX, etc. However, it provides a fast and snappy user experience that favors speed over number of features.
Unlike our previously covered Launcher8 and LauncherWP8 that mimic the interface of Windows Phone 8, Tile Launcher seeks inspiration from the side-scrolling Windows 8 start screen. App shortcuts appear as gorgeous tiles, with the option to customize them according to your liking. In addition, you can change a tile’s background, rename the selected shortcut, and make room for additional items via resizing the tiles. You can also switch the background color of the App Drawer between Holo Dark and Light. In all other aspects, the App Drawer is the same as that of stock Android.
To resize, delete or personalize a tile, just long-press on. You will get the resize handles on the tile itself, while a trash can button in the top bar will allow you to delete it, and the wrench button will give you access to its settings including title, icon and background color. Changing background transparency is also possible via sliding the transparency slider between left and right. When done, simply tap Save, and your changes will be applied.
Long pressing anywhere on the Home Screen gives you additional options to select the wallpaper, lock the current tile layout so that you don’t end up accidentally modifying it after configuring it to your liking, and change the launcher settings. You can tweak several options related to general behavior, desktop settings and tile settings. Under the General section, you can switch the app drawer theme mentioned earlier in the review, as well as apply custom icon packs (though the choice seems to be limited at the moment). Similarly, the Desktop section lets you tinker with screen orientation, wallpaper scrolling behavior (features reverse scrolling for maximum parallax effect), background gradient and grid size of the home screen. Lastly, the Tiles section allows you to specify your default settings for the tiles including tile label, icon, text color, background color and background transparency.
Overall, Tile Launcher is a great addition to Android’s ever-growing launcher library and its minimalistic design and Windows 8 style tile elements make it worth a shot for everyone, especially the fans of Microsoft’s Modern UI.