The real beauty of the Android OS platform is that literally everything is customizable and the customization is limited only to your imagination. The mobile OS itself is open source, that means there are million of developers working out there on one thing or the other (read apps), night and day. For an average user like you and me it means that you can gather several apps and customizable bits from all around the web and try to design that awesome experience that every gadget lover dreams about !
Not to mention, the default Android homescreen or “desktop” looks and performs very monolithic. But there are many free and paid homescreen replacements for the default Android homescreen in the Android marketplace, and you’re sure to pick your choice amongst one of these:
Top 5 Android Home Screen Launchers:
1. Launcher Pro
From my personal experience, Launcher Pro is undoubtedly the most seamless and bug-free homescreen replacement out there. It is popular, stable, easy on the memory and is pretty much usable “out of the box”.
The first launch of Launcher Pro will greet you with 3 scrollable screens and a couple of default widgets and icons. It also has a customizable dock with 5 dock icon spots. As soon as you start playing with the tons of options in Launcher Pro, you’ll realize its power and customization levels. You can change the default icons, set you favorite icons on the dock, change the screen transition effects and so on.
Launcher Pro has a paid version in the Android Marketplace but we still recommend that you begin using it with the free version, which is more than usable. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
2. ADW launcher
While Launcher Pro maybe the favorite choice of the masses, the second thing that comes pretty close to it is ADW launcher. Both have pretty much the same features but ADW takes it a level further.
ADW launcher, as I have seen, is pretty much popular with the developers around because of the code being open sourced. Apart from some effects and design effects that sets it apart from Launcher Pro, ADW is very popular because of the large number of free and paid themes that you can put on this Android homescreen, to have the feel of a new homescreen everyday.
3. Go launcher EX
Go launcher is a new choice for the Android users but already has some very loyal fan following with it. The first thing you’ll notice about it is that app drawer also has a task killer integrated with it, which certainly is a plus.
Like ADW launcher, Go launcher goes miles ahead in customizations and preferences that you can play around with. It also has a large number of widgets and themes in the Android Marketplace which you should definitely try out.
4. Helix Launcher
Helix launcher is pretty much new to the league of Android homescreen replacements and is forked from the original Android homescreen. Not to mention, it is pretty fast in speed and stable. Helix launcher offers upto 7 home screens and also supports live wallpapers. I would recommend anyone to go for Helix launcher if they are looking for a new homescreen for their Android phone which is blazing fast and stable and has all the features you would normally except sand the bells and whistles of a fancy Android launcher.
5. Launcher 7
The last Android homescreen that I am mentioning in this post doesn’t give you the exact feel of Android. Launcher 7 deserves a special mention as it performs a different job as an Android launcher and it does it pretty well. Launcher 7 is a Windows Phone 7 style launcher for Android. It is one of the few (or maybe the only) free homescreen replacement for Android which brings in the WP7 UI to Android and yet works pretty well.
The layout is Metro style on your homescreen with pre-defined tiles and you can add you own as well. You can just long press a tile to modify and drag and drop tiles all around to move them. Job well done.
Also here’s our special tip to the Android fanatics: Have a lot of homescreens and launchers installed on your Android device and switching between them is a cumbersome process of going to settings –> applications and then clearing the defaults? Pick and install any one of these apps and they would make your life a lot more easier: