Friday, December 13, 2013

Google+ Update Rolling Out, Brings Shake-for-Snow Auto Awesome and Simplified Search Feature

A Google+ Android app update is inbound that should help many of us get in the mood for the upcoming winter. And let's just say, this one is rather quirky.

a new version of Google+ is soon to hit Android devices, version 4.2.4. In the update are several additions, such as a feature that allows you to simply shake your device while viewing a picture to have snow flakes gracefully fall from the sky. Previously, this feature was an Auto Awesome enhancement, but now you can throw it onto any picture of your choosing. In addition, searching across various posts, people, photos, and communities is a whole lot easier, as users can now make a comprehensive search across the entire platform via a single search box. No more getting lost throughout Google+’s deep dark alleyways. 
Vic listed out all of the changes you can find in the update, and announced that it is gradually rolling out to all users through Google Play. Be on the look out.
Shake your device to add snow to your photos. Many of you enjoyed last week’s Auto Awesome  snow (, so we’re adding another way to let it snow this holiday season. Just open one of your photos, shake your device, and snow will start falling. Shake again to save. (
Search across more stuff, from a single box. Now you can search for posts, people, photos and communities — all from one place. So the next time you’re looking for something specific, just tap ‘Search’ and type what you want.
Control who can buzz your phone, without missing notifications from others. If you only want certain people to be able to buzz your phone (like family), simply adjust your “Who can notify me” settings. Notifications from others will now appear in “Everything else,” so you can read them whenever it’s convenient.
Explore content by category. Now when you visit the What’s Hot stream, you’ll be able to “go deeper” on a number of different categories — from Music and Science to Sports and Photography.
Spread the love this holiday season. Now when you +1 posts in the stream, you’ll see something lovely.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas comes to iOS, headed to Android and Windows Phone soon

Heads up GTA fans, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — the latest incarnation of the smash hit game series — has landed on iOS, its first mobile platform. The game is priced at $6.99 and will also come to Android, Windows Phone and Kindle devices in time.
Initially we are just seeing the iOS download link — hat tip @viticci — whileEngadget says Rockstar will introduce versions for other platforms next week.
 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas comes to iOS, headed to Android and Windows Phone soon
Developer Rockstar says the game has been completely remastered with improved visuals, a greater draw distance and dynamic, detailed shadows throughout its rich, open world. Character and car models have also been updated to help give the sandbox action-adventure game a little extra polish.
The gameplay for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has also been reworked for touchscreen devices, with a more forgiving checkpoint system and two different control schemes for driving and moving around on foot.
The title supports Apple-approved iOS 7 controllers, but will not work in the iPhone 4 or older — all iPad models are supported.
➤ Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: iOS | Android, Windows Phone & Kindle coming soon

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Angry Birds Go Rolls Into Google Play

Long lost fans of Mario Kart, a potential new addiction has arrived on Android in the form of Angry Birds GO! Oh, and that exclamation isn’t because I’m overly excited, that’s simply how Rovio is spelling the game’s name. But yes, the kart-style racer from Rovio is here and available for free. 

Angry Birds Go is Rovio's first major free-to-play game on Android, so expect to be hit up for cash on occasion . This is a casual racing game built around a variety of quirky downhill tracks. The birds we know so well from the original games are here with hastily assembled vehicles and special powers that harken back to their physics puzzler roots.
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The graphics in Angry Birds Go seem solid from a quick inspection. It has a sort of 3D cel shaded thing going on. However, there is a legacy menu button... I don't even know what to say about that. There also seems to be no sign of Google Play Games, but there is Facebook and Twitter support.
4 5
In addition to upgrading your regular carts in the game, there are Telepods to collect. You're probably familiar with the concept – they are physical toy figurines that you can beam into the game by scanning a tag with the camera. I suppose it's an out-of-app purchase. Anyway, the game is free to try right now.

Once you start playing ABG, you will probably find the gameplay quite enjoyable. It’s easy to get the hang of, does indeed reminder you in a way of Mario Kart, and features enough different styles of play that you shouldn’t get bored any time soon. There are ways to build up your kart to make it faster and more powerful, power-ups to give you an advantage, and different birds to unlock throughout your journey.
The problem is, that in order to advance you better be ready to spend all sorts of cash or have loads of patience. The game is constantly asking you to spend money, whether that be on a $50 kart (seriously, that exists) or on gems to give your “tired” bird more energy to race. That’s right, after 5 races, your bird is too tired to race, so you either wait the 20 minutes for him to rest or you spend cash to make that happen quicker.
I’ve been playing the game for a solid hour this morning and overall, don’t find it to be all that bad of a game. It is actually pretty fun once you get to racing and unlocking new birds. It’s just that I’d much rather spend $5 up front to unlock the game fully than deal with greedy in-app purchase tactics and ads. I get that this is the model for gaming these days, but man, it takes a lot of fun out of it.

Nova Launcher Updated, Brings the Essential Kit Kat Look and Feel

Shortly after Android 4.4 hit Nexus devices, a new beta of the popular Nova Launcher home screen added UI elements borrowed from the Google Experience Launcher. Now that version has hit the Play Store with some refinements and additional features. While the Google Now integration isn't possible with a third-party launcher, this is about as close as you'll get to the Kitkat look without going stock.

An update hit Nova Launcher today, which brings it to version 2.3. Inside the update is a big changelog, full of Kit Kat goodies and features. For starters, the scroll indicator from Kit Kat has been added, as well as Kit Kat style folders. Keep in mind, if you had been a part of the beta test group, then you will have seen some of these features for a little while now. Regardless, if you are a fan of custom launchers and enjoy Android 4.4, you will want to grab this update. 
2013-12-10 21.19.43 Screenshot_2013-12-10-14-48-51 Screenshot_2013-12-10-14-48-41
You'd have to look twice to tell Nova from the stock Google Experience Launcher – the icons, fonts, and colors are all reproduced here, but with the fully customized Nova settings underneath. Here's the full changelog:
  • KitKat scroll indicator (Desktop - Scroll Indicator)
  • KitKat folders styles (Folders - Folder Background, Light Background)
  • KitKat font (Look and Feel - Icon Font - Condensed, Android 4.1+)
  • KitKat app drawer icon
  • Google KitKat icon theme (Look and Feel - Icon Theme)
  • Small autohiding tabs in app drawer (Drawer - Small Tabs)
  • Transparent system bars on KitKat (Look and feel - Transparent Notification Bar. Requires KitKat)
  • Backup/Restore from external sdcard
Most of this was in the beta, but now it's in regular Google Play channel and should be more stable. You can check out Nova Launcher for free, the pick up the Prime key if you like what you see.

Nokia “Normandy” Reportedly the Company’s First Android Device

When Microsoft initiated a purchase of Nokia back in September, a lot of Android fans let out a defeated sigh: there was no way the company would ever release Android-powered hardware. Well hold on to your dreams, true believers, because multiple leaks indicate that a new Nokia phone will indeed run Google's open-source OS.

An image posted back in November by @evleaks, which showed a red Nokia device, is now being reported as the company’s first step into the Android realm. As reported by The Verge, the device, which is codenamed Normandy internally, is supposedly set to launch in 2014 running a forked version of Android – much like Amazon does with its Kindle line of tablets. According to one source inside Nokia, Normandy is “full steam ahead.” 
The device is said to be a low-cost unit, allowing those at lower income levels to have full access to helpful applications and mobile Internet capabilities. As of right now, it apparently supports Skype (naturally) and other popular Android applications.
What makes Nokia’s interest in the Android OS a bit more interesting, is that Microsoft recently announced the purchase of Nokia, but the deal is still not completely finalized. From what the new report states, Nokia could look to push this device out before Microsoft attempts to axe its plans, given that it is safe to assume that Microsoft would rather push its Windows Mobile OS instead of helping Google any further in emerging markets.
In any case, the Normandy is a project from a very different company than the one Nokia is now, or will be later. Even if it is released, and it does run Android, it certainly won't herald a change for the company at large. Nokia's more widespread devices in all segments of the mobile market will run Windows, and only Windows, in the immediate future.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Viber introduces Viber Out international calling, Makes it Cheaper than Skype

Internet telephony company Viber has officially launched its Viber Out calling service which allows its 200 million-plus registered users to make low-cost calls to mobile and landline phones worldwide from within its mobile apps.

Much like Skype’s own calling service, Viber customers can purchase credit via in-app purchases from the iOS or Android apps, or by using a credit card on the desktop client. The company touts its prices as being “significantly” lower than the competition — rates vary from country-to-country and whether you call a mobile or landline.

There are plenty of VoIP calling services out there — Hong Kong-based Maaii being another — but, aside from messaging app features, Viber has a couple of other nice touches. It attaches itself to your phone number so the person you are calling will see your number flash up before they receive your call, it also hooks into your device’s address book to make searching for numbers a cinch.
“Viber Out gives our millions of users a new way to use Viber and ensures that they can reach any contact at any time,” said Talmon Marco, CEO of Viber. “We will continue to improve Viber Out, keeping our users connected at the most affordable rates possible.”
The feature is the second monetization stream that Viber has launched in recent months. Back in October it introduced paid-for stickers, but low-cost international calls may prove to be a bigger money spinner.
In addition, the new feature also gives Viber clearer differentiation from WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and other messaging apps that compete with it for attention on mobile.

Google now lets you create your own Maps Street View using Photo Sphere

Google has unveiled a new way to allow anyone to create their own personalized Street View map of their location. The company states in a blog post that a Street View experience can be created just by using photos taken from either Google’s Photo Sphere technology or a dSLR camera.

Often times, a user may take a journey through a country or location and find the need to share their trip with others. It’s one thing to show friends and family photos, but it’s another to have them assigned to points on a map. Until now, Street Views were limited to only what Google offered, but now, anyone can create these map formats.

Add to Google Maps and share your world

Add your photo spheres to Google Maps so that people can see your favourite places from around the world or around the corner. You can help a local business by adding a photo sphere to its Google+ Local page. 

Share from Android

From the photo gallery on your Android device*, tap Share, then tap Google Maps to upload your 360º geotagged photo sphere.

Microsoft's Social Networking Site SOCL Launches on Android,IOS,Windows Mobiles

Microsoft Research today quietly launched its social network Socl on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You can download the new apps now directly from Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and the Windows Phone Store.
Socl was first created purely as a research project, but Microsoft has been adding features to it and tweaking it for years. Now the social experiment has finally been ported from desktop to mobile, as first spotted by WMPoweruser.
socl android ios wp Microsoft Researchs social network Socl launches on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone
As you can see in the screenshot above, the app is largely the same across the three mobile platforms. Given that the trio was released simultaneously, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the feature list is identical for all three:
  • Create beautiful collages and funny memes in seconds.
  • Share your creations on Socl, as well as your other favorite social networks.
  • Create visual responses (“riffs”) to existing content.
  • Snap a picture and share it on Socl.
  • Receive notifications about community activity on the content you love.
  • Organize the content you love in collections.
  • Connect with new and interesting people worldwide.
For those who have never heard of it, Socl (pronounced simply “social”) lets you create, collect, and share content from rich visual collages to short animated media and memes. Content can be aggregated directly on Socl, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.
At any given time, the Socl site mainly shows content from Microsoft employees. Clearly the team is hoping that by launching mobile apps, it can finally expand its test to a broader audience; so far, Socl is fun to play around with, but few users actually stick around for long.
To use Socl, you need a Microsoft account or be willing to connect with Facebook. The app lets you access the Socl service, but you can also share content from Socl to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. The app has a Windows Phone vibe, but isn't really offensive in an Android context. It is pretty laggy on the Nexus 5, though
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This isn't actually a new service – Microsoft opened it up to public signups back in May of 2012. So if you need one more social network to keep up with, Microsoft has you covered. Maybe now that it has an Android app, Socl will take right off. Right?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kit Kat Dancing Babies New Ad India (Official)

Good things happen when you take a KIT KAT break.

Breaks offer opportunities that you may otherwise miss because you're too busy to notice. Opportunities to see, hear, feel something new, meet new people, and discover something. 

A good break can put things into perspective, help you relax and get you in the right mood and spirit to face whatever comes next!

Take a break with our new TV ad and you will see what happens when cute babies decide to sing and dance!


The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles get their first big multi-platform game of 2014 on January 28, when Square Enix releases a beefed up port of its early 2013 hit, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Lara Croft’s rebooted origin story gets a big visual boost in its upcoming appearance, now taking advantage of the PC version’s TRESS FX technology that powers Lara’s realistic hair movement (YUP) and freshly enhanced lighting and shaders. Those of you with decent-or-better gaming PCs can get a sense of what Definitive Edition will look like in Tomb Raider‘s PC version. 
The January 28 re-release  also includes a few other extras, including all of the previously released (multiplayer-only) DLC, digital versions of the Dark Horse comic, a mini art book from Brady Games, and Final Hours developer videos.
Check out the trailer for Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition below.

Sherlock Series 3 : Interactive Trailer

Sherlock is alive and back.

Benedict Cumberbatch, returns as Sherlock Holmes in season three of BBC’s “Sherlock,” after two years since he faked his death. Sherlock will be premiering on BBC January 1st in the U.K. and January 19th in the US on PBS.

Via BBC One

Our Amazing Spider Man is Back :Watch the Trailer

Do you love Spider-man? Then here is the first look of 'The Amazing Spider-man 2'.  His greatest battle begins May 2, 2014

Andrew Garfield is back as Spider-man and there is no shortage of villains. We get to see Jamie Foxx as Electro, Paul Giamatti as Rhino and The Green Goblin.

Throw in a little evocative razor-blades-on-string-instruments music, à la The Dark Knight, and an ailing Norman Osborn wheezing, “Not everyone has a happy ending,” when Spidey is about to stare down incredible odds, and you’ve got a pretty potent clip, says Entertainment Weekly

'Game of Thrones' Video Game is Set to Release in 2014

HBO is teaming up with Telltale Games to create a Game of Thrones-inspired video game due out in 2014.

Telltale Games is the studio behind The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us video games. The news was announced on Saturday during Spike TV's “Video Game Awards." There was a 25-second teaser trailer aired during the awards show, but it didn't reveal too much about what to expect from the game.
"We'll be taking advantage of all the fiction to make something great," Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games, said during the announcement. "We're just really getting into it right now and thinking about characters — who has the most at stake, who has the biggest impact on the world."
Watch the teaser trailer below:

Changelog: Here is Everything Google Changed from Android 4.4 to Android 4.4.1

Since the Android is Open Source, the Android Open Source Project (AOSPlets anyone explore the source for Google’s mobile platform, modify it, and build it to suit their needs. That means you can check out what’s new in Android 4.4.1 if you know where to look.

Looking through hundreds of new AOSP code commits can be cumbersome, but the guys at Funky Android have sorted and aggregated all of the additions as well as their descriptions, and categorized them by project. Their latest changelog shows you every commit made between Android 4.4 (build KRT16M) and Android 4.4.1 (build KOT49E). If you like diving into the technical details of software development, this one is for you.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Samsung Galaxy J teaser is about Galaxy S5 rumors

The Things are looking very exciting at this moment. Samsung Galaxy J teaser is about Galaxy S5 rumors. Release date, specs updates are almost everywhere.
Korean tech giant Samsung’s next flagship handset Samsung Galaxy S5 will be a bit bigger and a lot better than the existing flagship handset. For Samsung this is going to be another chance to show to the world that it is a top smartphone manufacturer and has the capability to simply beat every competitor.

The latest leaks suggest that the handset will be slightly bigger than the current version. A French website only last week came with many pictures and other details about the next gen Samsung phone. Other leaks to corroborate the claims made by the
There are reasons for the early arrival of the new Samsung flagship handset and the most important reason seems to be the fact that Apple’s iPhone 5S has badly impacted the sale of the Galaxy S4 and so the KKorean company wants to prepone the launch of the next flagship handset early to improve its results for this year. It had claimed that the handset
*The images shown by many sources looks slightly bigger like a phablet, like Galaxy Note original. The images show a handset bigger than the current Galaxy S4, measuring 5.66-inches by 2.8-inches.
* This hints at a possible 5.3-inch display for the device. The camera slot has shifted from the S4 place of middle to the side. 
*The USB port opening is small and might not adjust USB 3.0, a feature of S3. About the large display, earlier leaks add the information that S5 would boast an AMOLED screen with resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and a density of 560ppi. 
*Other rumours hint at a 64-bit octa-core mobile processor, a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation and 4GB of RAM – in short, a complete recipe to blow the iPhone out of the top smartphone slot.
*Then there are other reports about the specs and features of the forthcoming Samsung handset. 
In yet another speculation, a video on Youtube by O2 Guru TV shows a 3D mock-up of the device having a curved display, super HD screen and 16-megapixel camera with sleek, aluminum and glass cover curving from top to bottom to fit the face. The display is 5-inch with double the resolution of the iPhone 5S.
it says the S5 can “flex,” have thrice the usual phone memory and camera that can shoot 4K, translate: four times the Full HD quality. For Sammy fans this seems very exciting indeed.

Via NVONews

Now access Twitter on your mobile without data connection

Twitter Inc is tying up with a Singapore-based startup to make its 140-character messaging service available to users in emerging markets who have entry-level mobile phones which cannot access the Internet.

U2opia Mobile, which has a similar tie-up with Facebook Inc, will launch its Twitter service in the first quarter of next year, Chief Executive and Co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters.
Users will need to dial a simple code to get a feed of the popular trending topics on Twitter, he said.
More than 11 million people use U2opia's Fonetwish service, which helps access Facebook and Google Talk on mobile without a data connection.
Twitter, which boasts of about 230 million users, held a successful initial public offering last month that valued the company at around $25 billion.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bungie's Destiny ships worldwide on September 9th, 2014

Wondering when you can get Bungie's first big post-Halo project, Destiny?

No More Wonders Anymore: The company has revealed that its ambitious, MMO-like shooter will ship worldwide on September 9th, 2014. PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 users will get first crack at the beta test sometime earlier in the summer, although Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners should eventually have their turn.

That's a long time to wait, especially if you're using a new console that doesn't have many titles to start with, but Bungie's track record suggests that patience will be a virtue.

The Company Says :-
Destiny has always represented a new beginning for our team. It was born from brave possibilities. We dreamed of a renewed and independent Bungie. We found partners willing to bet big on some crazy new ideas with us.

We first shared the design pillars of Destiny less than one year ago. We promised to redefine what players should expect from a Bungie game. We said we wanted to change the way people play games together. We set our bar high. For us, Destiny represents a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Since then, Destiny has continued to reveal its promise. Every new build brings us closer to our original vision. With those goals in sight, we intend to use every moment from now until the release of the game to ensure that Destiny lives up to your expectations, and our own.

Today, in partnership with Activision, we are proud to announce that the worldwide launch of Destiny will happen on September 9th. Accordingly, the Destiny Beta will kick off in the summer of 2014, available first on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.

Add an invisible keyboard to Android 4.0 and up

If you've ever looked at your Android keyboard and thought, "Man, that thing is just too opaque," then this is a big day for you. Fleksy keyboard has left beta and is available for download in Google Play. This alternative input method uses aggressive autocorrect and gestures to do away with much of the keyboard UI – even making it completely transparent.

Extra screen real estate -- Whether you're using a device with a small screen, or something the size of a Galaxy Note, you'll see more of your apps when using this keyboard.
Impressive auto-correction -- This keyboard offers some pretty solid auto-correction, as it should, since you can't really see the letters you're tapping. Additionally, the gestures for choosing or rejecting suggestions are top-notch.
Novelty -- Remember how cool Swype's tracing method was when you first saw it? Typing on a screen that shows no keyboard is a pretty neat trick to share with your friends and family.
Ready to give it a try? Let's get started:
Install a copy of Flesky on your Android 4.0+ device. The app is free for 30 days ($3.99 after), so if you decide it isn't for you, there's not much to lose.
After installing, you'll need to enable the keyboard and set it as the default choice. You can do this through the Settings > Language & input menu, or just open the app and it will guide you through the process.
When your keyboard is configured, the tutorial will start. You'll learn the gestures used for auto-correction, spacing, punctuation, and other tips.

After you finish learning how it works, you can make some other adjustments in the app menu, such as color theme, typing sounds (toggle and volume adjustment), and haptic feedback.
Then, just head into any app and start using the new keyboard. To switch layouts, swipe down with two fingers to use the small version, and then again to use the invisible mode. When you need to type a password, it's very likely you'll need to switch back to a visible layout.

Google’s Latest “Nexus TV” Takeover Plan

Google has been developing a “Nexus”-branded TV set-top box and could launch it in the first half of next year, according to people who have seen the device or were told about it. 

According to a recent report from The Information, who has a source inside of Google, the search giant will continue its reach into the living room with the introduction of Nexus TV
The device is said to be a set stop box, much like a regular Google TV box, but Nexus TV won’t handle any actual TV broadcasts. Instead, the company will stayed focused on delivering the Web and all of its rich content right to your HDTV, much like they are doing with the Chromecast dongle. 
From what the source states, we could see a Nexus TV box within the first half of 2014, possibly in time for the next Google I/O conference which takes place in San Francisco every year.
Nexus TV? What do you think?

11 Android Launchers and Screen Replacements You Can Download Today

We All Love Android Devices but sometimes the vanilla Android experience leaves us wanting a little more. Thankfully, it’s possible to change the whole look and feel of your Android device with only the minimum of effort – and there is no need to root.

Android launchers, or home screen replacements as they are sometimes known, aren’t anything particularly new but in recent months the idea of completely changing how your phone looks has broken outside of Android geekery and into the mainstream, so we thought it high-time we found out which are the best.
There are obviously a lot more features than we have time to go into for each now, but what we’ve got is a good overview of some of our favorites.


Aviate is one of the newer Android launchers on the scene  - in fact, it’s so new it’s still in invite-only beta mode.
Rather than focusing on providing tools for creating icons, shortcuts and widgets in a whole range of wacky shapes and colors, Aviate takes a smart, mature approach to the custom Android home screen, with the key idea behind it being that it will provide contextually relevant information, no matter what you’re doing.
Aviate 730x294 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
So, once you’ve installed the app and set it as your default home screen, the main screen that you’re met by is the second image above, the one with the dog. The first thing that you’ll notice is that your apps have been automatically arranged into Collections (image three above), like Work, Going Somewhere, Music, Games, News, etc. Naturally, you can edit the apps in these collections and create your own too. If you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, the full list of installed apps can be found on the home screen (and in the image above) to the far-right.
➤ Aviate

Buzz Launcher

Launching in beta back in March of this year, Buzz Launcher is another full homescreen replacement, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect.
Rather than focusing on a particular set of features or core experience – like the context relevance of Aviate for example, Buzz Launcher goes for all-out optimization.
It does this in two ways: either by letting you loose and allowing you to create and customize your own widgets, backgrounds and other icons, or – if you’re a bit short on time – you can select from thousands of the pre-made options that the community have created. On the left, you have the ‘standard’ Buzz Launcher home screen and in the middle there’s one of the pre-made home screens that someone else uploaded. Applying entire home screens to your phone is as simple as hitting install, and then confirming once it has downloaded.
Buzz Launcher 730x408 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
By providing this facility to download (or upload) different home screen packs with almost no effort at all it fosters the sense of community, and users have the option to favorite, comment on, download or recommend particularly good packs. With staff picks and a ‘hot’ packs section, it’s pretty easy to jump straight to some of the best. The right image above is the central store for all the uploaded themes.


One more app that’s still in beta mode, Themer is another home screen launcher that takes the largely pre-made theme route, rather than allowing you to spend endless amounts of time creating your own custom widgets.
As with all the others, once downloaded, Themer appears any time you’d normally see your home screen – so when you unlock phone or hit the home button.
Below, just one of the many themes available to download for free on Themer.
Themer 730x425 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
Adding new themes is easy enough, you simply navigate to the Themer settings menu, or hit the Themer icon in the app drawer. Long-pressing anywhere on any of the home screens also pops up a list of options, from which you can select to download new themes. Then all you have to do is actually pick one. They’re free and more are being added all the time. It’s worth noting that first time out you’ll be prompted to log in with Google or Facebook before you can download a theme – it requests basic access to your account information.
It strikes a balance somewhere between Aviate and Buzz Launcher, by providing you with options to change icons, wallpaper and other things you’d normally be able to customize with Android, but doesn’t do it in an overwhelming way.
➤ Themer

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is a bit more straightforward than some of the others here – providing you with  a slightly tweaked version of a normal home screen – and tools to further fine-tune it to your liking.
On first install it will ask you if you want to import a home screen from another custom launcher, or the stock Android setup.
Nova import 730x637 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
The biggest change to the normal home screen operation is that it’s based on a revolving 3D cube UI. So, when you scroll left or right to move through the home screens, it actually revolves – it’s a pretty nice, and importantly, fluid effect that doesn’t seem to slow things down, which can’t be said for other 3D UIs we’ve seen. Mostly though, things look a lot like normal by default, although there are features under the surface to make customizations.
Nova custom 730x639 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
What Nova is great for is taking a productive approach to your home screens. If you find yourself looking for certain device settings frequently, you might want to do what I’ve done (above right) and add all the Nova Actions to one home screen. I popped on a clock and a Sound Cloud widget too. Most of the pre-made Nova Actions widgets are used to quickly jump to frequently used settings and options.
Although not the most fully-featured, Nova Launcher certainly has some appeal, and there’s also a Nova Launcher Prime available for $4/£2.60, if you’d like more customization options.

Espier Launcher

If what you’ve got is an Android phone, but what you really like the look of is iOS, then the Espier Launcher might be worth a quick look.
‘Inspired’, let’s say, by the look of Apple’s mobile OS, Espier has recently been updated to reflect some of the changes rung in by the arrival of iOS 7.
Espier 730x313 11 of the best Android launchers and home screen replacements you can download today
Combining the look of Apple with the features of Android might sound like a dream scenario for some, but the app is much more of a one-trick pony than some of the others in this list. While there are other themes available, if iOS is really what you’re after, then you’ll probably stick with the default.

Dodol Launcher

The Dodol Android launcher is one of the simplest in this list, and it’s for that reason that it made the cut.
Once installed, and much like some of the others, new themes can be easily applied that will quickly change the look of your home screen in just a few clicks. If you don’t like the default one shown below, there are plenty more that can be accessed and downloaded via the Dodol Theme store, they seem to be mostly free too.
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The only slight hiccup in the process is that it’s not quite fully integrated – each theme has to be downloaded via the Google Play store. Clicking the link on the Dodol themes page launches you straight into it though. As we said, just a few clicks and your phone can look quite different…
I particularly like the infinite scrolling home screen and the independently scrolling dock at the bottom. Scrolling the dock left or reveals a + sign where you can add shortcuts for up to five more apps. Changing all the icons, as well as backgrounds, widgets, and app drawer appearance when you select a new theme is also a nice touch.
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As well as just changing the appearance, Dodol also, by default, places a few useful tools – like a memory cleaner to free up cache and options to change the ringtone and system fonts – right on the home screen. The cleaner icon (although it looks very different in each) can be seen in both sets of screenshots above. It doesn’t offer anywhere near the level of personalization in terms of creating themes or widgets as some of the others, but for some people that might well be a good thing.

Everything Home

The Everything Home launcher is another in this list that still comes with a beta tag attached, but it’s one of my favorites.
Instead of focusing on customizable everything, Everything Home has got a job to do: making your phone use more efficient.
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It does this by basing all pretty much all actions around search and context. So that box in the image above that says “I’m thinking about…” is central to getting what you want out of Everything Home.
The general idea is based around the idea of smart folders, so if you don’t want to search, you can just click on a smart folder to view the contents. Two examples of the pre-made smart folders are shown below, but you can create your own as you see fit. As before, it returns results from installed apps, as well as from across the Web.
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So, while Everything Home doesn’t perhaps approach personalization in the same way as some others, that’s a good thing in this case – its dynamic home screen approach might add more value than innumerable widgets.

Smart Launcher

Smart Launcher is one this list for its overall slick presentation. From the minute you install it your phone looks different, and the home screen has been rearranged into different categories.
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Tapping the icon in the lower left corner of the image above takes you to your list of apps organized into categories vertically down the left side of the display. Tapping a different category takes you to a different list of apps. The categorization isn’t always perfect, but it’s pretty accurate and you can fine tune it to your heart’s content.

GO Launcher EX

GO Launcher EX is one of the best known launchers in this list, and can boast more than 100,000,000 downloads to date.
Along with millions of downloads come thousands of different personalization options, and a thriving ecosystem of other content. It provides apps, games, themes, wallpapers and options to manage all your installed apps in one place.
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While I wouldn’t call it slick or minimalistic, it makes up for it in features. With more than 10,000 free and premium themes to choose from, you should be able to find one that you like.
If you love knowing what’s going on with your phone, from the minute you install GO Launcher EX you’ll see plenty of options to download a load of different utilities via Google Play. One of my favorite options, a virtual must if you use this launcher is the GO Locker (shown below left), which let’s you jazz up your lock screen. Like the themes and wallpapers, there are hundreds to browse and download.
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Another is Toucher Pro (above center), which has a whole load of themes of its own that can be downloaded and used. Toucher Pro puts a little button (at the place of your choosing) on the screen. Tapping it brings up a list of different recent information, such as notifications. There’s also a handy app called Clean Master, which can be downloaded for free directly from the default home screen (above right).
Little touches like offering to auto arrange the full list of apps are also particularly handy if you have hundreds installed, which, by the time you’ve used GO Launcher for a while you might well have.
However, these free tools and customization options come at the price of adverts, or you could pay to download the Go Launcher Prime version which costs $5.99/£3.66. As well as removing ads, purchasing the pro version adds a few other features, like app lock and gesture support options.
It’s not the prettiest, and it’s not the fastest, but if you like options – check out GO Launcher EX.


ADWLauncher is a lot like GO Launcher EX and offers a similar set of all-encompassing tools to modify the look and operation of your home screen, including: quick deletion of apps, customizable gesture controls, Appwidget Picker (Android 4.1+) to quickly add widgets to the desktop and even options to resize your screen margins, should you so wish. Like most of the others in this list, it also offers a list of alternate themes accessible via the options menu, or downloadable directly by searching Google Play.
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Allows you to organize groups of applications, or individual ones however you want and in a variety of different styles  - however, some of the more exciting options are reserved for ADWLauncher EX users, which costs $3/£2.26.
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It also allows you to tweak the animation effects between home screens, but like with some of the other options, the more extravagant options will require the premium app.
Somehow, it manages to provide more customization options than you’ll find in most other launcher apps, but in a way that isn’t quite as overbearing as Go Launcher EX can sometimes feel. There’s a useful guide to the launcher’s functions on first install too, which is handy for new users.

Action Launcher

Action Launcher is one of the newer launchers on this list and is well worth a look if you like a no-nonsense and slick approach to your desktop and apps.
Primarily it takes the navigation of your phone to the edges of your screen with its Quickdrawer and Quickpage options docked on each side. Accessing the Quickdrawer (an alphabetical list of apps and widgets, shown on the left below) is achieved by pressing the icon in the top left corner of the home screen in the center image below. Or you can just swipe from the left-hand edge of the display.
Accessing the Quickpage pop-up can be done by swiping from the right-hand side of the screen. A beta feature that provides access to Quickdrawer and Quickpage while in any  app and not just the home screen is available to Action Launcher Pro ($1.99/£1.09) users
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Another feature of Action Launcher that makes it stand out is the ability for it to create pop-up widgets on the fly for any of the apps you have installed that have widgets. 
The company calls this feature Shutters, and you do it by swiping down quickly on any of the apps that have the ‘shutter’ icon. For example, the camera icon on the home screen in the image above (middle) is widget-enabled, swiping down on it pops up a temporary widget displaying the photos stored on the device (below left). It’s particularly useful if you just want to have a quick peek at Twitter or check a bus timetable.
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The image above-right shows of the integrated universal search that’s included in the Action Launcher, which will sort through all your content, like apps, contacts, music and more.
Aside of enabling one swipe access to features, the premium version also allows for further tweaking of the look the launcher, with support for things like icon packs, changing the icon scale and individual icons, the ability to use Shutters within a folder and options to change the Quickpage and Quickdrawer backgrounds.
Featured Image Credit – TheRealTechGeek


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