Sunday, April 22, 2012

GO Launcher EX

GO Launcher is another example of a clear Android advantage. This app, available for free in the Play Store (formerly the Android Market) brings the ability to customize your phone to a whole new level. Instead of only being able to change things like the lock screen, wallpaper, or widgets displayed, you can change the over-all theme of your phone. As the screen-shot above shows, it's more than just a slight color change: it's a full-out make-over for your phone. Express yourself with another Android advantage!

App Profile:
Type: Customization
Platform: Android
Developer: GO Launcher Dev Team
Reason for Downloading: You want to customize the snot out of your Android phone!

At first when I was introduced to this App, I was very skeptic. The whole customer skin thing has been done before, and not very well. In fact, I'd actually downloaded this app over a year ago and uninstalled it without ever even trying it out because I thought it was too complicated. Well, they've changed some things since then and I've been very happy with it. It turns out, this is even a great app for people who want to better organize their phone with customer app folders. It's really something revolutionary that I just needed to give a better chance to. Now that I have, it's worth it.

The first and primary objective of this app is to help you make your phone the epitome of customization. It isn't just a new wallpaper... it takes the whole theme and layout to a new level. It wasn't even just the over-all look of the home-screen - it incorporates the app tray, the lock screen, and even the app icons. I was able to make something completely unique and completely me and then easily change it to fit the mood I'm in or just for something different. There are TONS of options and in this review I have a screenshot of some of my favorite ones, but this is by no means the limit.

The first one I did was a coffee theme. I love coffee. It's what I'm drinking right now and a lot of times it's what powers me to be able to write these posts. So, obviously, it's what I'm plastering all over my smartphone (in a non-wet type of way, please).

Notice in the screenshot to the right, the apps I have displayed on the front screen are matching the theme. This is because each theme has these customizations built-in. The apps that most people would use or have on their phones (Facebook, Play Store, Camera, Calendar, etc...) are all fully customized by the theme. The ones that aren't so frequently used are either not customized at all or - in some cases - actually just a smaller version of the icon normally used with the theme surrounding it. It makes for quite the attractive display.

One of the great things about Android is that there are so many free or cheap widgets to download as well. You'll notice on the first screenshot in this review that the clock widget I have is a free clock widget available on the Play Store. The one on the coffee screenshot is a great one because you can change the color of the numbers and of the date listed underneath to match the theme you currently have.

Moving onto the App tray, you can see in the screenshot to the left that it looks quite a bit different than most Android app trays. The sweet thing about GoLauncher themes is that it actually allows phones to make folders for their apps that normally wouldn't have that feature. One of the (many) things that makes the Samsung Galaxy S II so great is that it allows you to do this, but most Android phones don't allow you to. With GoLauncher EX, every phone can!

The transitions between home screens are also fully customizable. That means when you flick back and forth on the home screen, you can add transitional effects in between. One of my favorites was, "Chariot." In that transition, all the apps from the page you were just on roll up into a wheel and move off the screen while all the apps on the new page roll on like a new wheel and then go to their assigned places on the screen. Check out the next screenshot for a visual of that happening.

The "Chariot" transition

Another part of this is that there are custom lock screens you can add. They have you do specific things in order to be able to access different parts of your phone faster and easier. Example: with one lock screen I found, if I want to quickly access my camera I can simply turn the crank displayed on the lock screen in the opposite direction of where I'd normally turn it just to unlock it and it would unlock the phone and bring my straight to the camera screen.

In the custom lock screen to the left, you can see that if I turn the crank to the right I can go right to text messaging and if I turn it even farther to the right I can go right to the phone, whereas if I want to merely unlock my phone to the home screen, I can opt to turn it left.

As you can see, GoLauncher EX is more than just a customization tool for your phone, it's an optimization tool for you phone as well. It goes beyond Zedge in that it's not just another place to find pictures for your wallpaper and lock screen. It brings it to a whole new level of customization.

As far as costs go, the app itself is free. There are some themes that are free on top of that, but some themes cost money as well. They average anywhere from $0.99 to $3.00. Some are higher, but very few. Go download now.  Well... after you check out the rest of the screenshots below.

1 comment:

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