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.
Let’s hear the spiel first. ZERO isn’t exactly zero in weight but it does just come in a 1MB package, which isn’t something a lot of more feature-ful launchers can claim. Because of that, it is fast to respond and fast to load. 0.2 seconds to be exact, according to the developers. In practice, you probably can’t count that fast but it does feel quite snappy and almost too eager to go at a touch of a finger. Being small and light, however, doesn’t mean it can’t be fancy as ZERO offers almost all the bells and whistles of other pretty launchers. MIUI users, take note. You might feel at home in ZERO.
What that means is that ZERO takes a more iPhone-esque way of styling your launcher. There is no separate section for an app grid or list and anything and everything is dumped into the home screen for you to curate and group as you please. Of course, unlike iOS, you can put widgets in there too, from the pre-made ones to your regular Android ones. A swipe up from an empty area of the homescreen will bring up the launcher’s menu. There is an optional feature that embeds a quick switch row in the notification panel, which may or may not be to your liking or even become redundant for OEM skins. Unfortunately, the functionality in there seem to be fixed.
Theming is were ZERO’s at and, unlike some themeable launchers, the developers are promising premium themes to be free forever. That’s probably not to say there won’t be paid themes, just not premium ones or not coming from the developers themselves. That said, you can’t actually just download themes willy-nilly. You need to have keys to unlock those, and keys are of limited supply, refreshed on a daily basis. It may be annoying to some, but probably a compromise others would be willing to make to avoid having to pay for themes.
ZERO is still new, having launched only this month, so it will be interesting where the developers will take the launcher. Especially if the intention is to keep everything under 1 MB. The launcher is free to install and doesn’t contain any in-app purchases and, as mentioned, themes are free as well.
Download; ZERO from Google Play Store