What is App Launcher in Android? It is an android application that will run when you press your android phone’s home key. It’s usually what people know as the “android desktop”. Since Android being open, it allows us to fully customize the home screen. So today, I am going to talk about the top 5 app launchers available in Google Play and that too for free. I have not ranked them in any order but the review might help you to choose the best app launcher that fulfil your needs. All the launchers were tested on Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.1) but most of the launcher app works on Android 2.3+.
Launcher (Android 4.0+)
Let us first talk about the default app launcher present in latest version of Android (4.1 aka Jelly Bean) – Launcher. Launcher in Android 4.0 ICS and 4.1 Jelly Bean has been changed completely from what was present in previous versions. I liked the Launcher present in ICS and Jelly Bean by default but Launcher in previous versions makes me move towards 3rd party launchers.
Now let us look, what according to me are Top 5 App Launchers for Android.
ADW.Launcher (Android 2.0+)
One you are one of the CyanogenMod users then ADW.Launcher is the default launcher in it and you might be quite with familiar with it. It is an open source launcher with lots of customization options. The home screen looks clean and the app drawer arranges the app in horizontal pages with black background. You can even arrange apps in different groups. You can also style your icons present in dock at the bottom. There is option to back up your ADW settings. Lots of themes are available in Play Store for ADW.Launcher. I would recommend this launcher if you are bored with your old Gingerbread Launcher, especially for users who can’t upgrade to ICS (Medium range phones) as it does not give much load to your memory.
Download ADW.Launcher (Free)
Download ADWLauncher EX ($3.32)
GO Launcher EX (Android 2.0+)
These Launcher app truly shows you what an app launcher can do. It is loaded with lots and lots of features. You can add effects to the way you change your home screens. You can add lots of widgets as add-on with this GO Launcher EX. Even the app drawer looks great with all icons changed to rounded square shape. You can see all your running apps directly from the app drawer. Tap and hold action takes you to jiggle mode (just like in iOS) from there you can easily arrange your apps and even add them to home screen. Tapping on ‘X’ cross while in jiggle mode uninstalls the app. The folders in GO Launcher EX looks similar to iOS as well. It even supports Gesture actions. Also Backup and Restore options is handy to save your GO Launcher settings. The launcher comes bundled with GO Store to install more widgets and themes. GO Launcher in a way tries to bring lots of UI element from iOS, a good This is the best looking Launcher among the list but mind you requires lots of memory so only users with high-end phones should try this. For the rest, it might slow down your phone.
Download GO Launcher EX (Free)
Launcher Pro (Android 2.0+)
Launcher Pro is also another launcher that is kind of similar to ADW. All apps are arranged in vertical pan with 3D effects and super smooth scrolling. It comes with its own set of widgets. Lots of themes are available in Play Store for Launcher Pro. You can even backup your settings. Rest is nothing interesting that we have not seen in ADW except that you can hide apps from app drawer. If you are not happy with ADW, you might want to try Launcher Pro.
Download Launcher Pro (Free)
Download Launcher Pro Plus ($3.49)
Nova Launcher (Android 4.0+)
Nova Launcher is just for Android 4.0 +. It comes with colour themes but doesn’t change colour of notification bar. You can have different folder styles and scrolling effects. Tough paid version will get you gesture actions, unread counts and also to hide apps from drawer. Usual backup option is also present.
Download Nova Launcher (Free)
Download Nova Launcher Prime ($4.00)
Zeam Launcher (Android 2.2+)
This launcher is also known as underdog minimalistic launcher for Android phones. It is the cleanest and the most minimalistic launcher present. Tough customizations are not much as compared to other launchers but has all that might be needed, nothing extra. Highly recommend for users having budget Android phones. This will surely save you lots of memory.
Download Zeam Launcher (Free)
Let us know which App Launcher suits you and you can even suggest your favorite launcher in the comment section.