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5 Launchers Every Android User Should Consider Using

5 Launchers Every Android User Should Consider Using

If you are an iPhone user, or are a novice when it comes to customizing your Android device, you are probably unfamiliar with what a “launcher” is. To put it into simple terms, it’s essentially a layer of software that runs on top of the base layer of Android loaded onto your smartphone or tablet.

If you have a Samsung phone, the TouchWiz interface they use is a form of launcher (albeit a clunky one, at least compared to a number of third party offerings). Really, all Android phones use a launcher of some sort, except for Nexus devices, which run using a vanilla version of Google’s mobile software.

With that out of the way, you’re probably asking yourself this question: “why do I need a new launcher?” Well, for one, your mileage may vary. There are a number of reasons to want to use a third party launcher on your Android device, namely, to increase its speed, to improve its usability, etc.

Below are a few launchers that are proven to add to the Android experience in a multitude of ways. Some will make your device faster, some will add functionality, and others will do a combination of both.

1. GO Launcher EX – launch apps with gestures and access more transition effects (free or $5.99 for the paid version).

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    GO Launcher EX boasts that over two hundred million people use its services, which makes sense given its sleek and streamlined presentation. What makes this launcher particularly interesting is how it gives you the ability to customize your homescreen in the exact way you want it without compromising your device’s performance.

    You also get access to thousands of free themes, meaning you won’t get tired of playing around with the look of your phone’s homescreen any time soon. Additionally, Go Launcher offers even more advanced features as a part of its paid option, such as multi-touch gestures and additional transition effects.

    2. Action Launcher – an innovative way to access the content you want faster (free or $4.99 for the paid version).

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      Action launcher is all about making it both interesting and easy to use all of your apps. It utilizes a number of clever graphical interfaces, which they dub “Quickdrawers” and “Shutters” to make it easier than ever before to access your apps whenever you need them.

      Additionally, Action Launcher includes a feature I first witnessed on my iPhone when I downloaded iOS7 — the theme of your phone changes based on the wallpaper you choose. So, no matter what wallpaper you select, Action Launcher will ensure that its theme’s colors match the image you selected as best it can manage.

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      3. Nova Launcher – a classic that still serves as a jack-of-all-trades today (free or $4.00 for the paid version).

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        While Nova Launcher may not be as snappy or as flashy as others, it gets the job done, as seen by the multitude of great reviews it has acquired over the years.

        As a one time user of Nova Launcher, I can attest to the fact that it is definitely a joy to use compared to something like TouchWiz. It is fast and offers enough customization options to keep you busy for weeks, if not months.

        4. Google Now Launcher – for those who want the stock Android experience (free).

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          Anyone who has used a Nexus device will be familiar with this launcher. It is essentially Google’s way of giving non-Nexus users a chance to get a sense of what the stock Android experience is like.

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          As such, there are few bells and whistles, at least compared to the stock launchers on say the Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8. The trade off is that the Google Now Launcher runs faster, and gives you far easier access to the Google ecosystem.

          5. Smart Launcher 2 – an automated launcher experience, with customization options for those who want to use them (free or $3.92 for the paid version).

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            Unlike some of the more advanced launchers on this list, Smart Launcher 2 is all about making life easy for you. As such, it automates a number of thing for your benefit, such as organizing apps based on the categories it determines them to be in, and providing you instant access to apps it notices you using frequently.

            For those looking to make their own customizations, Smart Launcher allows you to do that as well though its plugin system, which allows you to install additional features when you need them.

            While Smart Launcher 2 might not appeal to advanced users, those looking to dip their toes into the world of launchers might appreciate the simplicity offered here.

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            Conclusions

            At the end of the day, most launchers offer similar functions and features, with the main difference being how those two things are presented to you. While launchers are great tools and an awesome luxury available to those with Android devices, don’t download them unless you know what you are getting into.

            Indeed, if Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense launchers are working for you, don’t feel obligated to make a change. If, however, you know you want more out of your device and really want to customize your experience, feel free to go all out and try launchers until you find one that suits you.

            Have you downloaded a third party launcher onto your Android device? Do you suggest that others do the same? Comment below!

            Featured photo credit: HTC One/ Rob Bulmahn via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on November 19, 2019

            10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

            Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

            As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

            In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

            Projects and Tasks Management

            1. Monday dot com

              Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

              The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

              The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

              The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

              Check out the software here!

              2. Asana

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                The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                Check out the software here!

                3. Trello

                  Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                  Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                  Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  4. Jira

                    The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                    The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                    The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                    Check out the software here!

                    5. Evernote Business

                      Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                      The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                      Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Communication

                      6. Slack

                        Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                        Check out the software here!

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                        7. Spike

                          Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                          Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                          Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                          Check out the software here!

                          Creation

                          8. Office 365

                            Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                            Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                            You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                            Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                            Check out the software here!

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                            9. Grammarly

                              Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                              Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                              Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                              Check out the software here!

                              Team Analytics

                              10. ActivTrak

                                ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                Check out the software here!

                                The Bottom Line

                                Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                More Productivity Tools

                                Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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