Google finally unveiled KitKat last week, but you may have noticed something was missing. Yes, there was no news on the so-called Google Experience Launcher. Earlier leaks led us to suspect that Google's homescreen experience was coming to more Android devices, but the big day came and went with no mention. Recent revelations about how the Android 4.4 homescreen works breathe new life into the possibility of a more Googley experience for all.
The Fallout series has had a unique retro-futuristic aesthetic for nearly its entire run: it's a strange mix of post-apocalyptic settings sprinkled with themes of 50s and 60s Americana. Android customization enthusiast Turner Davis has applied this unique aesthetic to a massively-customized homescreen based on the game's PipBoy gadget, now on display at MyColorScreen. Best of all, he's detailed the steps needed to recreate this masterpiece.
For the uninitiated, the PipBoy is a wrist-mounted computer, sort of like a mix between an Apple II and Turanga Leela's ever-present watch thingy.
Aviate Launcher, if you haven't heard of it, is a new home screen replacement that looks to offer you information right when you need it and which is, at the time of writing, in the middle of an invite-only alpha period.
After receiving my invitation recently, I was anxious to take the launcher for a spin. I have no doubt it will improve as it progresses toward a broad launch, and there are a few drawbacks, but it is already one of the best alpha products I've ever used.
Readers of a certain age will remember the way LCD screens looked back in the early 90s. We'd never heard of color LCDs – that would have been witchcraft plain and simple. LCDs were dingy little grayscale things that you saw on clocks and mediocre handheld games. Still, there's nothing like some nostalgia in this age of pocket-sized supercomputers, right? MyColorScreen user z3u5 posted a classic LCD theme for custom Android launchers recently, and it's a seriously cool effect.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.
Forget skeuomorphism. Why do we need things that look like objects if we can just use actual objects? That's what reddit user and notable George Bruns ballad davy_crockett thought. Using a combination of Apex launcher's ability to resize the icon grid and MultiPicture Live Wallpaper to use multiple photos for different homescreens, he created a layout that's made up entirely of real-world things. Want to play music? Tap the headphones.
Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of live wallpapers. I love the idea, but in practice I've never found one that suits my taste and is compelling enough to stay on my device for more than a few minutes. That changed today with Cypher Cove's release of Audio Glow to the Play Store.
Audio Glow is actually a stand-alone app with a similarly named LWP companion which also launched today. The app is a music visualizer, which in itself is not so exciting.
Most of the home screen replacements out there are just variations on a theme. There are scrollable panels, icons, and an app drawer. Foneclay is something entirely different. With this app, you can turn your phone into functional, though bizarre art.
The app itself is essentially just a front end for downloading and installing the artistic home screen apps. Tap on one that looks interesting, and you can preview the UI before you download.
Mobint, the dev team behind the original Holo Launcher (for Android 2.2+ devices), decided to jump into the Android 4.0+ launcher party recently with their latest entry in the Play Store – Holo Launcher HD.
Holo Launcher HD, like its older counterpart, gives your home screen the 4.x panache we've come to know and love, but is specifically modeled after Jelly Bean, and is only compatible with devices running 4.0 and above.