The best launchers for Android
The devices with the Android operating system have the advantage over the rest of the high degree of personalization that they are able to assume. We could say that Android supports to personalize all the software layers that, at any level, give life to our device. And is that in addition to the possibility of changing the ROM, that is, the version of the operating system by other customs, we can choose less aggressive alternatives such as the replacement of the launcher of our Android.
The launcher is the graphical interface that allows us, speaking fast, to interact with our device. Android is responsible for launching applications and determines the visual appearance of our desktop. From the layout of the icons and widgets to the transitions and displacement of these.
At the software level, launchers work as one more application, just like keyboards or internet browsers. Simply install the .apk and configure them to your liking, within the possibilities of each one.
Yes, you guessed it, the launcher is responsible for different brands of different brands of phones. HTC has its Sense, Samsung its TouchWiz, Sony it’s Xperia Launcher or Motorola its Motoblur.
Within the supply of launchers, there is, which is not small, there are more and less popular and more and less powerful. Let’s see a few.
The first of all is Nova Launcher, one of my favorites. It allows a lot of configuration options, from direct access gestures to transitions between desktops. It is fast, light and elegant, with it we can escape from manufacturers’ customizations to easily simulate a clean Android like the Nexus.
The launcher works with devices with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, is free and has a ‘Prime’ version of payment for 3.00 euros that adds some customization options.
On Google Play | Nova Launcher, Nova Launcher Prime (3.00 €)
Apex Launcher is another reference interface in Android and quite similar to the previous one. It has a large number of customization options in a clean and simple interface.
It also has two versions, one free and the other ‘Pro’ for 2.99 euros in which they give us access to a greater amount of gestures, effects, and support to themes. Available from Android 4.0.3.
On Google Play | Apex Launcher, Apex Launcher Pro (2.99 €)
Go Launcher Ex
Go Launcher Ex
We continue with Go Launcher Ex, undoubtedly the launcher with the largest community of users, surpassing the 50 million downloads on Google Play. Quite more intrusive than those seen so far, it also offers a large number of conventional options and themes.
This launcher is available from Android 2.0, or what comes to be the same: it is compatible with 99.8% of Android devices and is completely free.
On Google Play | Go Launcher Ex
Next 3D Launcher
Next 3D Launcher
We could say that this is, in some way, the high-end version of Go Launcher Ex, even if it is a completely separate launcher. With quite strong customizations, the guys from Go Launcher Dev Team bring us this vitamin launcher, Next Launcher 3D, with quite a few effects and own widgets.
In addition, we can equip it with your own wallpaper that you have prepared, which is downloaded separately and free of charge from Google Play. This launcher is available from Android 2.2 (Froyo). The problem? It costs a whopping 12.24 euros.
On Google Play | Next Launcher 3D (€ 12.24), Wallpaper
SPB Shell 3D
SPB Shell 3D
Speaking of launchers for bulky pockets, we have SPB Shell 3D, which with its 10.45 euros price may not be a launcher for all audiences. Great customizations and effects that are opposed to their lack of updates for some time. Available from Android 2.1.
On Google Play | SPB Shell 3D (€ 10.45)
Another of the great launchers in terms of design is referred to as Chameleon Launcher, which we have also talked about here. Born from funding through Kickstarter, it was projected to be an alternative exclusively for tablets, although it will also have its version for smartphones soon.
The philosophy of this launcher is to separate custom scenarios for leisure and work, or whatever we want to design. It is based on an exquisite design, with made-to-measure widgets. It works from Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) for 3.12 euros.
On Google Play | Chameleon Launcher (3.12 €)
TSF Shell 3D
TSF Shell 3D
With TSF Shell 3D we close the circle of launchers at the price of gold since it is ranked as the most expensive with its 12.84 euros of price on Google Play. As compensation, we can see that this launcher is one of the best implemented, with a careful style hand in hand with a quite deep personalization.
Also available from Android 2.1, it ensures a great experience on your Android smartphone with some effects that you can see best in the presentation video below.
On Google Play | TSF Shell (€ 12.84)
We continue with another markedly different launcher. This is SF launcher, fresh air to our terminal with Android that separates from the usual. As you can see in the images, it is not a launcher that lends itself too much to personalization, although it can mark something different for those more reluctant to be fingering a lot of parameters.
It is available in Google Play in its Alpha version for free for devices with Android 4.0 or higher, although you can also choose the version of payment ‘Plus Key’ at a fairly affordable price of 1.49 euros.
On Google Play | SF Launcher Alpha, SF Launcher Plus Key (1.49 €)
We continue with the fresh air and we run into Launcher 8, a launcher that imitates perfectly the aesthetics of Windows Phone 8 tiles. It can be combined with WP Notifications or its ‘Plus’ version to close the circle of Windows aesthetics on our Android.
This launcher is available from Android 2.2 for free. Another alternative similar to try can be Tile Launcher Beta, which as its name suggests, still has a long way to go.
On Google Play | Launcher 8
We are back with another one of the great and recognized of the sector, ADW. Launcher, a classic of the launchers completely free that counts on other so many million users. A quite careful aspect with quite visual configurations and great support to a variety of themes define it. Compatible from Android 1.6.
On Google Play | ADW.Launcher
Action Launcher Pro
Action Launcher Pro
Another Launcher that brings some fresh air to the stage is Action Launcher Pro. It is a light and elegant alternative that shows us the applications by sliding from the left side in list format and a couple of shortcuts to Google Play and the search at the top.
Although it does not have many configuration options yet, it is a launcher that is starting. It is available on Google Play from Android 4.0.3 for 3.19 euros.
On Google Play | Action Launcher Pro (3.19 €)
We could not leave here without leaving a launcher in the purest iOS style. Espier Launcher simulates the desktop of the devices with the Apple mobile operating system in a very successful way, from the icons to the windows of notifications. This application is free and compatible with your Android smartphone from 2.1.
On Google Play | Espier Launcher
We could summarize all this with a single sentence on Android: “if you do not like something, change it”. You do not have to be satisfied with the hermetic configurations that your serial manufacturer brings, because you can change it practically everything.
We have reviewed the most characteristic launchers that exist today, which can help you change the look of your phone. The idea is that you yourself experience with them because every phone and every person is a world.
One tool that can be useful when trying different launchers is HomeSmack; which facilitates the change between launchers if you are trying several and do not want to touch predetermined settings.
And you, what launcher do you use?