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Move and/or remove "APPS" icon in/from app drawer
I am a relative Android newby although I am also relatively technically savvy; I have had a Galaxy S3 (jellybean OS) through AT&T for a couple of weeks (made the move from BlackBerry and Verizon), and I have spent a fair amount of time navigating through the options available in my new phone and organizing it the way I like. But I have hit one stumbling block I have been unable to navigate around, and that is the "APPS" icon in the apps drawer at the bottom of all the home pages, or maybe more accurately described, at the bottom of the "lock" or "dock" screen. I don't want it taking up space at the bottom, or anywhere else on my home screen. I have other preferences as to the way I want my home screen to be organized, and what shortcuts I want to have access to there. But so far, I have been unable to find any way to manipulate that particular icon. I can and have moved/removed any other icon on the home screen or lock/dock screens at will, but not the "APPS" icon.
I just got off the phone with an AT&T tech who told me simply (after she tried it herself while I held) that it can't be done. It is difficult for me to give a great deal of credence to an answer arrived at in that way, or to have a great deal of confidence to the technical savvy of a tech who would develop my answer that way. At least she served me the respect of not asking me why I wanted to do what I wanted to do and then launch into all the "reasons" why I shouldn't want to do that.
So, here it is: How in the blankety squat can I manipulate that icon out of there, short of rooting my phone (which I'm not yet prepared to do, and if rooting would actually suffice); would a custom launcher like Nova Launcher or Go Launcher give me to get rid of it? Or is there something I have missed in the native software that is already on the phone?
Thanks in advance,