What Is An App Launcher?

You wouldn't initially think it, but your phone's home screen is itself an app. It's an app that launches other apps — an app launcher, if you will. But if the app launcher native to your mobile isn't up to snuff, you can always replace it.

An Application Launcher Is A Third-Party UI Program...

Aftermarket app launchers are essentially replacement home screens — they take over the duties performed by the factory UI — and they're generally aimed towards intermediate to advanced users looking for additional customisation options. Given the Android system's existing propensity for customisation, a large majority of the app launcher programs are coded for that OS — Launcher Pro, Go Launcher EX, and ADWLauncher EX being among the most popular. iOS devices generally need to be jailbroken in order to take advantage of a third-party launcher, however, once broken, the Cydia Store does have a decent selection of them. As for Windows Marketplace, well, not so much.

...That Replaces The Native Home Screen...

App launchers, with some variation depending on their feature set, basically handle every function that the native UI used to do. They manage the home screen, wallpaper, launch bar, app installations, shortcuts and widgets.

...With A Faster Loading And More Customisable Interface.

These launchers, unrestrained by corporate bigwigs and encroaching launch dates, have been optimised for peak performance. They often feature better response times, faster and cleaner screen transitions, and memory-consumption tweaks to squeeze every last bit of performance from slower handsets.

As for features, they often include a wide variety of skins, icons and themes, they allow you to customise widgets, and they can create animated transitions between multiple home screens. In short, the user just gets a lot more control over the interface of the phone's operating system.


Comments

    I think I need an app launcher -app for my app launcher app then I might need an................... oh don't bother it was funny first time .

    I've tried all the ones you mention above but I've been using Nova Launcher for a while, seems slicker than the rest. I recommend this one or Apex Launcher.

    I'm on GO Launcher EX myself, love the thing.

    Believe it or not even iPhone has one now (Launcher Pro) but of course being an iPhone app it's a typical sand-boxed app that must first be launched from the iOS home-screen :) However Its quite powerful as far as iOS goes though, allowing many custom tasks, low level API usage and cross-app integration . Plus it looks great. Nowhere near as good as actually replacing your phone's like you can on Android, but given iOS's limitations it's still pretty good.

    Another vote for Nova launcher. Seems faster and smoother than anything else I have seen.

    what launcher/theme is the one in the middle of the article picture?

      Go launcher ex

        I've installed go launcher ex but cant find how to make it look like this... do the apps spin in a circular wheel like it looks?? Which setting is this??

    I use Nova Launcher in conjunction with Swipepad: Hyperspace jump for shortcuts to my most used apps.

    I thought 'what the hell' and bought Nova Launcher Prime. Haven't looked back. It's amazing. 4 for Nova on Android now :)

    If you're running a 3rd party launcher, is the native launcher still running in the background? Also, how much RAM do launchers like touchwiz, sense use up?

    What came first - the app or the launcher ???

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