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.
After five years, ADW Launcher has returned with a version 2.0. It looks pretty sweet, and there's an in-app unlock for the premium version that disables ads and tosses you a few new features, and by a few, I mean a ton. Including no ads. Here are all of said features.
Back when I had my Nexus One, my favorite launcher hands down was ADW. I loved it. I loved the animations, the speed, the configurability - ADW was my jam. But as time went on, ADW and I grew apart, support for the app waned (apart from the release of ADW EX), and Android's stock launcher began to mature and gain features. But I never lost my soft spot for ADW.
Back when ICS was released, it brought a whole new stock launcher, leaving old-style GB launchers in the dust. One such launcher - ADW - just received a massive update in the Play Store, bringing it back from the dead.
This is basically a full re-write of the launcher, but it still offers many of the features that made ADW and ADW EX so popular back in the day, including icon themes, gestures, widget resizing, and more.
ADW is of course, free in the Play Store, while its "pro" version - ADW EX - will set you back three bucks. If you were a fan of ADW back in the day, or are just looking for a new launcher to test out, hit the widget to check it out.
Android is known for its customizability and freedom, therefore it's not a surprise that it supports a variety of theming methods. Unfortunately, the vast majority of themes are either low quality or incomplete, which is a natural side effect of what happens when everyone is given a chance to contribute. When a truly great theme comes along, one worthy of changing the default launcher, it needs to be given credit. And the Tron Legacy Pro theme by Mariux is definitely one of those themes.
The theme doesn't just change the wallpaper or a few icons - it is what the author describes as "ultra-detailed." What this means is Tron's infamous neon effect was actually studied by Mariux to match the movie, a ton of icons have been changed, including popular applications outside of what ships stock (Angry Birds, Aldiko, Foursquare, Facebook, Goggles, etc), and even widget styles match the overall theme.
Those of you acquainted with the inimitable Ander Webbs have been waiting for this one for a while. Once dubbed ADW Freak, the souped-up version of everyone's favourite open-source launcher has arrived, and it's now named ADW Ex.
On the surface, Ex brings ... well, it brings crazy transitions and UI effects, mainly. But underneath all that is some pretty impressive performance improvements. In a launcher, the real place where performance counts is in the drawer scrolling, and if you've been feeling that ADW is a bit laggy lately, Ex will quell your frustration with its silky smoothness. Combine that with some cheekily named "4D" effects, a handful of desktop scrolling transitions, and the ability to tinker with your desktop icons and you have a pretty compelling revamp of this third-party desktop stalwart.
About a month ago, XDA-Devs member newone757 created a really great theme based on the one used in Windows Phone 7 - hence the name, Android Phone 7. He was kind enough to post the image files, a template image, and a short how-to, as well. I've taken the personalization a step further and created icons to fit my needs, and now it's your turn.
This theme was made for, and written using, a high resolution device (EVO 4G - 800x480). It hasn't been tested at lower resolutions, although it should work. For lower resolutions, you may want to consider using fewer icons on each screen or manually resizing them in Photoshop once Part 2 is available.
One of the most popular alternate launchers, ADW Launcher, perhaps known best for being bundled with CyanogenMod, has just received a welcome update. Version 1.20 now grants you the ability to fluidly resize your widgets, much like the launcher provided by MOTOBLUR. This allows you to treat your desktop much more like a customizable canvas than a rigid set of squares.
Along with this update, developer Ander Webbs also released an auxiliary service called ADW Notifier. Put simply, ADW Notifier puts a counter tag on application icons showing how many notifications it currently has. The tag works equally well on the desktop or in your dock.
Modder's Column, formerly known as Modder’s Monday, is a column dedicated to rooting, hacking, and other forms of modifying Android and is written by Jaroslav Stekl, a man who spends his days coding, hacking, hiking, and of course, writing for Android Police.
As I mentioned in the last edition of Modder's Column, one of my favorite things about Android is how customizable it can be, even for novice users who would rather not spend all day hacking their phone.
Unfortunately, one thing Android does not allow you to do right out of the box is install custom ROMs, which allow you to further customize your device by adding features, removing useless apps, and possibly even speeding it up or improving battery life.
Modder’s Monday is a weekly column about rooting, hacking, and other forms of modifying Android written by Jaroslav Stekl, a man who spends his days coding, hacking, hiking, and of course, writing for Android Police.
One of the many things that I love about Android, especially after spending several years with an iPhone, is how customizable it is - right out of the box. You can change your keyboard, tweak the status bar to make it work any way you like, change apps’ icons, and even install home replacements that alter how your homescreen works. The best part about all this?