Features & Use
Test device: Nexus One / Pearl Touchlet
Android-Version: 2.3.3 / 2.2
Mods: Root / No modifications
GO Launcher EX is a lot like ADW Launcher EX, and not only as far as the applications’ names go!
That being said, this launcher is far more than a simple clone—one of its principle advantages being that draws on your Android’s capacities in a very energy-saving manner.
If you’ve used ADW the following will come as no surprise to you: GO Launcher EX’s functions aren’t apparent right off the bat, meaning that you have to go to the launcher’s settings in order to get an idea of what it can do.
• Display settings
• Screen settings
• Dock settings
• App depot settings
• Function settings
• Advanced settings
• Theme settings
It would take too long to go into detail as far as all the settings go (as well as make for a rather boring read), so let me concentrate on the essentials:
Use Display settings in order to hide the Android status bar; (de)activate the mobile background when scrolling; hide app name as well as set the homescreen’s grid interval.
Aligning the grid refers to arranging the icons according to how many of them can fit onto the homescreen—choose between 4x4, 5x4 or 5x5. 5x5 is very convenient if you’re using the app on a tablet, so thumbs up for that.
You can also set a screen transition effect for when you’re scrolling through your homescreen—a very chic little feature that will surely impress you iPhone buddies ;-)
Add homescreen pages and set them as your standards using Screen settings. A simple glance suffices to view the entire content of your homescreen, and you can fit up to 30 homescreens.
Dock settings lets you select which design you want, how many dock pages you want, as well as a great little function that notifies you how many unread messages and missed calls you have. Use your SMS, phone or Gmail icons in the dock.
For those of you who aren’t quite sure just what an App depot might be: this refers to app lists.
You can set your own background, the grid interval, hide apps and change their sortation. I found the function that hides apps to be especially useful for users who have “Bloatware” preinstalled on their smartphones.
If you want your homescreen to follow the movements of your device (that is to say that if you tip your phone one way or the other the homescreen will follow suit) go to Functons settings and make the appropriate adjustments. If you ask me, this function is useful if you’re using a tablet more so than if you’re using a phone, but that’s purely a matter of taste.
You can also set gestures. Swipe down across your homescreen in order to drag the Android status bar down.
Advanced settings are useful if you don’t want to the system to close the launcher, meaning you won’t ever have to wait for your homescreen to reload. This also means that another app will be shut down when your system is low on memory.
The font face is also meant to be adjustable; I wasn’t able to find any alternatives to the typography used in the launcher, however.
Themes can be set and downloaded using Themes settings. This feature further shows to what an extent an app can be personalised! Brilliant! There are loads of themes to choose from and, if you are so inclined, you can even design your own themes.
All of the settings mentioned above can be saved and recovered.
Aside from all your apps you will also find two tabs at the top of the display in the App list: recent apps and active apps. Use the latter to close all your apps—or rather DON’T: I can’t recommend this function as the launcher doesn’t do a very good job and will it will ultimately do your Android more harm than good.
Lastly, I also like that you can change the size of the widget, just as with Motorblur by Motorola.
Bottom line: GO Launcher EX has a lot of truely useful functions and it looks great, too: definitely worth giving it a go!
Screen & Controls
You will find that homescreen controls are the same as with any other launcher. It was easy getting the hang of and finding my way around GO Launcher EX’s settings.
Speed & Stability
GO Launcher EX rocks this category! It is without a doubt faster than any other launcher that I’ve had the pleasure (or pain) of testing, which is why it won’t be disappearing from my Pearl Touchlet Tablet any time soon. Hat’s off!
The launcher did not crash during testing phase.
GO Launcher EX can be downloaded free of charge from our App Center as well as the Android Market.