05
Nov
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One of the more drool-worthy aspects of the software from the Nexus 5 (and not necessarily Android 4.4) is the homescreen and launcher, which includes a ton of new features tied directly into Google Now and Google Search. But you might want to curb your enthusiasm: according to a report from The Verge, Google isn't interested in expanding that launcher to other devices at the moment.

2013-11-05 19.58.32 2013-11-05 19.58.10 2013-11-05 19.57.29

Google tells us that the new Launcher on the Nexus 5 is exclusive to the phone — though the company may change its mind and offer it for the Nexus 4 and perhaps even put it on the Play store someday.

31
Oct
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So it looks like a lot of you were excited by Themer, MyColorScreen's custom launcher which promises no-hassle installations of some of the fantastic homescreens featured on the site. After a month in closed beta the service is now open, so you no longer need a code to get access to those sweet, sweet themes. The free app is available on smartphones (and only smartphones) running Android 4.1 or later.

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MyColorScreen was eager to share two key statistics with us after four weeks in full operation.

27
Oct
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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.

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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.

18
Jul
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Widgets are an indispensible part of Android for many users, including yours truly. It's just too bad that they're so ugly - who wants to use a 1080p screen for looking at Twitter feeds or checking emails when you could stare at some fantastic wallpaper instead? All joking aside, Popup Widget is a pretty fantastic solution for those who prefer their homescreens without clutter.

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It's a simple idea: instead of having a big, space-consuming widget sit there all the time, hide it in a shortcut.

29
May
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If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times. Congratulations, you've just replicated the effect of Giganticon without even installing the app.

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Giganticon has one purpose, and one purpose only: it makes the app icons on your homescreen enormous.

24
May
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One of the more interesting alternative launchers out there (that is to say, one that isn't just a grid of apps and widgets plus a drawer) is Action Launcher. This premium custom launcher has been gaining fans since its launch, thanks to a unique gesture-based app drawer and a focus on speed and usability. With version 1.7, developer Chris Lacy has added some of the features this younger launcher lacks, most notably icon theme support - the various theme packs for GO, Nova, and Apex launchers should work with Action Launcher Pro now.

11
May
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TeslaCoil Software's Nova Launcher has become one of the most popular custom launchers for Android power users since shortly after the arrival of Ice Cream Sandwich, and part of the reason is the constant addition of new features. The latest revision (2.1) adds a whole lot of goodies, especially if you like to play around with the look and feel of your icons and themes. The release adds features both for free users and those who've bought the $4 Nova Launcher Prime.

25
Feb
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So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page.

17
Dec
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What makes a developer great is a continued commitment to a great product, and Apex Launcher dev Android Does has it in spades. Their latest in a long line of updates adds a handful of features, most of which are designed to allow the app to more seamlessly integrate with Android 4.2. There's a new shortcut to the Quick Settings menu, as well as modifications to the shortcut selection screen for 4.2 devices.

16
Aug
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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.

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