If you proudly identify yourself as an Android fan, it must be for various reasons. I know a lot of people who swear by its flexibility, its ability to let you customize exactly how you get and deal with data.
And the data can be anything. Notifications, apps, widgets, shortcuts, commands, anything Android would let you do.
Sidebar launchers better equip you to deal with this sort of data. Sidebar launchers make navigation between different apps, multitasking and just general device usage better because they are only a swipe away.
Note: The three apps listed here are all free but limited. Their true potential is unlocked only by an in-app purchase.
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1. Sidebar Launcher
The heavy weight of the sidebar business carries a very “SEO friendly” name, well deserved for the features it brings along. The free version of Sidebar Launcher gives you access to the date and time, toggles, your favorite apps and everyday functions like flashlight, mute, menu etc for free.
Pro version adds a music controller widget that lets you control music playback, power widget which shows battery and memory state, shortcuts widget which gives you access to system wide shortcuts and it also removes ads.
Glovebox is the most customizable and feature-rich app here. It is also the most limited, with some of the best features hidden behind the paywall.
Pulling in from the designated hotspot brings up the thin sidebar. It is just a vertical list of icons and looks very much like Cover lockscreen. The free app allows you to have 8 app shortcuts docked in and there’s support for toggle switches as well. Everything other than that takes a paid upgrade to unlock.
3. Ray Sidebar Launcher
Ray is very similar to Glovebox, in looks and functionality. You’ve got the similar vertical list of icons but the free version of Ray provides you with a lot more options. Adding a new function works directly from the panel, by tapping the + button at the bottom of the screen.
As I said, Ray gives you lots of features in the free app. There’s no restriction on number of app icons. You can also add any system wide shortcut or action including toggles and it even supports folders.
Ray isn’t nearly as customizable or good looking as Glovebox but if all you’re looking for is a free app with basic features, Ray is your best bet.
You can even replace your Home launcher. It won’t be as productive as sidebar launchers which are accessible from anywhere, but you get a lot of flexibility and customization options. Try Themer for looks, Buzz for personalization, and Nova for the ultimate performance boost.