XDA News Articles

Mathew Brack · May 28, 2015

Android M to Bring New App Drawer

It has now been seen that Android M will receive a new app drawer as part of the stock launcher. The first four icons you will see in your drawer now will be automatically updated to represent your recently used applications. Whether or not this will be directly based on those apps seen in your recent apps menu or uses a combination of that and your most frequently used apps remains to be seen. Below this is the start of a standard...

Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jan 17, 2015

SF Launcher 2: Material Design, Further Googlified

I've been using Nova Launcher for 3 years. I've had to test multiple launchers for our XDA link sharing system, and they always ended up in app heaven a few minutes after verifying they weren't bogus or malicious. There is something you just cannot beat about the simplicity of Nova, which takes Android to its bare-bones core: apps and widgets. Nova gives you a playground of infinite permutations that revolves around just that, with minimal hassles to ensure that if...

Jimmy McGee · Jan 1, 2015

Koala Phone Launcher – XDA App Review

If you're anything like the rest of the XDA community, you are an enthusiast who customizes your phone and uses all sorts of different features. However, that seems to mean to family members and less technical friends that you are their personal technical support network. You may want to know how to easily help them “just make some stinking calls.” XDA Forum Member tomasslavicek offers up a launcher replacement that simplifies the smartphone interface. In this video, XDA TV Producer TK...

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 24, 2014

Koala Phone Launcher Helps the Visually Impaired

Smartphones, especially those with smaller screens, aren't always the best option for those among us who hail from an older generation. Small letters and numbers may be an obstacle that is difficult to surmount. People with vision problems often decide to get a classic feature phone with hardware buttons, leaving all of the advanced technology behind. Among the many launchers available for Android, one is quite unusual. XDA Forum Member tomasslavicek created an application whose main goal is making a phone...

Tomek Kondrat · Oct 28, 2014

Sideload Applications to Android TV Thanks to Chainfire

Android TV played quite a major roles at this year's Google I/O's keynote. We didn't have to wait long to see the first Android devices designed specifically to work with TVs. One of the most exciting Android TV devices is the recently launched Google Nexus Player, which was introduced alongside Lollipop and other Nexus devices. Google added a requirement that every existing application that is to work on Android TV must be declared as compatible by the app's developer(s). Such...

GermainZ · Oct 27, 2014

Convert Launcher Themes with Theme Converter

Most Android launchers are extremely customizable, and many users like to experiment with different launcher themes and icon packs to get the perfect look. Some launchers also allow you to pick icons on a per activity basis, which comes in handy when trying to give each page its own style, or if you just want to style the home screen without changing the app drawer's icons. While most launchers agree on a basic set of rules for themes and icon...

Tomek Kondrat · Oct 22, 2014

Nova Launcher Update Brings Lollipop Functionality and Feel

One of the most popular third party launcher on Android, Nova Launcher, has just received an update to version 3.2. The new stable version of this great and lightweight application brings multiple optimizations and fixes, as well as an Android 5.0 Lollipop overall UI feel. Many of this update's changes are hidden deep under the hood, so you need to know where to find them. Kevin Barry, known to many of you as XDA Senior Member kevin@TeslaCoil added a short...

Jimmy McGee · Oct 4, 2014

3 Unique Launchers from the XDA Forums – XDA TV

There are many Launchers available for Android. There are very popular ones, like Nova Launcher. However, just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s the best. Each person’s preference is different as well. In today's episode, XDA TV Producer Jared shows off a 3 unique launchers from the XDA forums. He talks about SwiftOpen Beta, FlowHome Beta and SAO Launcher. So if you wanted to try a new unique launcher for your Android device, check out this video! (more…)

Will Verduzco · Aug 31, 2014

Create Your Own Launcher with HTMLauncher

There are hundreds of launcher replacement applications available for Android. Most of them are based on the AOSP launcher's codebase, with various tweaks and feature additions baked in to allow for a better overall experience. Others, like what we've seen from our friends over at Themer, start fresh to deliver a fundamentally different and more customized experience. Now a new launcher called HTMLauncher takes an even different approach by essentially letting you create your own launcher through HTML editing. HTMLauncher is a...

Conan Troutman · May 24, 2014

Scroll Launcher is a Simple Yet Slick Homescreen Replacement

Nobody can claim that there is a shortage of launchers replacements available on Android. Some of you probably stick to the same one fanatically (I know I do), but there are plenty of people who are always on the prowl for new options. With the continual advances in device specifications and capabilities, many of the newer launchers take this opportunity to add feature after feature. While this is generally a good thing, it can make these applications incompatible with older and lower spec devices....

Jimmy McGee · Mar 13, 2014

Android App Review: Sidebar Launcher – XDA Developer TV

We said it last week, and we'll say it again. There are so many options for different types of launchers on your Android device, so it’s easy to find one that you like. But short of going through and installing all the different launchers, it’s hard to know what one works best, or looks how you want it. However, we here at XDA Developer TV are here to serve you! XDA Forum Member dasi1241 offers up another navigation launcher option. As...

Tomek Kondrat · Mar 6, 2014

DO Launcher Rises From the Ashes and Enters Beta Stage

Not too long ago, we talked about the HTC Sense-like DO Launcher. But at the time, XDA Recognized Developer doga.ozkaraca's application was in early alpha stage, and had much that needed to be done. Then, HTC found out about the developer's work and decided to send a DMCA letter to take the launcher out of the Play Store. Despite the hurdles, the developer didn't give up and decided to make a new version of the launcher with quite a bit reworked, as...

Tomek Kondrat · Feb 19, 2014

Lucid Launcher Enters Beta and Brings Some New Goodies

Do you remember Lucid Launcher? We featured this indie launcher a few weeks ago right here on the XDA Portal. XDA Senior Member powerpoint45 made a video series detailing its creation. And then on Valentine's Day, the developer decided to update the application and add some love in the form of a few new features. The application also changed its status from alpha to beta, so it should be considerably more stable. What is new in the new version? The...

Tomek Kondrat · Feb 6, 2014

Try a Sense 5-Like Launcher on Your Device

HTC devices are quite popular for many reasons. Naturally, one of these is their fantastic build quality. However, many people also favor HTC's trademark Sense UI. Sense isn't easy to port because of some code implementations in the framework. Of course, there are some ports available like the one from HTC Sensation, but these ports are unlikely to be found on non-HTC devices. The only solution seems to be writing some elements from scratch, like the launcher. XDA Recognized Developer...

Tomek Kondrat · Jan 27, 2014

NLauncher is a Small and Cute Launcher

When you think about a launcher, Nova and Apex are likely the first choices that come to mind. That said, there are some smaller projects out there, and such are great opportunities for new developers to start their journey with Android coding. Some time ago, we talked about a video tutorial by XDA Senior Member powerpoint45 that showed users how to make a launcher. This knowledge was used by the developer of the next project, XDA Forum Member naresh babu. In naresh_babu's launcher, you won't...

Tomek Kondrat · Jan 18, 2014

Keep Your Screen Simple with SickSky Launcher

There's no need to mention the importance of your launcher app. It's the second thing you see when looking at your phone, right after the lock screen Most launchers look pretty much the same. They feature a dock bar with a few icons, and a  main screen with icons and widgets. While this works, some people like to keep things as simple as possible. If you fall into this group, you might be interested in launcher developed by XDA Forum Member...

Tomek Kondrat · Jan 4, 2014

Lucid Launcher: A Unique Launcher Made from Scratch

A good looking and highly functional launcher is something that everyone needs to have installed on his or her Android phone or tablet. Stock launchers are fully capable of doing the job, but they often lack of features in aftermarket launchers such as Nova or Apex. This time, however, we will present something a bit unique. Not too long ago, we wrote about a video tutorial by XDA Senior Member powerpoint45 that explained how to create a launcher from scratch. The product of his work...

Tomek Kondrat · Nov 24, 2013

Get a Taste of KitKat with KK Launcher

With a launch of the Google Nexus 5 and the release of the Google Experience Launcher, Android users were allowed to enjoy the new translucent status bar and other goodies offered by Android 4.4 KitKat. Of course, many of you have used similar third-party modifications in custom ROMs years before, but now these features are available for regular users to enjoy as well. Many developers realized that the new Google Experience Launcher has a big potential, but lacks functionality. That's...

Tomek Kondrat · Nov 22, 2013

New Apex Launcher Beta Brings KitKat Style

A good launcher can often be one of the best pieces of customization on our mobile devices. The newly released KitKat Google Experience Launcher makes your home screens beautiful, with various effects and animations. Unfortunately, it lacks some of the functionality and customization seen in other alternatives. Apex Launcher is one of the most popular alternatives launchers, and now there is a new update to Apex to bring it inline with KitKat. XDA Senior Member dennisxl, creator of Apex, announced that...

TheRomMistress · Sep 2, 2013

Instantly Access Apps from Anywhere with SAO Launcher

XDA Senior Member Xlythe  brings a navigation system that works alongside your favorite launcher to give you instant access to text messaging, contacts, apps, and more. With a simple swipe in the direction of your choosing from any screen, SAO Launcher flows down the side of your screen to reveal five menu orbs that allow you to launch some of the most common Android features. The launcher allows you to place calls and send texts from within its user interface, and without...