Back in May of this year, I published an article that examined 5 Awesome Free Android Launchers You May Not Know About. One of the great things about the Android community is that modifications and changes are always being made. Android technology is always changing, and thus, there are always new avenues to explore–and so many more launchers to discover.
On an Android, the launcher is what you may know as the “home screen.” It stores shortcuts to your apps and sometimes even holds widgets and displays for quick access to certain information. There are dozens of launchers to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and properties. Some are optimized for speed and others focus on flashy graphics, while others work to provide as many features as possible.
Here are five more launchers for Android devices that you may not have heard about–and they’re all free! These may not be topping the charts in terms of popularity, but each of these has something to offer. Check them out and maybe you’ll find yourself enjoying a new launcher.
Nemus Launcher was recommended to me by one of our MakeUseOf readers. The creators advertise this launcher as a full replacement for the default launcher with focus on low memory usage, quick response times, and ease of management. Having installed this on my own device, I’m happy to say it’s now my default launcher. (Sorry, Lightning Launcher!).
You can customize a number of options with Nemus, including the size of the home grid, the number of home screens, the number of pages for the bottom app dock, widget sizing, themes, and more. This launcher is highly responsive, very quick, and clean without being overly flashy.
Hi Launcher is an Android launcher with an emphasis on its power and feature set. Not only does it offer a good deal of customization, but it claims to be the first to adopt new visualization features and functions. It does all of this seamlessly, earning it a good deal of praise from me.
The home screen layout for Hi Launcher is separated into two components: a widget area and an app area. Both areas are resizable. This launcher also categorizes apps into different section for maximized organization. It has also been designed to use a shortcut system similar to OneKey, so all you really need to do is tap the screen.
QQLauncher was recently hit with a big update that added a few optimizations and changes. This launcher is described as a powerful replacement for the default launcher, introducing a range of awesome features and eye candy.
Choose from a wide range of themes that not only transform your home screen but your lock screen, too. There are some built-in widgets for easy information access. This isn’t exactly the fastest launcher, though, so if you have an older device, you may want to look elsewhere.
ssLauncher’s description says that it is the “fastest and fully customizable,” which is a tall order with so many other lightning-fast launchers around. However, ssLauncher does have a unique way in terms of aesthetics, so that gives it a slight edge when it comes to originality.
All of the basic features you’d expect in a launcher are here, like themes, app drawers, widgets, etc. However, there aren’t any extraordinary features that stick out to me, so this app falls just short of being awesome. Instead, it’s only great. However, if you’re looking for something that feels new and fresh, give this one a try. It may be what you need.
Holo Launcher is a launcher that’s based on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich default launcher. However, Holo Launcher works on any Android version 2.2 or greater. It also comes with a bundle of new features on top, so if you don’t have an Ice Cream Sandwich device but want to use its launcher, give Holo a shot.
Customize your home grid size up to 10×10 and spread your apps over 9 screens. Your app list and app drawer can scroll infinitely so it always feels smooth. Shortcut gestures allow you to launch specific apps right when you need them. The built-in backup feature comes in handy whenever you need to roll back to a previous configuration.
I hope this was helpful to you. There are still so many Android launchers out there to explore. If you don’t like any of these, then keep your eyes open. There’s sure to be one that fills all of your criteria–all you have to do is find it.
Know of any other Android launchers that I missed? I’m always on the lookout for new ones to try. If you’d like to recommend one, please share it in the comments!