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Smart Launcher - A new smartphone experience

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First and foremost: Read the disclaimer!

What is Smart Launcher?
Simple answer, Smart Launcher is a launcher for your android device. "What's a launcher" you ask? A launcher imposes itself on the original android system and replace the usual user interface. Samsung devices e.g. are using an own launcher, called "Touchwizz". The problem with such pre-installed launchers: They are often slow, sluggish and they gorge a lot of resources.

Why should I use Smart Launcher?
I said it already: Compared to other systems, Smart Launcher is pretty resource-conserving. But that's not the only advantage. Through it's simple interface, it's very userfriendly and easy to use.

The Main Window
Here, you see the home screen of Smart Launcher. Instead of serveral screens, you usually have, you must take potluck with this single screen. As you see, you can have a searchbar at the top (I'll get to it later) and a widget you can define freely.

Below the widget are the bubbles. In this bubbles, you can put folders, shortcuts or other widgets, that are opened with a click. Double-click actions are also possible (one click opens a folder, a double-click opens a widget e.g.).

One screen might sound few. But you see, that I have 14 icons on my screen. Every icon can host 9 apps. 4x4 makes 16 icons (you can place even more, but then, the icons become smaller). Multiplied with 9 possible apps per bubble amounts to 144 apps, you can place on your main window. Should be enough, shouldn't it?

The Main Window

Apps in Bubbles

The Searchbar

Widgets

Apps in Bubbles
The icons on the homescreen are called "bubbles". You can choose a border around the icons, which explains, why the developers chose that name. I disabled the border, so the icons become larger and easier to recognize. When you tap a bubble, it opens and shows the content (when you decide to define a widget, it would open equally). You also can put contacts into those bubbles and create shortcuts to your important numbers.

The Searchbar
The searchbar is a pretty cool and mighty tool in Smart Launcher. You can enter an App-name, a contact name or you can use it as a search engine (you can define various engines. I use Google). So, you have quick access to things without having them on screen. Sometimes, the contacts need a while, before they appear in the list (probably because of the synchronization).

Widgets
As you see, you usually have no widgets on your screen. Place your finger on the right bottom corner of your phone and slide to left to enter the widget panel. Here, you can place your widgets on max. 9 pages. So widgets and apps are separated, which gives the whole thing a more clearer look. Unfortunately, some system widgets won't run within Smart Launcher (Samsung Notes and Calendar e.g.). But the standard Android apps will run.

Personal, I've disabled the widget screen, because it caused some trouble on my device. Instead, I'm using the widget functionality of the bubbles via double-click (I mentioned it already above).

App Grid
When you're on the home screen, place your finger on the left bottom corner of your screen and slide to right. The app grid opens. Here, you have all your apps, sorted by categories. What's really cool about this is, that you can hide system apps, you don't use but you can't uninstall. So you only see, what you really need.

BTW: When you have problems while sliding left and right with your finger, you can also activate icons that'll appear on the bottom left and right corners. They will bring you to the App Grid or the Widget Screen likewise.

 

App Grid

Edit Categories

Edit Apps

 

Edit Categories (App Grid)
When you tap an icon longer, you can edit it. You can change the icon, the name, add category or remove it.

Edit Apps (App Grid)
When you tap an app icon longer, you can edit it. That's a really cool feature of Smart Launcher. You can change the app icon, you can rename the app and you can even hide the app. This is useful for system apps, that you don't use but that you can't uninstall.

Other cool features
But Smart Launcher has more cool features for your device: You can change your lockscreen, the design of Smart Launcher (there a lot of free designs to download) and the best thing: You can avoid changes. It's like a write-protection. You can work with your phone, but you can't move, delete or rename things by accident, unless you remove the write-protection.

Is it really so perfect?
Unfortunatelly not. There are a view issues, that are negligible IMO:

  • When you uninstall a app, the icon on the home screen must be removed manually.

  • It take some time, until contacts appear in the searchbar (that has probably something to do with the synchronization of Google Contacts).

  • On some devices, you may return to your normal android launcher after quitting certain apps. Then, you have to restart Smart Launcher manually by clicking the icon.

  • After an update of Smart Launcher, you will be asked, which launcher you will use as standard.

All in all
Smart Launcher is an amazing alternative to the normal android interface. It uses less memory, is faster, more efficient, has nice designs and it's a real alternative and the only launcher, I've worked with, that's really working without crashes and hangups. As I said before, it closes itself on some app/device-combinations and has some other minor flaws. But no app is perfect. So don't think long and get the app :)

STOP! What's the price?
There's a free version, you can use for testing. But I do not recommend it for productive usage. When you buy the app, you can pay 4 €. The price may sound high, but trust me: It's worth the money! Test the free version and you will be convinced.

Where to get it?

(Free version left - Pro version right)

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