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The 20 Best Android Launchers And Home Screen Replacements You Need To Download Now

The 20 Best Android Launchers And Home Screen Replacements You Need To Download Now

While Android devices remain a dominant force in the mobile media market, they do not always deliver the most compelling experience to users. This is due to their uniform look and nature, which is a typical feature of any mass produced product that is designed to meet a wide range of consumer demands.

This is why developers have created the concept of Android launchers and home screen replacements, which enable you to customize the visual aesthetic of your device. While the concept itself may be relatively tried and tested, however, it is only recently that mainstream consumers have embraced it fully in the quest to personalize their handsets.

With this in mind, it is worth considering the best android home screen replacements and the impact that they have in revolutionizing your Android user-experience. Consider the following.

Aviate

If you are new to the concept of Android launchers and home screen replacements, where better to start than with one of the more recent market additions? Aviate has evolved considerably from previous incarnations, with the result that it boasts a more mature set of customization options and smart technology that delivers relevant information in real-time. With both pre-set category sub-headings and the capacity to create unique collections, customizable images and variable homepage layout options, Aviate is the smart choice for modern Android users.

Aviate

    Nova Launcher

    If you are a relatively inexperienced Android user with less advanced technological skills, you may prefer a simpler customization tool. Take the Nova Launcher, for example, which is a straightforward feature that enables you to subtly fine-tune your device and home screen. This launcher is unique in that it uses 3D cube UI technology, which creates a revolving home page and fluid visual effect that adds a different dimension to your navigation experience. Despite this, it does not allow you to make drastic changes to your screen layout, which means you can maintain an interface that is easy to follow and understand using preset themes.

    SONY DSC

      Themer

      In terms of simplicity and pre-determined layout options, there are additional tools that can help you to redefine the look of your Android device. The Themer launcher is one such program, as it delivers established themes to users who would rather not spend their time customizing unique widgets and visual effects. This simple tool appears whenever you visit your home screen, and you can access a host of layout options by navigating the Theme settings menu at the top of your interface. Not only are these options free to access, but developers are also adding new home screen replacements on a daily basis.

      Themer
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        Buzz Launcher

        While the development teams behind Aviate and Themer have focused on enhancing the smart capacity of Android devices and simplifying the user experience respectively, others have taken a more ambitious route to market. Buzz Launcher is a full home screen replacement app that delivers an all-out optimization package to users, for example, which in turn enables them to create unique widgets and backgrounds while accessing numerous downloadable screen packs. The app offers a far greater scope to users and allows them access to a wider range of design options, although it is probably best suited to technologically aware individuals with experience of the Android market.

        Buzzlauncher

          Apex Launcher

          In many ways, the Apex Launcher represents the modern face of the mobile industry. Like all Android launchers of its type, it includes standard features such as customizable icon grids, transition effects and variable home screen gestures. In addition to this, however, it also offers two separate versions to customers, with the second being a paid application that supports a wider range themes and visual concepts. The free version should be more than adequate for the majority of personal users, particularly those who wish to create an easy to navigate layout.

          Apex Launcher

            Action Launcher and Action Launcher Pro

            Although a relatively new addition to the consumer market, the Action Launcher and Action Launcher Pro have made a significant impact during 2013. Once again designed as free and paid versions of the same concept, these tools are unique in that they focus on the use of applications rather than delivering a wide range of customization options. Simply by featuring a left-hand panel that offers instant access to your favorite applications, these tools enable you to navigate your menu more quickly and in a far more efficient manner. Another key benefit of the Action Launcher is that it includes an unique feature called ‘covers,’ which allows users to tap an individual icon and launch the default application associated with it.

            Action Launcher

              SF Launcher Beta

              Increasingly, there are a growing range of applications that attempt to differentiate themselves from key market players. Take the SF Launcher, for example, which borrows heavily from Google Now and the clear cut interface adopted by the world’s leading search engine. By designating nearly a third of the top of the home screen to a traditional clock and date widget, it leaves the remained of the space for you to customize with individual folders and app icons. By also offering a wide range of dark themes and visual effects, users can create a customized interface that retains a clearly iconic and instantly recognizable appeal.

              SF Beta Launcher

                Holo Launcher

                Given the rate with which new Android devices and operating systems are launched, it can be hard for consumers to keep pace. The Holo Launcher is therefore an extremely viable application, as it enables individuals with older Android devices to integrate ground-breaking designs and themes into their layout. With popular features including a scrollable dock, variable icons and an excellent array of colors, the Holo Launchers provides a foundation from which users can create a modern and appealing interface. Once again there is a paid version of the tool for professional users, which justifies its fee with application drawer tabs, notification badges and additional icons.

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                Holo Launcher

                  91 Launcher

                  A solid option for those in search of a free Android launcher, this tool is a new entrant to the market with a huge selection of themes and transition effects. The latter are particularly effective, as they enable you to slide between alternative home screens and any custom widgets that you have created. The benefit of this free option is that it can be easily trialed by anyone who is looking for a new launcher or viable home screen replacement, and its sheer wealth of visual effects makes it well worth further inspection.

                  91 Launcher

                    GO Launcher EX

                    One of the more traditional and longest standing Android tools on the market, the GO Launcher EX is completely free and easily accessible by a wide range of users. It does not have a paid version, meaning that it is easier for consumers to access a full range of features and premium themes. Go Launcher EX is therefore an extremely purposeful application, equipped with multiple features even for the broadest range of tastes. It is also compatible with all Android devices of 2.0 or above, which enables a wider range of user to enjoy its benefits.

                    Launcher

                      SPB Shell 3D

                      At this stage, it may be worth introducing an additional dimension to the world of Android launchers and home screen replacements. SPB Shell 3D is leading the current charge of three dimensional launcher replacements, featuring a full range of unique transitions and visual effects. Including a 3D home screen, widgets and the eye-catching presentation of colors and shades, it is ideal for advanced Android users who love nothing more than creating a wow-factor around their phone. While this paid launcher can hardly be described as cheap with a download price of $14.95 (£9.45), it is compatible with Android devices 2.1 or above and genuinely unique within the market.

                      SPB Shell 3D
                        SPB Shell 3D
                          SPB Shell 3D

                            TSF Shell

                            On a similar note, those with slightly reduced budgets and a love of three dimensional interfaces may wish to invest in the TSF Shell home screen replacement app. It can be downloaded for just $9 (£4.99) through Google Play. Some have argued that it boasts even more features than the more popular SPB Shell launcher. Including intuitive gesture controls that make it easier than ever to organize and access application icons, it is equipped with cutting edge technology that enables it to stand out in the existing marketplace. So while it may be tempting to follow the crowd and download the coveted SPB Shell, more savvy Android users may well prefer the cost-effective TSF alternative.

                            SPB Shell
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                              Next Launcher 3D

                              The most expensive of all 3D Android home screen replacements is the Next Launcher, which has been designed by the same team that innovated the wide range of Go applications. Costing an estimated $16.99 (£10.50) to download, it is suitably equipped with technologically evolved features which more than justify its inflated price tag. Including stereoscopic three dimensional screen previews and a rotatable dock, it is an extremely powerful launcher that has become extremely popular on the consumer market. The developers have now also launched a free version of the launcher, which retains 3D capacity despite offering a minimal range of design features.

                              Next Launcher 3D

                                Launcher 7

                                It is easy to forget that when Android devices first emerged, users were keen to adopt that launchers that replicated the popular iOS aesthetic. This trend has dissipated in recent times, however, especially since the release of the brand new Windows phone. The Launcher 7 application has therefore been designed to make Android devices look and behave like the Windows Phone 7, relying heavily on the integration of a 2×1 scrollable grid with tiles that can be customized according to your precise needs. If you are a fan of the tiled layout favored by Microsoft, this launcher serves as an ideal and freely accessible starting point.

                                Launcher 7

                                  Launcher 8

                                  On a similar note, the recent launch of the Windows Phone 8 has caused a significant stir in the mobile industry. As a result of this, many switched on Android users are looking to replicate the look of this device, and the Launcher 8 has been designed to help them achieve this. This tool features a set of Microsoft tiles that are even more customizable than their predecessors, available in variable sizes and also translucent to allow the wallpaper to remain visible behind widgets and app icons. Once again this launcher is entirely free, while also compatible with all Android devices of 2.2 and above.

                                  Launcher

                                    The Yandex Shell Launcher

                                    Innovation breeds evolution, and this is certainly the case with regards to the 3D launcher market. One of the latest advancements has emerged in the form of Yandex Shell, which approaches creating three-dimensional home screen replacements in a far more subtle and understated manner. Borrowing heavily from the MIUI custom ROM, it adopts a clean aesthetic and simple widgets that help you to create a pleasing 3D interface with minimum fuss. While this launcher is free to access, however, it is not available in all countries and therefore, you will need to check availability before making a final decision.

                                    Yandex Shell Launcher

                                      Tile Launcher

                                      The Tile Launcher Beta is another application that has sought to replicate the Microsoft experience for Android users, although it has stopped short of completely imitating the technological giant. While it has only just emerged from the development phase, it will offer a customizable and scrollable tiled interface, where each segment will contain an actionable icon or widget. There is also a sliding application drawer for instant access to your most popular items, and support packs that facilitate the switch from alternative launchers.  Considering that it is a free-to-access launcher, this range of features is well worth consideration.

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                                      tile-launcher

                                        Vire Launcher

                                        Another free Android home screen replacement tool, the Vire Launcher delivers many of the 3D effects and transitions offered by more renowned paid alternatives. A relatively new application, it also features automatic themeing of all UI components including icons, widgets and folders. While the design elements remain somewhat rustic and simplistic, the Vire Launcher is different from any other application on the market and well-worth a try given its immediate and freely accessible nature.

                                        vire-launcher-2

                                          The Smart Launcher

                                          While developers seem to take variable approaches to designing their home screen replacement apps, the majority tend to focus on creating quick and easy-to-navigate interfaces. This is certainly the approach taken by the team behind the Smart Launcher, who have designed a simple home screen with five icons to represent your most widely accessed applications. In fact, so simple is the design ethos that it does not even support widgets, meaning that the free version of the Smart Launcher is ideal for those with limited technological skills. There is a paid version, however, which at least allows for greater customization and the support of widgets and more advanced features.

                                          Smart Launcher

                                            ADW. Launcher

                                            Finally, this list would not be complete without the inclusion of a launcher that has survived the test of time among Android users. The ADW. Launcher is something of a relic on the Android platform, and yet is has survived beyond its initial and considerable impact on the market. Today, it retains almost cult status among loyal followers, especially those with older Android devices. With configurable home screens and the capacity to use gestures as a way of navigating your chosen interface, it can certainly hold its own in more exalted company. There is also a huge array of themes and skins for users to choose from, which is not bad considering it is essentially a free application.

                                            ADW Launcher

                                               

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                                              Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                                              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                                              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                                              No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                                              If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                                              But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                                              Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                                              Let’s dive straight into the list.

                                              1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                                                If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                                                RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                                                  If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                                                  This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                  3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                                                    This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                                                    Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                    4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                                                      Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                                                      Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                      5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                                                        There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                        6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                                                          Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                                                          Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                          7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                                                            Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                                                            This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                                                            Available on iOS and Desktop

                                                            8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                                              This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                                              This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                              9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                                                Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                                                MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                                                  1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                                                  Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                                                  11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                                                    When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                    12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                                                      This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                                                      Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                      13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                                                        This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                                                        Available on desktop (macOS)

                                                                        14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                                                          Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                                                          The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                                                          15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                                                            Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                            16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                                              Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                              17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                                                This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                                                Available on iOS and Android

                                                                                18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                                                  Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                                  The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                                                  So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

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                                                                                  Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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