With Android tablets being... Android tablets, Chromebooks are quickly being adapted to fill the void. On supported devices, they combine the utility of Android apps with the flexibility of an adaptive (and productive) form-factor. The latest tweak, presenting Android-style Settings and Shortcuts apps in the launcher, further affirms the role Google's Chrome OS is set to assume. Read More
Raise your hand if you're tired of hearing the same story. We've barely adjusted to Google's new Feed look and its un-swipeable cards, upcoming contextual data hidden behind a button, and 5-tab bottom layout inside the Google app, that the company decides, "no, scratch that, we're changing again." For the umpteenthgazillionthest time. And if you thought the current new layout is annoying, wait until you see the new new layout. It's a doozy. Read More
The launcher is arguably the most frequently viewed screen on your phone, and it's also one that Google thoroughly enjoys playing around with. Of course, we couldn't have a new major release of Android without some change in the launcher, and this time is no different. Read More
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