We took a glimpse at what's new and cool at the Play
Store in the interface draping department in the first month of the year, and noticed a few launchers and interface tools that you might find useful, or at least funky to try out. Granted, the crop is not very rich, as people have been celebrating over the holidays, instead of hunkering down on code, but a couple of interesting takes on your homescreen organization can still be found.
There are also a few novel takes on improving on your stock device interface, like the FavoRing app that circles the most used icons and contact shortcuts right underneath your thumb, regardless of the launcher type you are using. The trend for small, lightweight launchers with tiny footprint that won't be as much of a drain on your phone's resources as the big boys seems to be abating, and there are even two new and promising Android Wear launcher additions. Check them out below.
Sirius launcher promises to "increase your working efficiency to the greatest extent," offering easy to read categorization for you apps, so that you can find everything you are looking for in a logical manner. What's more, you got one more dock that can house up to five icons, overlayed on top of your homescreens. Gesture clearing, lockscreen clearing and timing clearing will improve the performance and battery remaining time of your phone
Remember those T9 predictions from times when phones had physical keyboards? Well, the T9 Launcher is built on the same principle, and learns your usage patterns, improving your searches with predictive matching. It sports the trendy Material-based design, including automatic theming depending on your wallpaper.
Quick and light on the draw the eTheme launcher counts on its 2000+ theme & wallpaper combos to set your phone appart. It also offers more than 200 interface fonts to sift through, and essential everyday widgets such as clock-weather, lock screen, and utility bar (wifi, brightness, flashlight and so on).
RUI Launcher focuses on a nifty 3D experience in an era of flat interfaces, so if you are longing for the days gone by, give it a try, as it also offers T9 search, smart folder categorization, rich app management, plenty of built-in widgets, and exclusive theming with adjacent icon packs to boot.
Another functional and polished Android Wear launcher, this one lets you browse and start apps from the comfort of your wrist, swap themes, and select from Quick launcher, iWear launcher, Grid launcher, Row launcher, and more.
Android Wear launcher
Thematics Premium are ambitious about their DE LUXÉ themes set for Android, promising adaptive high-density wallpapers, well drawn icons, designer widgets, multi-launcher support, central theme manager, and automatic live updates. There is a PixelSense technology that adapts to your screen's resolution, both for icons and wallpapers, too.
This app launcher does what the name implies, offering a sidebar menu, and arranging your apps by name, last update time, last launch time in the launcher, count of launches, usage stats, and so on, thus giving you top access to the applications you use the most.
ROM Settings Backup Pro is a tool for saving your current (custom) ROM setup, and restoring them later to another ROM you might have flashed, or after a hard reset and data wipe. After spending so much time setting the status or navigation bars, lockscreens, etc., you'd be pleased to know that you can back those settings up, and get them restored after flashing.
The small screen of Android Wear gear like smartwatches presents a daunting challenge for launcher makers, that is why Applause functions as a constant notification that shows your apps, and includes double tap as an in-app purchase.
The aptly-named Geak launcher focuses on the news and weather homescreen, i.e. one of the most used categories from the minute you open your eyes, and throughout your day. You can set the news stream with realms that interest you, like Bussiness, Technology, Sports, and so on, and the pretty weather-focused homescreen lets you see whether it will rain or shine in a clean and minimalistic manner. Needless to say, you can pretify things even further by choosing local or online wallpapers, transition effects, and installing separate icon packs.
Tired of those big-screen phones that won't let you reach everywhere on the screen with one hand while carrying groceries? FavoRing is here to help. It stays discreetly tucked into a corner, waiting for your thumb to touch it, then fans your most used apps and contacts in two semi-circles, which are all a thumb reach away, and that nifty feature works with any launcher you are sporting, too.