Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N00b android owner question about launchers

M3Stang

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So I see a lot of talk on here about launchers. From what I've been reading, nova launcher seems to be the "best" launcher. Go launcher seems to be less of a favorite to a lot of people on here. And Google now is one I just found out about. So is a launcher a theme? Whay exactly IS a launcher? I know that they are in Google play and it looks like a theme to me when I looked at nova. The N4 is my first android phone so TW is all I know and to me it seems pretty ok. To me it's a lot more like ios compared to the theme that the HTC phones have. Sony Xperia phones are pretty ios looking too IIRC. So, what are launchers exactly and what do you recommend and why?

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goin_nil

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

You can think of a launcher as replacing your home screens. They do more than this but that's one of the major features they provide.

Here's my home screen. I use Nova Launcher Prime and set my home screen grid to 8 x 8 to fit more on the screen and to make the icons smaller.

I like seeing as much of the wallpaper as possible and yet still have a lot on the screen without it looking over crowded. I like being able to have more control over the home screen looks (grid size, margin size, folder look, resizing widgets, removing widget padding to get them bigger and closer together, & many more options).
 

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Trigati

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

So I see a lot of talk on here about launchers. From what I've been reading, nova launcher seems to be the "best" launcher. Go launcher seems to be less of a favorite to a lot of people on here. And Google now is one I just found out about. So is a launcher a theme? Whay exactly IS a launcher? I know that they are in Google play and it looks like a theme to me when I looked at nova. The N4 is my first android phone so TW is all I know and to me it seems pretty ok. To me it's a lot more like ios compared to the theme that the HTC phones have. Sony Xperia phones are pretty ios looking too IIRC. So, what are launchers exactly and what do you recommend and why?

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Launchers are alternates to the android experience that your phone provides (in this case, Touch Wiz). They're much more than a theme. They allow you to do things with your phone that the stock launcher doesn't, without the necessity of rooting (jailbreaking in iOS terms) your phone.

While its true a lot of things are visual in nature (changing the look of the icons, changing the way the home screens transition, etc), there's more to most launchers than that. A quick rundown of Nova's features (many launchers share these in some form). You can change the amount of icons/widgets displayed on the page. Touch Wiz has a 4 x 4 grid. Nova allows you to change that to whatever you want (I use 5 x 4 - the extra row is really nice). Nova also allows you to add extra rows (up to 5 total) of quick buttons (the buttons on the bottom that don't change when you transition to other screens). Nova also allows you to easily change icons and rename app shortcuts. One feature I *love* is that Nova lets you lock your home screen setup so you don't accidentally drag/delete icons if you press too long.

That's just a quick rundown. So, alternate launchers not only let you theme your device, but add some functionality (or in some cases, like Google Launcher, strip everything to the bare basics) to your device.

Since most launchers have a free version, and can easily be installed and uninstalled without any harm to your device, my suggestion is to find one you'd like to try and have a go with it.
 

goin_nil

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Don't be afraid to try one or a few. It's not a permanent change and you can easily go back to touch wiz if you want and it will be as you left it. You can have multiple launchers installed and pick and choose at will.

Settings / Applications / Default applications / choose "home" and you can easily go back to touch wiz or any other launcher you have installed without any harm. If you want to chose your launcher EVERY time you hit the home button (that would get annoying quickly), hit the "Clear" button next to the current launcher.

Get tired of touch wiz again and want to switch to Nova Launcher? No problem. It's your choice (something Apple doesn't really give you much of).

It's your phone. Enjoy the freedom!
 

goin_nil

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Personally I prefer the larger grid size (8 by 8 icons) so I can have the icons/folders/widgets as small as possible and see more of the screen, closer to a tablet experience.
 

emerrow

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Another quick question, if I may. I've disabled/uninstalled/changed a lot of the stock settings on my note in order to improve battery life/customize to my liking. If I install a launcher, will all these settings be changed back? Or will my changes remain constant? Thanks!
 

M3Stang

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Awesome info guys! I think I'm going to look into nova. Another question is, is that I've been noticing that the nexus devices seem to be the most "vanilla" android. Is the google launcher basically what the nexus phones are running?
 

nytmare

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Settings / Applications / Default applications / choose "home" and you can easily go back to touch wiz or any other launcher you have installed without any harm. If you want to chose your launcher EVERY time you hit the home button (that would get annoying quickly), hit the "Clear" button next to the current launcher.

I feel silly for asking this question, but if/when I were to swap back and forth between launchers, do I lose any of the customization (i.e., pics, icons, backgrounds, themes, etc.) for each respective launcher? I'm currently using Apex. If I go back to TW, will it look just like it was before I went to Apex? And then, if after going back to TW I decide to go back to Apex, will Apex look just the way I left it? I've never done that, so don't know. TIA.
 

turtlebear

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

I use go launcher pro on mine. I had aviate on my s4 but just didn't seem to fit the note 4 properly. Go launcher comes with a bunch of stuff u don't need but it's easy and simple to use. For some reason Nova seemed to difficult to configure or I just didn't give it enough time.

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turtlebear

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

My home screen

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Trigati

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Re: N00b android owner question about launchers

Awesome info guys! I think I'm going to look into nova. Another question is, is that I've been noticing that the nexus devices seem to be the most "vanilla" android. Is the google launcher basically what the nexus phones are running?

Yeah, basically. Google Launcher is probably the most stripped down launcher there is, so it'll be closest to an 'unaltered' Android experience from everything I've read. However, it's also the least customizable and has the least added features (other than Google Now being standard with a swipe).

Other than just customizing the look and feel, some Launchers also have added functionality you may enjoy. For instance, Aviate Launcher uses your GPS location to switch your home screen and app choices based on your location (home, work, in the car, etc). Other launchers take out the standard 'Apps button' and Folders with quick access trays and swipes (like Smart Launcher). Still others let you write on the home screen to call up apps (Z Launcher).

Once you delve into the world of alternate launchers, you're likely to find something that takes your device from 'nice' to 'amazing'.
 

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