Sidebar Launcher Adds A Slide-Out Multitasking Panel To Android

For a long time, it was a challenge to find decent apps for Android, but as Google continued to refine its open source mobile operating system, we’ve seen a steady flow of high quality apps landing on Google Play. Back in September 2013, I covered Root Uninstaller's Sidebar Plus, which provides swift access to settings like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, app shortcuts and other important Android features from multiple customizable sidebars. Sidebar Launcher, developed by the same folks who brought us Boat Browser for Android, is another sidebar app aimed to enhance your multitasking experience. The app is well optimized for both smartphones and tablets, offers tons of customization and looks really nice. Read on for more details. Read More

Google Now Launcher Hits The Play Store For Nexus & GPE Devices; Download APK Here

There are only so many times we can introduce Android with some variation of the phrase “is infinitely customizable”. We have discussed launchers like Dodol, Buzz, Smart Launcher and so many others to death already. However, these third party customizations have never been able to help alleviate that feeling of alienation. They might be excellent, but they don't feel right; even the recently reviewed Aviate is no exception - it's brilliant, but alien ground. Until now, that is. Google decided that its stock Android launcher should be available to download and released it to the the Play Store under the label Google Now Launcher. Read More

dodol Launcher For Android Impresses With Gorgeous Themes & Extensive Customization Options

Sure, apps like Themer and Buzz Launcher have given us a great way to customize the Android home screen with a single tap, but when I used dodol Launcher, boy was I impressed! It’s a functional, beautiful, intuitive and at the same time, one of the most feature-rich Android launchers out there. It also carries a bevy of splendid looking themes, allowing you to swap one home screen with another completely different looking one. And if you’re one of those customization junkies who want to tweak every inch of detail themselves, you can do just that too. Just read past the jump for our full review. Read More

How To Install Android 4.4 KitKat Launcher On Any Jelly Bean Device

Last year’s Nexus 4 was an awesome device that proved LG can definitely make goodlooking phones. This year's Nexus 5 is no different, offering the best specs and the most svelte design a $350 phone has ever offered. But it’s not just the hardware where Nexus 5 really shines; the new Android 4.4 Kitkat that it ships with is every bit as impressive. We’ve already covered a summary of new features in Kitkat, so you might want to check that out as well. Those who’ve been eyeing on the latest version of Android would be aware about its new Google Experience Launcher. The search engine giant has kicked up another notch by presenting the best looking stock Android launcher yet. If you can’t wait to get your hands on it, we’ve got some good news for you. The launcher files have already been uploaded to the internet, and you grab them to try it on your own device running any version of Jelly Bean. Just follow our full guide to get it up and running. Read More

Browse & Apply Gorgeous Android Themes With Themer By MyColorScreen [Review]

Android users are really spoilt when it comes to all the gorgeous customization and theming options available out there in form of launcher themes, ROM themes and what not. However, applying a complex theme to your entire device isn’t often the easiest of tasks when it involves making changes to several aspects of the interface (launcher, widgets, certain apps) individually to get the perfect look. If you are into Android theming and have been looking at all the great designs at MyColorScreen enviously, and not using any of them due to the complicated steps involved, the popular Android theme sharing service is easing things up for you with an app of its own. Currently in private beta, Themer by MyColorScreen allows you to browse gorgeous themes for Android, and apply them to your device with one tap. Read on for our detailed review. Read More

Install Samsung Galaxy S4 TouchWiz 5 Launcher On Any Rooted Android 4.1+ Device

TouchWiz 5 Launcher from the Galaxy S4 has been ported to all Android devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher. So if you’re a fan of the TouchWiz Launcher and want to run the S4’s launcher on any Android device, you can now have it on any stock or custom ROM, be it stock AOSP, custom AOSP (CyanogenMod, AOKP, Paranoid Android etc.), TouchWiz, Sony or LG, as long as your device is running Android 4.1 or 4.2, and is rooted with a custom recovery installed. The launcher has been made available by XDA-Developers Senior Member emwno, and to complete the TouchWiz launcher experience, the Accuweather widget has also been bundled along with it. For more on the launcher and having it up and running on your device, read on after the jump! Read More

Espier Brings iOS 7 Home & Lock Screen To Android

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! Read More

SAO Launcher Lets You Access Apps & Messaging From Anywhere In Android With A Gesture

There are a bunch of great launcher apps available for Android at Google Play Store to give your handset a fresh new look. These allow you to revamp the interface of your device by adding new usability and cosmetic elements. The latest to join the party is SAO Launcher by XDA-Developers Senior Member Xlythe. SAO, short for Sword Art Online, is built upon an interesting new concept and aims to make navigation between your different apps and settings easier and quicker. Rather than replacing your existing home screen, SAO acts as a sidekick to your default launcher and provides the supported functionality in conjunction with it. In other words, you won’t have to compromise on the features and options offered by your current favorite launcher, as you can use both simultaneously. Details regarding its interface, usage and installation right after the jump. Read More

Aviate Is A Google Now-Like Intelligent, Context-Aware Launcher For Android [Review]

The Android app ecosystem is undoubtedly the biggest among all computing platforms today, and we daily test dozens of apps to bring you some of the best among them. That said, it’s not very often that we come across one that just leaves us absolutely spellbound at just how intelligently useful it is. Aviate – despite being in closed, invite-only alpha stage right now – is a perfect example of this. What’s even more surprising is that this isn’t just a regular app, but a launcher instead, and yet instead of merely letting you add widgets to your home screen and launch apps from it yourself, it aims to act like a virtual assistant of sorts as well, presenting you with the right information at the right time when you need it. Its context-sensitive approach of showing you relevant information at the right time without you asking for it makes it closely resemble Google Now, which it resembles in aesthetics as well. Let’s take a closer look at this excellent new launcher right after the jump. Read More

Mini Launcher For Android Offers A Lightweight UI, Rich Sidebar & GO Widgets Support

I’m the kind of person who doesn't just settle around with one Android launcher for long. These apps allow me to personalize my home screen and give it a quick makeover without even rooting the device or flashing any custom themes of sort. While most launcher apps that we've tested and reviewed so far tend to ship with loads of features out of the box, Mini Launcher feels fairly compact and minimal, thanks to its lightweight Holo-inspired design that feels fresh and intuitive. The key feature of Mini is its handy sidebar that allows to view current weather, recent apps, calls, messages and toggles for W-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS etc. Another interesting bit about it is that is its support for GO Widgets without actually installing GO Launcher EX itself. Read More

SickSkyr Is A Super-Simple Android Launcher With Customizable Gestures

There are a truckload of Android launchers available at Google Play Store for users who don’t fancy Sense, TouchWiz or stock Android launcher. I had been using Apex launcher for quite a while until I recently gave Nova Launcher a shot, which completely blew me away. That’s said, GO Launcher is another handsome app packing a host of features. Despite using so many similar launchers, it always makes me curious to try out new alternatives to give my home screen a makeover. If you want a compact launcher with minimal options and lightweight design, try locking your sights at SickSky. Available as an early Beta, the app tries to set itself apart from other launchers rather than mimicking the more popular ones. Read More

InstaLauncher Is A Gesture-Activated Alphabetized App Drawer For iPhone

We have seen many lock screen launchers for iOS (such as the recently covered BuddyLock), but not many offered the ability to invoke app shortcuts from areas other than the lock screen. One exception that readily comes to mind is Deck, which shows a sidebar on the Home screen containing several system toggles and app shortcuts. Having said that, it must be pointed out that Deck focuses more on settings than apps, which doesn't make it a viable extension of the iOS dock or App Switcher tray. InstaLauncher, however, is a new tweak that's just perfect for anyone looking for an alternative and quick way of accessing all the apps installed on an iPhone. If you have a lot of apps, some of them are bound to be forgotten with time, tucked away into different folders. With InstaLauncher, this is never likely to happen as the tweak presents your apps in an alphabetically-arranged list, making sure that any app can be reached within seconds. Those who have used an Android device will feel at home with it, as it acts somewhat similar to the App Drawer from Google's OS. Read More

Smart Launcher For Android Boasts A Fast, Minimal Yet Beautiful UI

While many people buy a smartphone to run apps, check emails, surf the internet (and make phone calls too), it’s the customization factor of Android that really shines and give it an advantage over the likes of iOS and Windows Phone. When we speak of customization, it’s not just merely changing the wallpaper or swapping the Message icon, but the complete interface overhaul that third-party Android launchers bring with them. Smart Launcher Special is a new Android launcher based on the already popular Smart Launcher and Smart Launcher Pro, and has recently gone free in the Google Play Store as a limited time offer. The app brings with it all the features of the Pro variant and is being offered free for a limited time. For more details, read on. Read More

Splay Launcher Redefines Android Home Screen Replacement With Unique, Pie-Like Navigation

Let’s face it, single-handed operation on mobile phone with a screen size of over 4.3 inches gets a bit tricky and as you up the screen size further, it almost becomes a challenge. Developed by Else Ltd., the company behind the smartphone 'First Else' that never made it to the shelves, Splay Launcher for Android is another Home Launcher replacement, but what makes it stand out is its distinct interface that focus on single-handed operation. The app's interface may remind some of you of the the much popular Pie feature from the Paranoid Android ROM. Think of it as a semi jog-dial containing three menu levels that are accessible via some intuitive swipe gestures. The app requires Android 4.0 + to work. Read on after the jump, as we take a closer look at the app and its interface. Read More

How To Install & Run Facebook Home On Unsupported Android Devices

As announced at Facebook's "New Home on Android" event, and a few days after its APK was leaked to the interwebs, Facebook Home was released to the Play Store today, but only in the US, and that too for a limited number of devices, namely HTC One X, One X+, One, Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4. Where Facebook might be justified in localizing their product, we're sure there are countless users pouting in disappointment at having such a major release kept out of reach, and that too without an ETA on support for other regions and devices. Now, if you're a resident of the US and happen to own one of these devices (two of which are yet to hit the shelves), you needn't read on. If you own a supported device, but are in an unsupported region, you should only need to sideload the APK of the final release. If, however, you don't fulfill any of these requirements, as should be the case with quite a majority of Android-toting Facebook users around the world, join us past the break for a step-by-step guide on making your device Facebook Home-compatible! Read More

Buzz Launcher For Android Boasts Crowdsourced Themes, Multi-Themed Layouts & More [Review]

Ever looked at a friends Android device and envied the home screen layout and theme on it, wishing you could just swap the home screen or replicate the same deal on your device? Android enthusiasts end up spending quite some time tweaking their home screen themes and layout to personalize it to their needs and aesthetic sense, and why not? This is the freedom we get with Android! But what if you were able to replicate home screens from around the world, without the need to have to follow up on complicated setup instructions as presently practiced. Enter Buzz Launcher – the home screen replacement app that brings crowdsourced themes to the home launcher arena. However, unlike themes seen before for launcher apps that more or less focus on just icons and wallpaper, Buzz Launcher themes can completely change the layout and behavior of your home screen whilst including widgets, and work in a smarter and more intuitive manner. In what follows, we take a closer look at the truly unique features of what could become one of the best home screen replacements apps out there for Android. Read More

Install Leaked Facebook Home APK On Any Android Device

This past Friday, Facebook showcased its long-rumored ‘Facebook Phone’ which – as speculated by many but not all – turned out to be not a dedicated device running an entire Facebook-built operating system, but rather a bunch of Facebook-centric Android apps including a launcher that together provide a Facebook experience fully integrated into your phone’s home screen. According to the official announcement, the app will be available on Play Store for select top-end HTC and Samsung phones on April 12th, and HTC First – the first smartphone built by HTC with Facebook’s collaboration that will ship with Facebook Home preinstalled – will also start shipping on the same day. Though if you can’t wait till the 12th to try out the Facebook experience, you’re in luck! Developer builds of Facebook’s new apps have been leaked, including the Home launcher, and they work on many existing Android devices. Let’s take a closer look at them after the jump. Read More

91 Launcher: Android Home Screen App With Great Themes & Transitions

Launchers are custom home screen replacement apps that rank among the most distinguishing features of Android, and they’re available in abundance from third parties. No matter how many high-quality and versatile Android launchers you might have already tried, there is always another one right around the corner. New to the market, 91 Launcher is yet another insanely feature-rich Android home screen replacement that seems to have been inspired from the Chinese-based MIUI custom ROM. Available in the Play Store for free, this promising app has almost everything you could ask from a quality launcher, including gesture-based controls for accessing system features anywhere in the OS, multiple fully configurable home screens and dock items, an impressive array of themes, wallpapers & transition effects, dedicated widgets, shortcuts & folders, native app drawer with folder support, option to import icons from other installed launchers, iPhone & Android 4.0 ICS-style folders with option to encrypt their content, predefined power-saving system profiles, system-wide search support, and needless to say, tons of customizations. Read More

Vire Launcher Is A 3D Android Home Screen With Stunning Transitions

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. Read More

Driving Dashboard ‘Sony Car’ Ported From Xperia Z To All Android Devices

Google Play Store has plenty of apps that make it easier to use your phone while docked in your car, and there’s a built-in dock mode available on most Android phones out there as well. However, not everyone is comfortable with fancy voice commands or alerts, and some people just can’t be bothered automating the functions of their phone when driving. With Sony Car app, you can make using your phone while driving arguably safe. Even though it lacks even the slightest bit of automation-related features or alerts for the driver, what it does have is a clean and well laid out interface that is essentially a launcher with really big icons optimized for using in dock mode. There is more to it than meets the eye, so read all about it after the break. Read More