The Lollipop (Android 5.0) update is rolling out and most of it is a lot of fun. Better. Improved. More Efficient. And the best part is no doubt, the disappearance of the notifications shade. Instead, one can now check notification on the go from the lock screen itself. Android’s lock screen and home screen have got consistently better with every upgrade. But one cannot deny that the stock Android’s home screen or the launcher are very basic and rustic to seem so. Then again, the beauty of Android is that it can be customized. Any which way you want it to be customized!
If your phone’s default launcher doesn’t impress you much, there’s the Google Now launcher alternative you can try. If neither excites you, just head to the Play Store and try out one of these funky new skins for your Android system!
Aviate was still rather unknown, popular amongst a niche, and still under development, when Yahoo acquired it. Aviate keenly observes the user’s activities in general and shows you a different set of apps for different contexts. For example, when you are about to sleep, Aviate offers a shortcut to your alarms. Similarly, depending on what day and time it is, a different theme shows up on the user’s screen. The user can ofcourse set or remove apps, and customize this set as and how he wants. Aviate is not as customizable as some of the other entries in this blog, but it is right up there to deliver a remarkably first-rate experience to the user – visually and functionally.
2. GO LAUNCHER
Easily the superstar of this list. Most popular launcher amongst most Android users, Go Launcher has its own theme store where you can browse through a large amount of launcher themes, icon packs, wallpapers, etc. Additionally, Go Launcher allows you to pick and customize your lock screens and home screens too. The only drawback? Not everything is available for free. For a free experience, you may have to settle for what you find (believe me, if you search good, you find gold sometimes!). Another drawback is that Go Launcher is not exactly a very light app.
Nova Launcher gives Go launcher a good competition. It is equally (probably strongly more) feature packed, but lighter than Go launcher. The app goes easy on your phone without compromising on the experience. While the free version offers all the basic customizations, the premium version even lets you customize behavioral patterns and gesture reactions. Unlike Go Launcher, Nova is not an excessively flamboyant launcher. You can make it look like that if you want, or just keep it simple and understated.
Apex is a bit of a cross between Aviate and Nova – it is lightweight, efficient, polished, but a little short when it comes to customizations. Apart from this, two reasons why Apex must be on this list is its ‘tablet mode’ and the ability to have a whopping NINE home screens. Yes, nine! Plenty of space to put out your apps and widgets.
Its a big world of apps out there to customize your android experience. The Play Store is your playground, go play!
P.S. All images credit to official Google Play app page screenshot collection. All rights reserved with concerned parties.