There is no dearth of custom app launchers for Android and each has its set of merits and demerits. Like the TouchWiz launcher I was using on my Samsung Note 10.1, which was otherwise pretty cool, kept troubling me with app sorting. If you have used TouchWiz you might have noticed that there is no way a user can arrange the apps in any order automatically.
Also, as old programs are uninstalled, gaps are created in the app drawer which are not filled up unless a new app is installed.
That was enough for me to look into some alternatives available on the Play Store. So here are few of them that (nearly) impressed me. Oh, and there’s also a cool tip for TouchWiz users (who are not ready to quit it yet) towards the end of this post, so make sure you read this one till the end.
GO Launcher HD
Go Launcher HD is an exclusive tablet version of the launcher Go EX Launcher. The best thing about the app is that it’s free to use without any ads and provides the best user experience. The app drawer shows all the apps in alphabetical order by default and a user can change it to the frequency of usage or install date as well. The app drawer also lists all the currently running apps under the Running section and the apps can be killed with a single tap to free up the RAM.
Adding app to the home screen and creating of folders is also quite easy. One feature that was really impressive was the built-in feature of gesture recognition. With this feature, you can assign gestures to your most frequently apps and launch them without entering the app drawer.
Apex Launcher is an easy to use launcher for basic users on Android tablets but as an advanced user, you can configure almost all its elements using the launcher settings. One can customize the grid layout, icon size and so much more. One feature exclusive to Apex launcher is Apex actions. These act like shortcut buttons that can be added to the home screen to perform specific tasks like locking the device, opening recent apps etc.
One feature I like about the app is the hard coded Google search bar at the top of every home screen. With Google Now on tablets running Jelly Bean and above, it really proves useful. There’s a pro version of the app available with extended features at $3.99.
Chameleon Launcher for Android is a paid launcher priced at $3.99. While the application drawer is very simple with no advanced customization options, the real power of the launcher lies in widgets and profile based home screens.
Chameleon Launcher comes with many HTML5 based widgets such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter which look neat on a tablet. These widgets provide you real-time updates on the home screen itself and if you like transparent apps, Chameleon can really impress you. You can also apply different wallpapers for different home screens and change your Wi-Fi, GPS other few settings along with apps in the dock as you swipe between different home screens. The only thing is that there is no lite version of the app available to try before paying for the pro version.
Cool Tip For TouchWiz Users
If like me, you too are annoyed by TouchWiz’s haphazard app drawer then AppZorter for TouchWiz can help you with that. Download and install the app on your Samsung device and select the order of sorting you would like. Having done that, just tap on the Sort button. That’s all, the app will be sorted automatically. On tablets a user might have to increase the app per page manually by entering the maximum number of apps that can fit a page.
The app doesn’t do sorting in real-time and a user would have to manually do that after uninstalling a couple of apps.
If you ask me, it’s tough to choose from the above ones. All offer a specific set of features and seem to be a value for money, free or otherwise.
So which of these is going to be your next launcher for Android tablet? If you wish to recommend a launcher which is not in the list, just drop a comment. Also, don’t forget to mention what’s the best thing you like in your favorite launcher.