Last Updated: August 23rd, 2012

The Android launcher has always been ground zero for device customization, and most launchers make at least some concession to user options. But TSF Shell, which we've covered before, surely takes the cake for sheer flexibility. The latest update, to Beta version 1.6.0, adds a dazzling amount of new features. Granted, most of these are eye candy - something that TSF never lacked in the first place - but a few of them are genuinely useful. The ability to select and move multiple apps at a time is something I've wished stock and source-based launchers would implement for years.

The mini-docks on the right and left of TSF, as well as the homescreen itself, get plenty of small tweaks and options. Plus there's a variety of new widget which include - no joke - a 3D flying blimp that trails a flapping photo from your gallery behind it. (If you put a battery widget right next to it, you can watch your power drain in real time!) Some more practical considerations include unread counts for various email and social icons, plus support for high-definition icons and themes. It's still the most expensive launcher around at just under $17 in the Play Store, but the widgets and plugins are free.

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Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.

    .... so expensive .....

    Anyone actually have it and is it worth the cost?

    • David

      Yes I have it. At first it wasn't since they released it with practically no features. Now I have it as my main launcher. Its cool to use to impress people and its very smooth although it does drain your battery the more eye candy you have

      • http://twitter.com/LyricallyVodka Chaz Edwards

        It doesn't have any more battery drain than nova or apex which i use to use exclusively. With animations turn on. All drain on apex/nova/tsf are about the same.

    • http://twitter.com/LyricallyVodka Chaz Edwards

      They update monthly usually i have and used it compared to nova and apex and it doesn't drain battery more than any other launcher. They listen to the users. Sms/Calendar widget is on the way. The sliding dock bar for apps you want instant access is useful as well. It surpasses spb shell by far. They are planning more effects like raining apps and apps floating on top of water. Also the apps doesn't have to reload unless you change density or themes.

    • Abhisshek Das

      i buy it and its really worth it when show off this to your iSheep friends . their face looks damn funny . ways much better then SPB shell

  • Jeff

    Interesting, and looks cool. I'm not so sure about those folders though. They copy the ugly iOS style folders.

    • http://twitter.com/LyricallyVodka Chaz Edwards

      Folders change depending on the themes which can magical hats , boxes, ios folders etc. Also standard ics folders looks.

      • Jeff

        Ah, good to know. I love the ics folders. Every time I see an iphone interface that is just one home screen full of little black folders, I want to cry ;(

  • serrastone

    Too bad themes are totally broken and don't work at all now.

    • http://twitter.com/LyricallyVodka Chaz Edwards

      Developers have to update their themes for 1.60.

  • Eye4Detail

    Color me impressed.

  • Adam

    I never ever thought I'd spend more than $6 on one thing in the Play Store...but it's about to happen right neow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jude-Palermo/100002164977772 Jude Palermo

      the TSF SHELL ios is one of the greatest things i seen. and i seen so many things in my 437 years on earth, unbelievable nope it is true it is so great

  • Josh Flowers

    3="New Decoration Widge Released"...short for widget? is it going the way of application (app?)

  • James

    I have been using this Launcher for about 4 months, it is absolutely fantastic. You can customize practically every aspect of it to your liking. Ive tried all the launchers out there, even the little known ones. TSF ROCKS

  • DrewNusser

    Way too much going on for me.

  • smeddy

    I really want but way too much! Especially without a trial. I wish there was a time locked 2-week trial or something. Or at least anything better than a shitty 15 minute trial

  • b_to_the_randon

    Hey just wanted to drop by and say two things AP; first, screw you for inducing me to spend $16. Second, thank you for showing me this app. I took the plunge obviously and I have to say this is absolutely awesome.

    I've used a number of launchers over the years, Fed's Launcher Pro back in the 2.3 days, then Go Launcher, and now Nova in the ICS/JB era now and this blows everything I've used out of the water. It's SO smooth, not to mention all the nifty eye candy widgets and functional ability to lasso/group things. It's all a little jarring because it's all just a little different, but it introduces so many novel functions (lasso, multi-select, theming icon engine, etc.) that it's all incredibly useful. And yet somehow it all manages to make things if anything smoother than ever! I've not really noticed a depreciation in battery usage either and that's with a lot of the goofy animations turned on.

    I've got this setup on both my Galaxy Nexus (to which it works awesomely!) and my Nexus 7 (also awesome, but the Notifications Count add-on is marked incompatible with this, boo). I was sort of hesitant to use this as my tablet UI, but the ability to swap the density of the icons on the fly made it feasible.

    Absolutely love this one, best $16 I've spent in a long time.

  • apprc8

    i have never spent even for a desktop software but fell for this launcher. LOL. I like it for the sheer smoothness (don't know what 'lag' means), the dock is smart and the pendant widget it cool. There are certain over-engineered features but worth it. I will never justify the price but hey, lucky I could afford it to complement my smartphone.
    Was close to go for SPB, but then took the plunge for TSF, as SPB puts too much restriction on customization. After few days, you are sure to get bored with SPB. The new themes coming up on TSF makes it exciting and ofcourse the good job by the team in constantly updating it.
    May be they should focus on more productive features than just eye-candy. I mean, come on... how many times are you gonna drag-n-drop icons across screens. And Airship widget - that's a battery vampire :P but i love it

  • http://twitter.com/imdnextbuffet Ritesh Bhagwati

    The only reason why i would shift to androids soon is none other then this god damn launcher, i so much love this launcher.