The best feature of Android is undoubtedly its customizability. Being open source based allows give an Android user the freedom other operating system users definitely do not have. One such freedom is the freedom to use different apps affecting the UI. There are two ways to customize your Android device in terms of the home screen – home screen replacement and Android launchers.
Difference between Home Screen Replacement apps and Android launchers
Both home screen replacement apps and Android launchers are similar. In fact, some home screen replacement apps are in fact Android launchers. Home screen apps are just more feature loaded – they will customize your entire experience including the lock screen. For e.g. Many Home screen replacement apps will actually show you the apps you need while you are driving or when you sit down in the office. Basically, if you are looking for function-based customizability, we would advise you to go for a Home Screen Replacement app instead of an Android launcher. Simply put, Home screen replacements are more contextual launchers than traditional Android launchers.
We have prepared a list of 5 home screen replacement apps that we considered best for your Android phone.
Themer is a Home Screen Replacement app that offers tonnes of personalization for Android. It offers user–designed skins and home screen replacements that show your smartphone display in all its beauty. It can incorporate artsy home screens, functional widgets and other tools to transform your home screen. You can keep your favorite apps, where they are easy to reach and get useful information, right on the home screen. The amount of themes out there is amazingly huge and let you instantly change the appearance of your home screen. You can also easily switch to your original home screen.
Note: Themer isn’t a context aware app. It doesn’t float information in front of you when its needed. All it offers is great customization and personalization and that’s about it.
Aviate isn’t just a home screen tool, but much more. It will actually adapt and adjust according to your needs and the place you are in. It categorizes your apps and puts them into groups which are easily reachable. It also uses your phone’s GPS and locations and shows what you need, when you need it. For e.g. if you are driving, it will show you the maps and music app. Similarly, on reaching office, it will show you the productivity apps, calendar and email. Even when you are on the way, it will pull up directions for your travel. Aviate also shows stuff such as nearby restaurants and apps that you might like to install.
Note: Aviate can only be customized to a certain extent and you have to make-do with how your home screen looks.
EverythingMe is an Android Launcher that has evolved in to a home screen replacement tool. The best feature of this home screen replacement app that it adapts to your location and the time of the day and comes up with the information that you need. For e.g. upon waking up and looking at your phone in the morning, you will see the weather, news and other apps that you check the first thing in the morning. Similarly when you get to office, you will get your email and productivity apps.
The difference between EverythingMe and Aviate is that it is more focussed on apps that you can install along with providing information about apps you already have.
Cover is actually an app that lets you get rid of the need for your home screen, which can otherwise be also interpreted as home screen replacement. It actually works more in the context of lock screen replacement. Rather than changing the interface of your device, it simply changes the lock screen. When you are at office, it will change to ‘work’ mode and show you the email, calendar, to-do list etc. When you are in the car, it will show you your navigation app, music player etc. A great feature is that you can have a look at apps running in the background by sliding the lock screen partially.
Note: Cover doesn’t work with tools such lock screen pattern lock or PIN lock.
Smart Launcher is a home screen replacement tool, designed for those who want customizability, but not at the cost of battery. It offers a low- battery consuming UI. Apps will automatically be sorted in the app based on categories. Simply put, it is a good replacement for your Android home screen. A pro version priced at $2.99 offers widget support and multiple screen support.
Home screen replacement is something that gives you more out of your Android phone without much hassle. To have so much personalization at such ease, is the best feature of home screen replacement.