Since the demise of its own Windows Phone platform, Microsoft has been putting a lot of effort into creating a compelling suite of Android apps instead. Microsoft Launcher started life as the experimental Arrow Launcher but morphed into its current form late last year. It features a control center panel unlike any other Android home app and is unsurprisingly linked with Bing rather than Google for search.
A new beta update has just been released which integrates Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. It seems to work much as it does in the Cortana app (which doesn't need to be installed), but as an overlay on top of the launcher. Read More
In its thankless quest to prove the squeeze skeptics wrong, HTC updated its Edge Launcher today with more customization options.
Introduced with the release of the U11+ in November, Edge Launcher presents users with a customizable Lazy Susan of apps and actions when the phone is squeezed. With only one hand, the user can scroll through the rotating circular menu and quick-launch the items within. Read More
Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either. Read More
Though tablets often feel like the unloved member of the Android family, the Pixel C has gradually received features that first debuted in the Pixel series of phones. Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 carries over some features from the Pixel launcher for phones. While it seems like it should be the other way around—the Pixel C was released in December 2015, 10 months before the Pixel phones—tablets are not the realm of innovation. Foremost among the changes is the updated menu when you long-press an app in the launcher. Read More
The ability to change the appearance of the Android system has always been missing from stock Android, with the exception of the Overlay Manager Service, which is only configurable through the use of third-party tools like Substratum. This somewhat changed with the Pixel 2, where the quick settings dropdown and launcher would switch between light and dark themes based on the user's wallpaper. Read More
Lawnchair is one of the newer names in the highly competitive Android launcher space. It's worth your attention, though, as it does have a few unique features. Visually, it's able to clone the appearance and general functionality of the Pixel Launcher, even down to including the slide-out Google Feed. It also supports icon packs, if that's your thing, and it's open source. Best of all, though, now it's available in the Play Store. Read More
Google has just announced its 2017 #madebygoogle hardware line up, including the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones. There are lots of interesting new software features to talk about, including a new always-on ambient display that tells you what song is playing in the background without you even asking, but the first thing anyone notices when they unlock their phone is the launcher. Sabrina Ellis, director of product management, took to the stage to talk about the new Pixel Launcher home screen, among other things. It is getting a considerable makeover, and it's bound to be controversial. Read More
Google has a habit of keeping its launchers exclusive for its own hardware line. The Google Now Launcher was exclusive to the Nexus 5 for quite some time, and the Pixel Launcher is still only available on the Play Store to Pixel devices. Yes, installing the APK off sites like APK Mirror was an option, but not all of the features were intact.
However, us enthusiasts have a habit of getting our way with these things. The modified Pixel Launcher APK that we wrote about two months ago has now hit version 2.1, and it brings a ton of new things. Read More
One of the most popular third-party apps for Android Wear is Wear Mini Launcher. As the name implies, it's an app launcher for your watch that tries to improve upon the normal basic list of apps. But as of the latest update, Wear Mini Launcher has started pushing pop-up ads. Read More