Nokia releases Z Launcher Beta for free - grab it now from the Play Store22
The Z Launcher was originally announced back in June. It is an innovative solution from Nokia's emerging platforms group, which aims to omit the use of multiple home screens. The launcher only has one page, which displays a list of apps that it "thinks" you might need for the particular time of day. Of course, as with every prediction-based app – this one will need some time, before its guesses get more accurate.
Secondly, the launcher allows users to look for specific apps by scribbling letters on the screen. For example – if you are looking for the "calculator" app, just scribble a "c" anywhere over the screen, and you will be presented with a list of apps, starting with the letter. Typing out a second character (in our case - "a") will further narrow down the list of choices.
How useful would that be in real life? We are unsure really... Is it faster to finger-type a couple of letters and then click your app, or to just scroll through a couple of screens and choose it that way – it will probably be a matter of preference between users. We would say that it definitely sounds like a more viable option for tablets (and Nokia's just-announced N1 will come with the Z Launcher pre-loaded), since users often operate these with 2 hands, whereas scribbling on the phone with just one's thumb doesn't sound as comfortable.
Want to test it out and tell us what you think? Download link here.