New Xoom Launcher

By | Monday, April 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I recently found a new launcher for Android that’s really awesome!  I had been using ADW Launcher for some time now, and thought it was the best one out there… up until about a week ago.  I’ve given it a week to make sure it didn’t turn out to be another one of those flashy homescreen apps that turns out to be riddled with bugs, very clunky and a terrible experience, before I went ahead and posted something recommending it.  So you can rest assured, it’s a pretty sweet launcher.

I found it after browsing around on mycolorscreen.com and looking at other users’ homescreens.  Several of them were using something called “Apex Launcher Pro”, and that intrigued me.  The next thing I know I’m installing it on my tablet and digging in deep.  This one isn’t for everyone though–it’s only for ICS (a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4).  So it won’t run on my phone, only my tablet.  That is, until US Cellular finally releases an Android 4 phone… then I’ll be all over THAT.

Anyway, since it’s designed specifically for Android 4, it looks and feels a LOT like the stock Android 4 launcher–everything is there, the very smooth-scrolling screens outlined in their box containers (only seen when scrolling your homescreens), the smooth page-by-page app drawer icons and widget pages… everything is still there, except there’s tons MORE you can now do and change.   Every feature seems to have added abilities.  Everything from Folders (which can now have square outlines, circle outlines, custom outlines, or even take on “iPad-like” grid qualities) to what happens when you press the Home button, to how you want your app drawer to look and act… and yes, you can even adjust your “grid size”, having more or less icons and widgets on each homescreen, whetever you prefer.  You can cram them full with a grid of 10×10 (100 icons per screen!) if you like, or even bring it down to 4×4 to make it look just like a phone display on your tablet!

Apex’s settings screens even look exactly like Android 4’s settings pages, so it all blends together perfectly, making it just feel right.  I think this is really the first launcher I’ve used where, after a week of use, I really have no complaints at all.  I haven’t found a single one of those little “gotchas” yet that spoil the whole experience.

There’s a free version of Apex Launcher, so you can try it out and see if it looks like it’ll work ok for you.  Then there’s the full “Pro” version, which is actually just a key that unlocks all of the free version’s features, for $3.99.  The Pro version includes a bunch more transitions and many additional features that make it a truly great experience way beyond the stock launcher.  Give it a shot if you’re running Android 4… go ahead, add some sprinkles to your Ice Cream Sandwich!  Hey… aren’t those called “Jimmies”?  Ha!

 

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