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Articles Tagged:

launcher

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[Update: Normalization Is Gone] Google App v5.8 Beta Brings Back Launcher Auto Rotation On Phones And Now Normalizes Icon Sizes For A Bit Of Consistency [APK Download]

Following the big improvements to Maps on Monday night, Google is hitting us again with another update that is sure to make quite a few users happy, at least for those that use the Google Now Launcher (a.k.a. GEL). Support for a rotating launcher screen on phones is back, and if that's not enough, there's also a nifty new rendering feature that resizes app icons so most of them will look more consistent on your home screen. This update appears to have come out of Google's beta channel, but we've got download links at the bottom if you want to jump on it right away.

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Android TV's Leanback Launcher Now Lets You Reorder Your Apps In Version 1.1.4 [APK Download]

Nexus Player owners are starting their week with plenty of goodies to enjoy. Yesterday saw the rollout of the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow factory images for their set-top box, and now its Leanback launcher is getting updated to a new version with a small but useful change: they can now re-order their apps!

Android TV launcher version 1.1.4 might not be live in the Play Store for everyone yet, but you can grab it from APK Mirror and install it on your Android TV device (regardless of whether or not it's running the new 6.0.1 Marshmallow update). Once you do, you can long-press on any app in the launcher, which then goes into a sokoban-like mode allowing you to move it and slide it into other positions on your app grid, and even delete it.

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EverythingMe Launcher Will Shut Down And Leave The Play Store Due To A Terminal Lack Of Money

It's a bad weekend for indie apps and services. After the PasswordBox team announced that its well-liked product would be folded into Intel's alternative, now a unique Android homescreen replacement is also going the way of the dodo. After amassing 15 million downloads since its debut early last year, EverythingMe will soon be shutting down and no longer available on the Play Store. As Douglas Adams said (and the company quoted on its farewell blog post), so long, and thanks for all the fish.

According to the post, the simple fact is that EverythingMe's business model wasn't bringing in enough revenue to sustain the development team.

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HomeUX Review: A Fresh, Elegant, And Unique Take On Android Launchers

Coming across a genuinely new launcher interface and paradigm on Android is rare. Most third-party clients try to emulate the default Android launcher and add some customizations and improvements here and there. Not to undermine the power of something like Nova Launcher, but there's only so many times you can swipe left and right between homescreens or tap to open and close an app drawer before you wonder what that new launcher you installed does differently. If you seek the novelty of a new welcoming interface each time you unlock your phone, choices are somewhat more limited especially if you want a reliable and simple app, not one that has been built for the sake of difference more than usability.

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Nokia's Z Launcher Update Adds Synonyms And WhatsApp Contacts To Scribbles

Nokia's Z Launcher is a bit different. Instead of a customizable homescreen where you place your app icons, it chooses them based on the ones you often open and you're most likely to need right now. Essentially, it adapts to your context. It has a few more tricks too, like scribbling the names of apps, contacts, and websites to launch them directly. In its new update, this scribble function is about to get a little more powerful.

Scribbling now supports synonyms, so you can launch music apps by simply writing music. Spotify, Pandora, and even YouTube should appear in the list of options.

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Google App v5.3: Launcher Auto-Rotation May Be Returning To Phones Soon [APK Teardown]

The Google app is an interesting beast within the Android Ecosystem. It provides speech recognition, Google Now, multiple APIs, and even a launcher. Next to Google Play Services, the Google app is by far the most multi-faceted apk most of us have on our phones and tablets. The latest couple of updates teased users of the Android M Developer Preview 3 with brief access to Now On Tap before it was quickly taken away with a promise that it was still "coming soon". There were also a few other smaller details waiting to be found in a teardown, including the likely return of rotation support on the Google Now Launcher and some more forward motion for offline voice commands.

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[Weekend Poll Classics] Are You Using A Custom Launcher On Your Phone?

The last time we asked the custom launcher question was, surprisingly, over two years ago. Among "yes," "I have used one but don't anymore," and "no, and I have never used one," the results were 67%, 25%, and 7%, respectively. So, let's see what those numbers look like now that some more time has passed.

I personally install the Google Now Launcher on pretty much any phone that comes across my desk, because I just like the consistency and simplicity. While I definitely understand the appeal of, say, Nova Launcher, I just don't spend much time manicuring and perfecting my homescreens.

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Nokia's Z Launcher Updated With Widget Support In Version 1.2

Android users in general like widgets. Android "advocates" (which I suppose includes all of us here at Android Police) remember when it was one of the biggest differentiators between Google's mobile operating system and iOS, back when people were trying to convince us that we didn't really need copy and paste support. So when Nokia's Z Launcher homescreen replacement app launched without widgets, a considerable number of users couldn't switch over because of this lack.

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Now the developers have alleviated this problem, so it's a good time to give Z Launcher another chance. Version 1.2 adds basic widget support: swipe to the blank screen on the left side of the main launcher and long-press to add them.

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Google Now Launcher Will Soon Allow You To Uninstall Apps From Home Screens Instead Of Just The App Drawer

One aspect of Google Now Launcher that never felt quite right was the way you removed apps. If you happened to be on a home screen, saw an app icon, and decided to uninstall that app, you had to go to the app drawer to do that. You could get rid of the shortcut from the home screen, but not uninstall it. The Android M version now takes care of that small annoyance.

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When you drag it over uninstall, it will turn red. When it is hovering on remove, which just gets rid of the shortcut, the icon becomes grayscaled.

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Hexy Launcher From SwiftKey Greenhouse Is A Weird Homescreen Replacement That Dumps Your Apps Onto A Hexagonal Grid

Android app drawers come in all shapes and sizes, but most stick to the same basic formula. There's a homescreen with apps, folders, and widgets. Everything else is tucked away inside the app drawer.

Well, that isn't the case with Hexy. This experimental third-party launcher takes the apps that would otherwise be in your drawer and dumps them all over your homescreen. There they reside in a sea of hexagonal tiles. If you've ever seen an Apple Watch and thought there's a method of managing apps I can get behind, here's your chance.

Hexy3 Hexy1

In the center of the screen there's a group of hexagons that contain your most used apps.

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