Friday, April 13, 2012

Favorite Android Launcher

Part of buying an Android smartphone is, at least partially, accepting whatever modifications the manufacturer has made to the Android operating system.  However, if you don't care for their modified version, you can change a lot of the appearance through different launchers.  A launcher on Android is the homescreen(s) and app drawer as well as theme capability and included widgets.

After reading an article about doing some spring cleanup on my phone, I decided to really trim it down with a different launcher.  I own an HTC Droid Incredible 2 and the HTC Sense UI is a bit plain.  I had tried different launchers on my old Droid 2 Global and thought I'd try them again.  I was glad I did.

After looking through the numerous options (I've estimated at least three or four dozen different launchers), I settled on Go Launcher Ex.  Why?  Customization.  I wanted to select how many home screens I truly need, I like the ability to delete apps from the app drawer (iPhone style) and the ability to create folders on the home screen by putting one app on another.  Go Launcher also has available numerous different themes, some even free.

There are numerous other reasons to like Go Launcher as well.  I'm a big fan of the iPhone style app folders that open inline with the other apps.  It makes it quicker and easier to open the app you want as well as close the folder.  It truly is as simple as dragging on app onto another on any homescreen.

While I am on a widget diet, there are some helpful widgets made by Go that matches the Go Launcher quite well.  I installed the Go Power Master app and widget to watch my battery life.  It also makes it easy to kill running apps and switch between power modes to extend your battery life.

You can go to the Go Dev Team homepage or their blog to see more and download the apk files to install Go Launcher, Go Power Master, or any of their other great useful tools.  Google Play Store also has the apps, of course.

I want to know, what's your favorite Android launcher?  Leave me a note in the comments.