One major advantage Android owners have over other mobile platforms is the flexibility to customize just about any aspect of their device, since it’s open-source. You don’t need to be a developer or high level user to make these changes. All you need is to download a launcher from the Android Market and start customizing away. Below, you’ll find five of the greatest free launcher apps currently available.
GO Launcher EX is the extra version of GO Launcher, packed with several useful features. The app redesigns your device, offering several supported themes, smooth scrolling with the ability to change your “fling speed” and transition effect, an icon popup menu, folder and task manager in the app drawer, gestures and functionality to scroll and resize widgets. The icon popup menu is executed by long pressing on any app, revealing a window with buttons to replace, rename, delete or uninstall.
LauncherPro provides up to seven home screens, 2D and 3D app drawers with fly-in-effects, a scrollable shortcut dock and more. Customize the app to your liking by modifying the homescreen, grid size, dock and behavior settings. Transition effects consist of scale, rotate, flip and cube.
ADW.Launcher offers a customizable app drawer, various themes, drag and drop action buttons and more. You can adjust the screen and drawer settings, preferences and behavior and enable or disable UI settings. By long pressing on an app icon, you can choose to remove, edit or uninstall.
LiveHome features a customizable app drawer, drag and drop action buttons, a built-in app and task manager, up to seven home screens and more. The transitions can be customized with cube, book, stretch, rotate and split effects. When you long press an app icon, options are to remove, get detail, edit or uninstall the app. LiveHome is loaded with features and you have to check out the book transition effect.
If you ever wanted to get an idea of what Windows Phone 7 is like without wasting your money, this is the launcher for you. The app lets you customize your phones home screen with original Windows Phone 7 backgrounds and large tiles. You can change the tile colors, long press to drag and drop tiles around the screen, pick from different layout animations and a few other options. The app is in alpha, but definitely provides an entirely different way to experience your Android.
Don’t stop with just downloading the launchers above. Be sure to search the Android Market for supported themes and wallpaper to further customize and get the most out of the launchers.
Of the list, my two favorite launchers are LiveHome and GO Launcher Ex. What’s your favorite launcher? Are there any I missed that you believe is worthy of the top five? Let me know what you think.