Android N brought in some really interesting features. Along with the release of Android N preview, Google also launched a beta program for it. Developers have already started developing apps for Android N. And, many of them support Android N Preview. So, one of the Android N apps that I’d like to talk about today is the N Launcher. It’s a launcher that already supports Android N (Preview). And, it has got some really high octane customizations to mess with.
I’ve tested this launcher on Marshmallow and Lollipop, as majority of Android users are on Lollipop and Marshmallow. So, let’s check out this launcher and see if it’s impressive enough to replace your current Launcher.
The Android N Launcher
Android N launcher has got many cool features up it sleeves. In usage, it has kind of Nova Launcher feel. The settings menu, gestures and the home screen all have some Nova Launcher feel. So, let’s check out some of the cool features that N Launcher offers.
Swiping from the left you’ll get a slide screen (or sidebar in settings). It gives you quick shortcuts to you most recent and favorite apps. It is available from any screen you just have to swipe from the left edge. You can even customize further in the settings by enabling sidebar everywhere. This will give you a handler from where you can drag out the slide screen.
You can move this handler to the right if you feel it’s more comfortable that way or you’re a leftie. Also, you can auto-hide it. Favorite apps in the slide screen can be added using the plus icon. It’s quite handy as you can access settings toggles and your favorite apps quickly from any screen.
Double tapping on the home screen will open the gesture settings. Starting with Screen Turn on/off settings. I have seriously no idea why would someone want to turn off the screen using the HOME button. Maybe when the power button malfunctions? Who knows?
An interesting feature here is the Readability Gesture. It brings down the screen near to your thumb so that you can easily access settings and other stuff with your thumb or single hand. Mostly helpful for big screens. But, this feature is available on N Launcher screens only.
Then there are normal gestures that are seen on other launchers. Nothing fancy with that.
The App Drawer
The Android Community got really pissed when they heard rumors about Android N ditching the app drawer. Google won’t do it. Even if they do it we know how to bring it back. The app drawer is one place for all your apps. Who likes cluttered home screens, anyway?
Talking about the drawer on N Launcher, you can change its style and also the animation of it opening. With the Prime version of the app, you get folder support which includes private folder feature.
There’s an app search available. It would be cool if it could be accessed on a pull-down gesture (just like on Nova Launcher). Also, you can sort the apps alphabetically.
It performed well both on Marshmallow and Lollipop. It was snappy enough to convince me. Transition animations work nicely. Battery consumption didn’t suffer that much. Overall it performed great.
Other Features Worth Mentioning
There’s a dock feature available for apps on the home screen. Settings toggles as a sticky notification in the notification drawer and on the lock screen. There’s also an App Lock feature (only in Prime version). Also, it has got support for Themes and Icon packs that you can apply and make it look even better.
Other Android N Goodies?
You can check out these Android N apps for your Marshmallow and Lollipop smartphones. Android N Icon Pack, Wallpapers, and Themes.
And, does N Launcher become my daily launcher? – I’m using it for a week now. So, let’s see. Mention your thoughts on this Launcher down in the comments.