Replacing your Android Home Screen LauncherPresented by www.HowDoiUseAndroid.com
IntroductionMost Android devices come with some type of customHome Screen Launcher that controls how you interact withyour phone. Each manufacturer & cell phone carrier oftenimplements their own enhancements to the standardAndroid stock interface in order to make their devices standout from others.For instance, Motorola smartphones come with Motoblur,HTC provides HTC Sense and Samsung devices haveTouchWiz. Some of their "enhancements" are great, whileothers are annoying and unnecessary.
SwitchingBelow are some third-party Home Screen Launcher Replacements that arewidely used to provide a better interface. They make it easier to use yourdevice by providing shortcuts (e.g. swipe to get a history of apps recently run)or more screen real estate (e.g. 25 App Icons on a home screen. Note thatyoull start with blank screens when you switch to a new home screen. Thenyoull have to put the icons and widgets onto those screens again.Ive tried a couple of these launchers and theyre very similar. Even thoughtablets have a great interface, you can still improve how they work with theseapps too. All of these are rated very highly in the Google Play store.
The Best AppsLauncher Pro (FREE for the base version, but $3.49 for a key to unlock the "Pro" features)I like being able to hide what apps show up in the App Drawer when I hit the home button. It also hassome nice shortcut features.Go Launcher EX (FREE)Havent tried this yet, but it looks very impressive, and its very popular at Google Play.ADW.Launcher (FREE)A widely used thats often bundled with custom ROMs. Theres an extensive guide to using ADW.Launcher HERE with numerous pictures and walkthroughs. I just switched over to this recently andits my favorite right now for phones.Zeam (FREE)Zeam Launcher is a minimalistic and lightweight launcher alternative. Its designed for low and mid-range devices whose home screens are a bit sluggish.As usual, Lifehacker has a great review of some of these launchers here: Battle of the Android HomeScreen Launchers
Launchers for TabletsAll of the home screen launchers mentioned above will work on Tablets justfine, but they dont take advantage of the extra screen real estate that a tablethas.The first launcher Ive seen designed for tablets is GO Launcher HD for Pad.Its by the makers of Go Launcher EX, and its far better than the stock launcherthat came with my Honeycomb tablet.
Managing your launchersOnce youve got more than one home screen launcher installed, hitting thehome button on your device will bring up a menu like this:
Managing your launchersAndroid is asking which launcher to use, and if you want tomake it the default launcher. Select the one you want tostick with and then click the "Use by default for this action"check box.If you install one of these and dont like it, you can alwaysswitch back to your stock home screen system byuninstalling the App. All your settings in the old homescreen launcher will be exactly how you left them.There are also Apps like Home Switcher that easily allowyou to switch between using multiple Home Screensystems.
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