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Android platform lets you do all of the customization that can ever be done on a mobile OS. And gladly, third party replacement apps exist for every part of Android’s stock functionality. Especially for the most popular of replacement apps – the launchers. Let’s just go check out some of the best ones that dominate the market currently, and some upcoming ones too!
This one is a free app. Whats great about this is that its real fast, given that its based out of the same source code as that of the original. Its comes with 7 screens, and will let you pin up to 4 short cuts to the base (which are then available on all home screens). Another cool feature is the 360 degrees rotation. It also supports live wallpapers and you can double tap on the home screen to pull up a screen switcher.
Last word: Has not a lot to offer when compared to the feature packed LauncherPro or ADW. This one is best for users who are happy with the available basics, but wants them a wee bit faster(especially on older phones).
The application can be downloaded from the Android Market.
LauncherPro’s best selling point is its Widgets. Its another free app and is perfect if you multitask a lot, and want as much data at fingertips without having to click through to various apps. It also comes with swipe gestures which can be added to individual icons. Say, clicking might open the messaging app, but swiping might open Face book. The scrolling dock available is best of its class. It gives you five dock spots to customize with custom icons, actions, pop ups and a lot more.
Whats bad about this is, really nothing. Its one robust app and will not disappoint.
Last word: Its for Enthusiasts; there are just too many config. options for the regular user.
Launcher Pro can be downloaded from here.
This one is a real match for the LauncherPro in terms of features and stability. The feature sets are very different, though. While LauncherPro concentrates on getting things done quickly, ADW is more about laid back-ed cell phone time. The best feature is, its long list of free themes. Also, it’s more configurable than LauncherPro.
On the downside, you can only put up to five shortcuts on the dock, it can’t be scrolled, and there’s none of the cool swiping functionality that’s available in LauncherPro. There is also a paid PRO version, ADWLauncher EX, which is priced at $3.43
Last word- Get this only if you are bored with LaunchPro or you seriously, regularly customize your homescreen in a big way.
ADW Launcher can be downloaded from here.
This one is a very minimalistic launcher alternative for Android 2.2 and above devices. It lacks all the frills and fancies but what it lacks there, it makes up in refinement. The app itself is only 419k in size. Yep, your battery will last longer while you enjoy the fast feel. One useful feature is – configurable gestures. You can also get rid of the notification bar, makes the screen seem so much bigger and it comes back when you press the menu key.
Last word- Apt for newbies, and people who like to keep it simple. Also, if you want a dock that you can put more items in, Zeam is for you.
Zeam is available from the Android Market here. There’s no pro version yet.
It is compatible with all other Android apps. Its cool feature lets you launch one app from other. You can use it with your current launcher as you type a message, surf the net or make a call. Double tap the Home button in succession and up QuickDesk slides.
It also comes with QuickPanel, a scrolling dock. It provides access to frequently used settings. QuickDesk also comes with a handy landscape mode.
Lastword: QuickDesk is a supplement app more than a replacement app. Works best for newer phones. Its available at Android Market from here.
These are the top apps out there. Check for a longer list here.