Developed by XDA members navdeepsangwan and winograd, Vire Launcher is a Android home screen replacement app boasting a visually refreshing UI with 3D effects & transitions, real-time lighting & reflections, super smooth navigation, and automatic theming of nearly every element in the entire interface including home screen widgets and icons etc. Currently in beta, Vire Launcher is an attempt to provide Android users with a 3D home screen offering tons of customizations. Besides being one of the most responsive and beautifully-crafted home screen replacements we’ve seen recently, Vire Launcher impresses with the realistic light reflections on its native metallic clock widget, determined solely by the readings fetched from the device’s accelerometer. That’s not all – the launcher has its own applets, shortcuts, animations, themes, wallpapers, transition styles and several other UI tweaks that we shall look at in detail past the break.
Unfortunately, Vire Launcher doesn’t yet support folders or resizable widgets. However, it does let you play around with the dock contents and fill it with your favorite app shortcuts. Same applies to its multiple home screens that can sport your preferred app shortcuts, widgets and Vire applets displayed atop the user-selected wallpaper, as you would expect from any conventional-style Android launcher.
As of now, the metal-themed digital clock is the only Vire applet available in the package. As mentioned earlier, the light reflection on the clock widget is tied directly to the readings provided by the accelerometer, and hence is determined by the angle at which the device is held, giving a very realistic look. The clock sports a pull-down menu that can be beefed up with shortcuts to your favorite apps. This way, you can summon your personalized app drawer by using the swipe down gesture on the clock widget when you want to access an app, thereby keeping your home screen uncluttered. The dock can sport a maximum of five different items, and just like the Vire home screen, the shortcuts on the dock are automatically themed based on the currently selected Vire Launcher layout.
Besides supporting original icons of your favorite apps, the launcher is capable of converting each of them into their respective sketched form to keep their appearance in compliance with the chosen theme. At present, the following three themes are available in Vire Launcher:
In addition, the launcher itself can have one of the following home screen switching animations:
- Scroll In or Out
- Fade In or Out
- Cube In or Out
- Cube free
Each animation has its own attraction, but none of them offers more eye candy than Tile and Crystal. From the launcher’s main settings screen, you can also opt to show/hide the status bar, and enable/disable reflections, HD shaders as well as full-screen transitions. The Advanced tab on this screen is currently dormant, but it will soon provide you with several personalization tweaks. The built-in app drawer of Vire Launcher is quite simple; it lets you sort items by name, and switch between views for all apps, user apps, recent apps and most used apps.
This is just a beta build of Vire Launcher, so it should not come as a surprise that the package is currently a bit scant in terms of customizations and goodies, unlike most insanely feature-packed alternatives already available at Play Store. However, with time, one can expect the launcher to improve both in terms of aesthetics and feature set. You can take Vire Launcher for a spin by downloading it using the Play Store link provided below.