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Tutorial: How To Install Custom Launchers For Android & Get Great UIs With New Themes

nova-launcher-android-app

The stereotype that Android phones and tablets have come to be associated with is that they tend to have poorly designed UIs and are predisposed to lag and stutter through even mundane actions such as opening the app drawer.

However, the customizability of Android makes it possible to make both those problems go away (at least to a large extent), thanks to the large number of custom launchers available in Google Play.

The first step of this tutorial is to install a custom launcher app.

Here are some of the most popular ones available in the Play Store:

Nova Launcher
ADW Launcher
Apex Launcher
Next Launcher
GO Launcher EX

Once you’re done installing any of these apps (some of which have some pretty awesome free versions as well), you should simply tap on the Home button / softkey in your phone or tablet. You’ll get a system popup that will ask you which launcher you want to use. The first option will be the default homescreen comes with your phone; look for the launcher you’ve just installed instead (e.g. Next Launcher 3D), and press ‘Always’. Play around the new UI for a while, and you’ll realize the very conspicuous gain in speed compared to your stock homescreen.

After that, move on to getting a new theme for your phone. Android icons tend to be infamously inconsistent, and the likes of Samsung and HTC usually exacerbate that with their consistently terrible skins. There have been a lot of great themes getting launched in Google Play of late. Devs like Sonny Sekhon, Mac Designs and kovdev have some absolutely gorgeous and classy themes for you to apply to your phone.

All this involves some level of mixing and matching before you chance upon the perfect look for your Android device. In all likelihood, you will find just the right combination among the plentiful options available in Google Play eventually. Happy theming!

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