The world is divided into two sections – Phone lovers and Android enthusiasts. Or so it seems sometimes. But in reality, things are not as black and white as all that. I, for example, own an iPad and an Android device, and actually wish I could own a Nokia. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that some Android owners are looking for ways to turn their device into something more iPhone-ish. After all, Android is not only about looks, and having Android’s flexibility along with iOS’s good looks can be a win-win situation.
For these purposes, Espier Launcher (or if you’re running Android 2.1) is perfect. It emulates the iOS Springboard almost perfectly, and is really a must-have launcher for anyone with an Android device who wishes, even if temporarily, to pass it as an iPhone.
General Looks & Folders
After installation, this is what your screen will look like:
The app comes complete with this default wallpaper, which you can change as you would always change a wallpaper on your device. As you can see, my browser icon has turned into Safari, and all my other apps have arranged themselves in an iOS-ish way. With Espier Launcher, you bid goodbye to the regular app drawer, and have to make do with having your apps scattered on the device’s desktop. You can, however, arrange them in true iOS folders and decide which apps reside in the dock.
Long-tap an icon to make them all jiggle (exactly like iOS!) and then place one app on top of the other to create a folder. You have to be rather precise or the folder will not formulate.
You can then change the name of the folder (as long as everything is jiggling). Espier Launcher is very true to the original, and opening and browsing folders looks exactly like the real thing, split screen and everything.
Another thing you’re going to lose with Espier are homescreen widgets. You can place shortcut icons of various types, such as contacts, bookmarks etc., but not widgets. But that’s OK – you wanted an iPhone anyway!
App Switcher Tray
What you won’t lose is the App Switcher tray. It’s even a little bit better than the original. To access it, you need to swipe up with one finger. You can then see all your recently used apps. Long-tap any of them to make them jiggle, and then tap the red icon to remove any of them from the tray.
Swiping left will show you more recent apps, while swiping right will reveal a power-control widget. From here you can easily control things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and so on. It’s very much like the regular power-control widget in Android.
True to an iOS clone, Espier Launcher comes with a true-to-form Spotlight Search. It’s accessed the same way as in iOS – by swiping all the way to the right until you reach it. It searches your apps, contacts, media and so on, and the search is live, so simply start typing to get results. You also get some suggestions, which seem to be aimed at web searches.
Settings & Further Options
There are several things you can control in Espier. One being the sensor, which I have yet to mention. If the sensor is turned on, you can tilt the phone to move jiggling icons between screens. This is not a very helpful feature in my opinion, but if you want to try it, tap and hold an icon until everything jiggles, and while you’re still holding the icon, tilt the device right and left. The icon you’re holding will be moved between screens.
You can also turn off the auto-arrange icon, and access a handy launcher switcher to switch to a different launcher.
Espier ran smoothly on my Acer Liquid E with Android 2.2. This is not a very powerful device, so I believe it should run well on almost any device. If you run into problems, you can access the app’s preferences and turn off Animations Effects. If this still doesn’t help, try turning off the Spotlight Search.
Espier Launcher does an incredible job copying the iOS look and feel. If you’re a fan of Android but secretly (or not so secretly) adore the iOS look, be sure to give it a try. The illusion disappears as soon as you actually tap something, of course, but hey, looks are only skin deep anyway, right?
If Espier Launcher is a bit over the top for you, check out these other 6 cool iPhone themes for your Android phone.
What do you think of this mixing of both worlds? Should people just learn to choose or is it OK to enjoy some of each world? And what do you think of Espier Launcher? Share your opinions in the comments!