It's no secret that your Chromebook's app launcher could use a serious user experience overhaul. As it is today, Chrome OS is devoid of any method of sorting your apps, meaning all rearrangement of your apps has to be done by hand, and it creates new pages in the launcher seemingly at random. The end result is an unusable mess, making it frustrating to find your important apps unless you use the search bar. After years of neglecting user feedback, it seems Google is finally doing something about it. Read More
It's been several years since Google overhauled the app drawer for Chromebooks. It replaced the aging "card" launcher with a touch-focused one, bearing a striking resemblance to Apple's Launchpad for macOS. While it brought usability improvements to touchscreen Chromebooks, the experience is largely unintuitive with a mouse. Worse, the launcher feels slippery and unpolished, even on a tablet — Google is testing some improvements to fix this. Your mouse woes may soon be over, though, as Google is testing a completely redesigned launcher that's much more mouse friendly. Read More
Chrome 61 was a major update when it was released on Android and the desktop last month. Not only did it enable several new APIs for developers to use, but the Android version moved the address bar to the bottom and revamped the Google Translate bar. Chrome OS is also getting a few visual tweaks for v61, which has started to roll out to 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
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. Read More
One of the things I love about Android is the way it allows fantastic customization of its user interface, even without root or other major modifications. Take App Swap for example: this handy little app drawer replacement can launch either from a standard shortcut on your launcher (or alternative methods like SwipePad) or it can replace the default Google Now swipe-up-from-the-home-button gesture.
The latest update to this tool adds an even more useful feature: Quick Swipe. This allows users to swipe left or right from the pop-up app drawer to instantly go to the apps of their choice. Essentially it's an even faster way to get to your two most-frequented apps. Read More