Home screen replacement

Apex Launcher update: Material Design tweaks, Lollipop drawer

One of the joys of having an Android device is being able to tweak how you use your device by using different customizable apps. App launchers are popular with those who are fond of these personalized touches. And even before the Android 5.0 Lollipop is officially rolled out to various devices, these apps can give you a preview of what life would be like with the major update. One such app, following in the footsteps of other popular ones like Nova Launcher and GO Launcher is Apex Launcher.

ZERO: the launcher that feels like it’s barely there

There are literally dozens of Android launchers and home screen replacements, each one vying for your attention or your money or both. Some compete on a wealth of features while others go for utter simplicity. Some try to go the middle route and adhere to both, like this new launcher called ZERO, one that is advertised to be super lightweight, super fast, and yet still also super customizable.

Nova Launcher adapts Lollipop design in latest update

Even before the official announcement of Android Lollipop (actually, even before we knew it was a lollipop), we expected to see most of the apps adapt its Material Design and several other features before its official launch in the next few weeks. One such app that has done this is Nova Launcher in its latest update. Some loyal users consider this the best launcher app yet, and they will be happy to know that the update brings with it several Lollipop-esque features they can already enjoy.

KoalaPhone Launcher gives you bigger, simpler icons

As apps and smartphone features get more advanced but more complicated, not everyone appreciates the complexities that come with it. Some would like to have their phone display easily the things they actually need and to show them as big as they can. Phone launchers are a dime a dozen, but only very few can cater to needs like this. KoalaPhone sounds cute and fuzzy, but in fact it is big and loud, just the way some users prefer to have it.

Finally! Yahoo Aviate adds custom collections

This news is definitely a long time coming. Yahoo Aviate has announced the addition of a single, "small" feature that increases the launcher's usefulness quite dramatically. Now users will be able to create their own custom collections and will no longer be bound by the categories that Aviate has defined for them.

Nokia speeds things up in Z Launcher update

Nokia (yes, the real Nokia, or what's left of it) is announcing an update to its still pre-beta Z Launcher homescreen replacement. Focusing on performance improvements under the hood, Z Launcher is taking a few steps closer to becoming a more serious contender in the Android launcher race.

Blur Launcher gives devs a Google Now Launcher playground

Google Now Launcher (or Google Experience Launcher, if you prefer the older name) is seemingly becoming the new fad for homescreen launchers. After CyanogenMod's own spin on the launcher with its CM Home experiment, Klinker Apps, makers of EvolveSMS and Talon, are now making available a new launcher called Blur that expands Google's launcher to make room for third-party developers to join the party.

APUS Launcher trades features for size

Quick, name the top 5 or most popular alternative launchers. Chances are, whichever those are, no matter how fast and smooth they seem to be, they are most likely fully featured launchers that take up space in both storage and memory. For those looking for even less needier options, APUS Launcher tries to go the opposite direction and shed off as much as it can to keep its footprint slim.
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