🗓️ 05 Feb 2021
How everything started
I have always liked the freedom that Android can give u as an operating system, ever since I got that first weird Chinese phone my mother got from a random store with no warranty at all and a battery that was about to explode, I fell in love with how different I could make my phone look compared to everyone else’s just by installing a few apps in those 512 Mb of storage.
At the time, I watched videos from the Spanish youtube channel Pro Android which showcased different launchers and apps to customize my device. However, I had Android 2.3, which was already old at the time, and even tho I rooted my device (or I thought I did, I probably got a virus or something) most launchers, including Nova Launcher, did not run at all. so I had to settle on Holo Launcher.
It was not until my third phone, where I finally managed to get wild with the customization I got, a Samsung Galaxy s3 mini, with ROM support and every app I wanted working because of that. I might talk about that in future.
📱 Android customization today
I want to focus my first blog on a poll I did, that is still going on Mastodon here and talk about my opinions on some of the launchers I’ve used over the years.
Everyone should know this one, it has been my go-to ever since I got it, as a teenager I was unable to buy it, and my family wasn’t willing to pay for apps, but it was the first thing I got when I finally got some money from Google Rewards. It has every function you can imagine. It’s gesture system is like no other, and the new gestures on icons and folders, allows me to have run up to three apps, from a single icon, by tapping it, or swiping up or down. I can make it even better if I apply the same gestures to a folder, so with a single icon, I get to access any app I want.
this is my current setup, although I change it pretty often
Now, this is another launcher that I use sometimes, in fact, after the mentioned poll, I decided to give it another try, and I am quite happy with the results. It is very lightweight and customizable, it’s tags feature works great and allows me to categorize my apps as I want (If only I didn’t have to setup every app individually) and once it’s done, there is nothing as cool as typing a category and getting the results you need.
This is how I am rocking it today, as you can see, pretty minimalistic
Back when I was not as privacy-aware, I used Microsoft Launcher, and I really, really, liked it. it had a lot of the same features Nova provided, completely free, and I could have everything linked up between my Windows computer, and my device.
I am not currently using it, but seriously, the amount of customization and ease of use was amazing.
Some launchers I have used before are here, I am skipping some tho.
- Lawnchair: This is promising, but it has stopped development (it is said that it’s just a break, so let’s see) and Nova is already catching up in their betas (which are more stable than Lawnchair’s), but it offers a lot of unique functionality, like using multiple icon packs at the same time, if you want the latest updates, join their telegram channel.
- Niagara Launcher: Very minimal and with some pretty animations. similar to kiss, but feels a lot more polished (KISS is more functional, snappy, less eye-candy), it has paid features that might get your attention, like folders and such.
- Posidon Launcher: A very unique launcher that features an RSS feed on it’s home screen, I have been testing it and it has worked before, but currently it is crashing on me quite often, but seriously, it is a great FOSS application that you should try if you have not, the dev got a telegram channel too.
💭 Final thoughts
This is my first proper blogpost here, and I want it to take part of the #100DaysToOffload challenge. I might go into more detail about some launcher, or just focus on new discoverings I make along the way.
Besides launchers, I have also used different icon packs, gesture applications, android themes and root applications. So I hope I get to talk about those in the future
If you have some launcher, or topic you want me to talk about, feel free to @ me on my Mastodon
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