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 why new launchers are springing up all over the place.
One of these launchers was created by XDA Forum Member kkappteam. KK Launcher offers a variety of customization options like setting up desktop text size, hiding the search bar, and modifying icon scale. The functionality can be expanded because this launcher supports icon themes designed for other launchers such as Apex, Go, Nova, and ADW. The performance is simply amazing. Scrolling is very smooth, and transitions are handled in blink of an eye. Another great thing is that the developer seems to be listening suggestions and implement them into new releases.
If you are looking for an actively developed launcher featuring lots of customization, you should consider visiting the application thread and giving KK Launcher a try.
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 his application now supports more and more of KitKat goodies such as the transparent system bars and KitKat-styled folder backgrounds. Version 2.2 is still in an early beta stage, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s back in full form.
Below are some screenshots from a Nexus 4 running KitKat:
If you are looking for a solid custom launcher with tons of customization options, make your way to application thread and give new beta a try.
September 2, 2013 By: TheRomMistress
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 the need to return to the home screen. Users can choose to also install SMS Extension module, which allows for popup SMS notifications.
Depending on preference, users can choose to launch the navigation system by swiping down from the top corners, from the sides, or from any of the top edges. Options are also available to filter and sort contacts and apps so only the items you want available appear. Due to animation restrictions, SAO Launcher is only available for Android 4.1 and up.
As an introduction to his application, Xlythe has disabled ads for XDA community members who download the APK from the original post. Ads will be re-enabled on Oct. 1. The standard free edition with ads and a paid addition that disables ads can be found in the Play Store. Visit the application thread and watch the demo video to learn more.
Yes, it’s been done. Whether that’s something to squeal in joy over or cringe in disgust about is up to you. However, that’s besides the point. Facebook’s ‘exclusive’ product reserved for the HTC One, One X, One X+, Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and Note 2 (Don’t ask why there’s no love for other devices) debuted in the Play store on 13th of April, 2013 and has garnered a lackluster two-and-a-half stars rating with near 2 thousand votes. Want to know what’s the hype about? Read on.
After a bit of modding with the Facebook and Home APKs, XDA Senior Member theos0o has successfully ported Facebook Home to all devices running Android. Both rooted and unrooted phones may take advantage of this port and get a taste of what things are all about, requiring users to simply download and install the 2 APK files provided. A reboot may be required if the app does not run at first. However, all previous versions of Facebook installed must be uninstalled to make way for the modded version of Facebook that’s required, thus root access may be necessary if your device came preloaded with Facebook in order to complete the process and get Facebook Home up and running.
Now, does Facebook Home live up to the hype and expectations? Well, it depends. If you were expecting a simple and minimalistic launcher that conveniently displays your Facebook news feed with scrolling images and quick access to Facebook Messenger and app drawer, then you may want to check it out. If you were expecting a sophisticated and intuitive home launcher that’s comparable to Android, then it certainly does not. There’s no support for our beloved widgets, the wallpaper cannot be changed, and the amount of Internet data and memory it consumes will be unbelievable.
If you would like to try Facebook Home out on your Android device, check out the original thread for more details and download.
April 6, 2013 By: rstanford
Altering your home screen has been made simpler thanks to the work of XDA Forum Member Buzz Plan. Buzz Launcher, which is only available for phones with Android 4.0.1 or greater, allows users to quickly download, apply, and share home screens. The application also makes it possible to create your own home screen using features such as Multi-Wallpapers and My Icons.
The Buzz Custom Widget add-on gives users access to clock, date, and battery widgets to include in their own personalized home screens. If the stock look of the widgets doesn’t leave you satisfied, you can modify them to look any way you want. Home screens that you create can easily be shared thanks to a one-touch upload feature.
Buzz Launcher also has other features such as:
￭ MULTI-GRID: you can designate different grids for each screen (up to 12×12)
￭ MANAGE FOLDERS: you can make folders in app drawers/Homescreen, modify folder image, and resize folders
￭ MANAGE APPS: features for viewing most frequently used apps, recently installed apps, and hiding apps
￭ MANAGE APP DRAWERS: Screen concept is applied to app drawers so you can manage apps by screens
￭ GESTURE SUPPORT: Glide up, Glide down, Double tab and more.
￭ Previewing is supported for various view settings.
If creating home screens is not your thing, there are more than 300 available to choose from—and they are all provided through Homepack Buzz Service. Installing a home screen only requires you to download the one that you want. Buzz Launcher automatically sets everything up once the download is complete. Linked apps can then be downloaded at your own leisure.
There are many useful and created home screens available for use with this application. Many of the changes that Buzz Launcher users have made are reminiscent of Rainmeter. So if you’re in the market for a new launcher or simply just want to try something novel, more information can be found in the original thread.
March 14, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
There are many different launchers available. There are launchers that respond to gestures, which we’ve reviewed before. There are launchers that go on your home screen, or replace them. There are even launchers that pop out of the side of your screen, à la Ubuntu Touch.
Recently, XDA Developer TV Producer TK recently reviewed Sidebar by XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib . In this video, TK compares Sidebar to a similar application by XDA Forum Member fmaster1 called Glovebox. TK shows off the applications and compares the two, while giving his thoughts. Be sure to check out this app review.