One of the best things about being an Android user is the plethora of customizations that users have at their disposal. Everything from simple changes (like wallpaper), to the extremely advanced, root-requiring mods – there's something for everyone. One of the best ways to add some flare to the Android experience without a lot of work, however, is by changing the launcher. Many launchers feature advanced functionality over that of Google's stock offering, including themes, transition animations, quick access to oft-used tools, and so much more.
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Today, we're going to take a closer look at one of the newer, lesser-known third-party launchers on the market, Moborobo's Mobo Live.
Mobo Live is sort of a throwback to the launchers of old, in that it feels a lot like Go Launcher in the pre-Ice Cream Sandwich days. Considering Go was one of the best options for an aftermarket launcher, it may offer the experience that many users have been looking for in the "new era" of Android. Of course, it's also featuring all the things that make "modern" launchers so good, as well; it's like a hybrid of old and new, so there's a lot to like about Mobo Live.
While different and feature-rich, Mobo Live should still feel familiar enough for most users to just jump right in. Long-pressing the homescreen will open the widgets, shortcuts, theme/wallpaper, and effect dialog, which appears as a small popup on the lower part of the screen. A preview of any changes shows up just above that, so users are able to see what they get before actually confirming the change. Speaking of effects – there are several transition animations to choose from.
It's not just about looks, either – there are some very functional features thrown into Mobo Live, like a brilliant little quick settings panel that shows at the top of the display when a swipe down gesture is made across a homescreen. Similarly, a swipe up pulls up a convenient options panel, which includes quick access to wallpaper, themes, settings preferences, and more. It's all very intuitive and simple – exactly what a launcher should be.
One incredibly unique feature to Mobo Live is a quick-access website navigation pane built into the launcher. Simply swipe to the far left pane on the homescreen to access this area – much like accessing Google Now on the Nexus 5. It offers links to a slew of different sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Blogger, Tumblr, Gmail, 500px, and a whole lot more. There's also a Google Search bar present here, as well as option for a QR scanner.
Inside the app tray, Mobo Live offers many of the features custom launcher users have come to expect, like grid size customization, transition animations, transparency, and a few other, more minor tweaks. It also offers folders within the tray, the ability to hide apps, and customized sorting, including alphabetical, newest installed, and most used options, among others. The icons will even display a little "new" tag to highlight newly-installed applications, and the app tray icon will also change to display the word "new" when apps have been installed.
Tucked within the app tray's last tab is something unlike other lauchers: a manager option. This includes several OS utilities, like a file manager, a security center that can rate apps based on permissions (not all that unlike Bitdefender's Clueful), backup options for both applications and personal data, a battery manager that will try to keep the device running as long as possible, a "cleaner" to keep things smooth, and an app manager. It also offers a few features for rooted users, like the option to disallow apps from accessing the network if they push notifications into the bar.
Overall, there's a lot to like about Mobo Live. It's fast, fluid, intuitive, and useful. It's functionally vast, yet still simple enough for everyone (and anyone) to use. And when combined with Moborobo's other services – including the desktop client and MoboMarket – it offers a unified experience across the board.
Best of all, Mobo Live is completely free. Hit the widget below to get started.