One of the few differences between the Pixel Launcher and the Google Now Launcher is how you search. The GNL has a search bar spanning the full width of the first home screen, while the Pixel Launcher has a simple Google button that starts a search. Now that appears to be changing, at least for some users. Read More
If there's one thing Android manufacturers and carriers love to do, it's copy existing Google products and make them worse. Verizon is a repeat offender when it comes to bloatware, and now the company is preparing to roll out yet another stupid application to its Android devices. This time, a search tool called 'AppFlash' will grace the home screens of Verizon Android phones. Read More
ADW Launcher was one of my first introductions into Android customization. For the longest time, it was the cornerstone of my homescreen strategy and I'd spend hours perfecting a setup with icons, colors, widgets, until I'd start again a couple of days later. Heck, one of the first Android roundups I ever wrote (warning: not an AP post) was about customization and had ADW Launcher as the first recommendation. Read More
Nova Launcher needs no introduction - it's arguably the most customizable and polished third-party launcher for Android. The base version supports all the usual home screen stuff, as well as icon themes, color controls, multiple app drawer and home screen styles, the ability to import layouts from other launchers, and much more. Nova Launcher Prime (the paid upgrade) goes even further, offering the ability to hide apps, create tabs or folders in the app drawer, unread counts on icons, and more. Read More
Part 1 of this teardown broached the subject of a new set of circular launcher icons Google is creating for use on the homescreen, possibly just for the Pixel Launcher. It likely speaks to future plans for the look and feel of Android, but there's no denying that new icons are cosmetic – they don't actually do anything. Part 2 of this teardown switches over to the functional side as evidence shows Launcher Shortcuts will return with Android 7.1.
The Launcher Shortcuts API was introduced with the second Android N Developer Preview and quickly gained attention as a spiritual copy of the Home Screen Quick Actions introduced with iOS 9, and inspired many theories that pressure-sensitive screens would become a standard in Android. Read More