Launcher 7 - Android is more universal than ever!
Tested version: 220.127.116.11
Latest version: 18.104.22.168.free
Requires Android: from 2.1
I think everyone will agree that the really exciting thing about Android is that you can basically reconfigure anything and everything. It all started with launchers that upped the ante on the ‘standard’ launcher. A few iOS clones are presently floating around out there, and a few good Windows Phone 7 launchers are also available on the market.
Launcher 7 has received a lot of good press; it combines the strong points of both Windows Phone 7 and Android.
I’m drawn to WP7-UI because it’s quite basic and simple, making it especially attractive for smartphone newbies.
Read today’s review to find out more.
Features & Use
Test device: Nexus One
Android-Version: Android 2.3.3
Launcher 7’s UI is as minimalistic as the Windows Phone 7 UI.
The difference between the two is that the launcher combines the Windows Phone 7 homescreen with settings options and options to make changes to widgets and tiles.
The launcher looks relatively bare upon first installation. All of your installed apps can be displayed by swiping right to left, or else by tapping on the arrow on the right. There’s an option that allows you to select apps as new tiles from you app list. In order to do so, long press on an app until a menu pops up; set the new tile’s name, size and extra functions here.
The extra functions are:
• Icon (only applicable to 1x1 tiles)
• Missed calls tracker
• Unread SMS tracker
• Gmail tracker
• Contacts Tile (also available as 2x1 Version)
• 2x1 Tile without bar
The extra functions (save the last one) are known as ‘live tile’ in Windows Phone 7. Widgets can also be used for tiles! This option is especially useful if you’re using “Beautiful Widgets” and want to check out what the weather will be like on a given day (see screenshot).
However, the widget/tile concept didn’t always work out during the testing phase. When dealing with larger widgets it’s wise to go for a 2x1 tile.
I was happy to see that widgets can also be integrated, meaning that a widgets function can be activated by tapping on the tile.
If you’re looking to get Launcher 7 to resemble WP7 even more, activate the WP7 status bar in the settings. The status bar works very similarly to the original, surprisingly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t display app infos; apparently this isn’t (yet?) possible due to technical reasons. To make up for it, it does display how much battery juice is left in percentage.
Background colours or pictures can also be changed via the settings. The tile colours can also be altered.
If you’re in to the ‘bounce’ effect, activate ‘feathered scrolling’. Autocrat can also be activated, and animations can be switched on/off.
In a nutshell: almost the entire launcher can be adjusted to suit your personal preferences. If you’re not too keen on the WP7 app list switch to the Android version in which apps are displayed in a raster.
…And that’s how we combine the Wp7 style with Android!
There is an ad banner at the bottom of the app list, but this didn’t strike me as being much of nuisance.
Launcher 7 imitates Windows Phone 7 to a T; it does exactly what you would hope and expect it to do.
Screen & Controls
Launcher 7’s controls are simple and intuitive. Visually, the launcher’s design is chic and comes with very nice animations for when you start up the app. The status bar is also well designed and works much in the same way as the Windows Phone 7 one.
Very well done!
Speed & Stability
Launcher 7 runs really well, as one might expect considering the app’s minimalism. It didn’t crash during the testing phase.
Launcher 7 can be downloaded for free from our App Center. If you’re really bothered by the ads you can pay EUR0,99 to be rid of them—seems like a fair price.
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