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  • Become a Fan! Launcher Hands-on: make your Android smartphone “dynamic”

Posted In News - By AndroidPress on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 With No Comments »

Facebook Home, the launcher, will be available by way of the Google Play Store as of tomorrow. Given that, it seems we have recently been seeing a small surge dealing with launchers. The nice part is that these latest seem to be trying something different. We mentioned one yesterday called Homebase that had a Facebook Home-like theme and as of today we have something that is promising to be “dynamic.” This latest is called and we went hands-on to see just how well it lives up to that claim.


The launcher seems to not quite be a full launcher. By that, it seems to have simply placed itself on top of our existing settings. You can check those screenshots above and what you are seeing is a mix of what we had (based on Nova Launcher) and this new launcher. This launcher makes heavy use of smart folders and seems like it will be better for those who prefer to search more than they prefer to simply tap an icon. The concept is simple, you either type what you want in the “what’s on your mind” box or tap the voice icon and get to searching.


From here, things actually return interesting results. Taking a look at the above screenshot, look towards the left side with the results for a search based on the term ‘snake.’ Here you can see the provided results, which seem to be, well, not all that great. One interesting tidbit was that it was able to pull my Calendar, which when tapped, does take me to calendar entries that have the word snake. The results in the screen capture on the right hand side were a bit more to helpful. Basically, this seems a bit hit and miss. Still, with some work it could be rather nice. And if nothing else, this does seem a bit nicer to look at as compared to the regular list of search results that you would get from performing a Google Voice search. Plus, the changing of the background image is a nice touch.


Otherwise, you can get a look at one of those dynamic folders in the above screenshots. Here we have the folder for Internet, and as you can see, it has items that one would expect to find. Some of these also overlap depending on the particular item. For example, Facebook would likely be found in other folders. These smart folders are chosen based on pre-configured folders. You basically just check the box in the “Add Smart Folders” setting page and that folder then appears. Once the folder is on your homescreen, it can be dragged and moved around to your liking. You can also add single apps to the homescreen. That is done the same way as regular, that is to say you launch the app drawer and drag the app out.

The is currently sitting at version 1.0.233 and noted as being in beta. The app is available for free and will run on devices with Android 4.0 or later. As for us, we are not entirely sure we are ready to have the launcher replace our current setup, however we do find it interesting enough to label it as a launcher we are going to be watching. Not to mention, as a launcher that is certainly worth checking out.

[via Google Play Store]

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