Many Android accessories address with a absence home awning launcher that, frankly, affectionate of . The acceptable news? You can install a new launcher alms bigger shortcuts, added home screens, and added agreement options. Here’s the annual on the best accepted options.
We afresh discussed how to accumulate your Android home awning and how to install a new home awning launcher. While I alone recommended LauncherPro, abounding of you acclaimed that you’re big admirers of added launchers, and appropriately so—there are a few absolutely acceptable ones out there. Today, we’ll go through the best accepted three, acquainted anniversary one’s appropriate appearance so you can adjudge which one’s appropriate for you.
Android lets you add a lot of things to your home screens—widgets, shortcuts, folders, apps—so abundant …
ADW is apparently the best accepted launcher out there, and is the absence launcher of the actual accepted CyanogenMod custom ROM. It’s the best advantage if you appetite to actively change your home screen, whether through authoritative changes (like abacus added shortcuts to anniversary screen) or visually (by re-theming the absolute thing).
Layout options: ADW offers abundant means to re-organize your home screens. You can add up to 7 screens, which is appealing accepted for a custom launcher, but if you charge to fit alike added shortcuts, ADWLauncher offers the adeptness to accept how abounding rows and columns of apps you appetite on your home screen—up to eight each—so you can clasp in as abounding shortcuts as possible.
If that’s a bit too extreme, you can additionally accept to aloof clasp apps calm in the app drawer. This way, your home awning stays tidy, but you accept to do beneath scrolling back you charge article in the drawer. You can additionally set the drawer’s accomplishments color, aish app labels (so you alone see the icons), and accent bottomward the 3D cartoon effects.
Usability options: ADW has arranged a appealing ample cardinal of accomplishments into its arrangement preferences, to which you can accredit altered shortcuts. For example, you can re-assign the home on to appearance a examination of all your home screens, accessible a specific app, or adumbrate the notification bar.
Furthermore, ADW has a few gestures congenital to which you can bind these actions. For example, by default, annexation up on the awning shows and hides the notification bar, and annexation bottomward shows the notifications drawer.
Themes: One of ADW’s bigger draws is themability. It doesn’t get abundant easier to affair your buzz than with ADW’s congenital engine—just download a affair from the Market (they usually ambit from chargeless to about a dollar or so) and baddest it in ADW’s preferences. It will change aggregate from your wallpaper, icons, and assorted UI settings to accord your buzz a absolutely new look. Lots of capacity accommodate icons for accepted Market apps, too, so it won’t aloof be your pre-installed Google apps that get themed—apps like Barcode Scanner and Shazam will generally fit in too.
Performance: While abounding acquaintance acceptable achievement from ADW, I (along with abounding others) acquisition that it’s the affliction of the agglomeration in agreement of acceleration and stability. It can be a bit sluggish, and I’ve alike had a few force closes on it in the past. However, it additionally provides so abounding options that it may be account it for some, and some of those options can absolutely advice achievement (like axis bottomward the zoom furnishings in the app drawer). You’ll aloof accept to try it for yourself and see how able-bodied it works for you, but be warned that all this customization may appear at a baby price.
LauncherPro is my claimed favorite, as it offers absolutely a few added preferences and absurd achievement (in my experience). It additionally offers a tiny bit of themability for those that accept that itch, admitting you won’t be able to affair the absolute UI; you can alone change the dock. LauncherPro comes in a chargeless adaptation and a $2.99 version, the closing of which appearance some added widgets and accoutrement settings. I pay for the exceptional adaptation primarily to abutment the developer, but the added widgets—though accessible to go without—are still nice.
Layout options: Like added launchers, LauncherPro lets you accept how abounding home screens you want, but it additionally offers a few added options. Like ADWLauncher, you can accept how abounding apps shortcuts fit in anniversary row, admitting you can alone do it for the app drawer itself. You can accept to adapt apps in bristles adjustment rows on the home awning though, but that’s as far as it goes. If you’d like to, you can additionally adumbrate figure labels, so you alone see icons on the home awning and not the names of the apps beneath them.
One of LauncherPro’s best features, however, is removing apps from the app drawer. Thus, you can adumbrate the crapware that comes with your phone, or adumbrate apps that you appetite active in the accomplishments but don’t appetite abashing up your drawer. Of course, if you charge to adapt their settings after on, you can consistently un-hide them with aloof a few taps.
Usability options: The berth is the centermost of absorption in LauncherPro, area best of the customizability happens. LauncherPro’s berth is scrollable, themeable, and has a few aliment in there that can accomplish your activity easier. It appearance bristles shortcuts forth the basal instead of the accepted two, and you can annal through assorted docks as well, giving you a absolute of 15 shortcuts forth the basal of your screen.
LauncherPro additionally has the accepted account enhancements, like enabling auto-rotation, allotment an activity for the home key, and ambuscade the notification bar. In addition, if you put article like Gmail or Messaging in the dock, you can accredit berth badges for those apps, so you apperceive how abounding benighted letters you accept in each.
Theming: While you can’t affair the absolute home awning like in ADW, you can do your fair allotment of beheld customization on the dock. LauncherPro’s absence icons are white, somewhat cellophane versions of Android’s aboriginal icons, and they attending appealing good—but you can additionally use the absence Android icons if you prefer. You can alike add your own from your phone’s SD card, acceptation you can accomplish it attending like whatever you want. Furthermore, if LauncherPro doesn’t accommodate an figure for a assertive app, you can acquisition LauncherPro-style icons for added apps about the net.
You can additionally change how the berth itself looks. By absence it’s invisible, but you can add a nice 3D glass, iOS-type berth (shown above), or a berth agnate to the absence Froyo launcher if you prefer.
Widgets: If you adjudge to acquirement the abounding adaptation of LauncherPro, you get a few large, SenseUI-like widgets for your contacts, calendar, bookmarks, and SMS messaging. Furthermore, you can resize any widgets (including the non-LauncherPro widgets) so they fit your blueprint better. Note that this resizing affection doesn’t amplitude the accoutrement itself, but resizing a 3×4 accoutrement to 4×4 will alone centermost it on the awning so it doesn’t attending awkward.
Performance: Despite its arresting cardinal of features, LauncherPro is fast. If you accept a decidedly old buzz and acquisition it a bit sluggish, you can still about-face bottomward some of the added UI enhancements, but I’ve begin that alike with all of them angry on, it’s one of the best acknowledging launchers around. Scrolling through the app drawer is so bland it’s an about iPhone-like experience, so you can’t go amiss if you’re attractive for acceptable performance.
HelixLauncher is an absorbing case at the moment, as development has slowed bottomward as of late. HelixLauncher is a abundant added basal launcher; the alone things you absolutely get with it are four berth shortcuts and added home screens. That’s not to say it’s not aces of a look—the capital focus of HelixLauncher is acceleration and stability. If you accept an earlier buzz that can’t absolutely handle the added feature-filled launchers, HelixLauncher will apparently accord you appealing acceptable performance. It’s best for those that may appetite a bit added than the absence launchers offer, but don’t appetite to accept to dig through a ton of settings to get them—they aloof appetite the aforementioned old launcher, but a little faster and with a few added home screens.
As of appropriate now, HelixLauncher is chargeless in the Market, but alone works on 2.1-based phones. Of course, depending on your phone, you ability still be cat-and-mouse on 2.2 for awhile, so HelixLauncher will authority you over until Froyo adds that long-awaited acceleration addition to your buzz (perhaps alike abundant of a addition to handle one of the added avant-garde launchers). The developer is affective boring on HelixLauncher at the moment, but he hasn’t discontinued it yet, so this is one to accumulate an eye on for the future.
There isn’t absolutely a “best” launcher; it’s all about what you appetite from your phone. If you appetite all-encompassing themability, ADW is apparently the appropriate one for you. If you don’t charge absolutely as abundant customizability, but still would like some added settings, LauncherPro is account a look. Don’t be abashed to try added than one, either—they’re all chargeless and accessible in the Market, so you don’t accept to jump through any hoops to try them out. Of course, abounding of you accept already gone through this process, and we haven’t beat every distinct affection of anniversary launcher here, so let us apperceive which one is your admired and why in the comments.
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