Third-party launchers for Android have existed for quite some time. But finding one that strikes the right balance between feature-rich and minimal is tough.
However, Smart Launcher might just fit the bill better than any other option. Here are 11 reasons why it should be your new default Android launcher.
Download: Smart Launcher (Free, premium version available)
1. Universal Search
The centerpiece to why Smart Launcher 5 works so well is an efficient and quick universal search. It’s only a swipe-up gesture away and combs through several types of files to deliver what you’re looking for. That includes contacts, apps, and web results.
In addition, Smart Launcher 5 also pins your most frequent people and apps at the top of the search page, eliminating the need for typing in a lot of instances. However, by default, web search on Smart Launcher 5 is locked to Bing and you’ll need to unlock others via an in-app purchase.
Like universal search, you can replicate other iPhone-only features on Android.
2. Ambient Theme
Smart Launcher offers a host of customization options; one of most nifty ones is an ambient theme setting. Once switched on, the launcher will adapt to whatever wallpaper you’ve set. It overhauls various elements (like the app drawer background and fonts) accordingly.
It’s one of those features you might not notice every day, but will make the overall experience much more pleasant.
3. Black Mode
Another handy utility Smart Launcher comes with is black mode. The setting turns your home screen grayscale, resulting in a less distracting smartphone experience.
Of course, this only affects the launcher, not the rest of your phone. It’s also optimized for OLED screens. So if your devices uses this type of screen, you can even conserve battery life with the feature.
4. Clean and Fluid
In spite of featuring tons of personalization, Smart Launcher is capable of offering a clean interface as well. That further contributes to its performance. Unlike some of its competitors, its smoothness won’t deteriorate in a few weeks because of so many resource-intensive elements running simultaneously.
Even on a low-end phone, Smart Launcher doesn’t show any signs of lag or frame drops. What’s more, app launch times are surprisingly snappier, partly due to the launcher’s custom animation.
5. Smart Categories
Even without the universal search, manually finding an app through Smart Launcher is rather simple too. The launcher segregates all your apps into smart categories, allowing you to browse them without getting lost.
For example, it might create a Communication category for apps like Instagram and WhatsApp. Other categories could be Internet, Games, and similar. You can edit these and move icons around as you please.
6. Vast Customization Options
For people who enjoy altering every aspect of their Android home screen, Smart Launcher doesn’t disappoint. There are dozens of themes, tons of ways to change how the icons appear in various sections, a handful of custom widgets, plus wallpapers and more. You can even resize the widgets beyond what’s usually allowed.
7. Customization Is Fully Optional
If you don’t want to customize, however, Smart Launcher functions perfectly out of the box. So if you’re not someone who jumps right into tweaking settings as soon as you install a new launcher, you should be fine as well.
You can even choose from presets and take it from there. The Play Store also offers other dead-simple launchers if you’re interested in those.
As you may expect, Smart Launcher also has support for gestures and hotkeys. You can link a specific combo to an action or shortcut of your choice. Plus, this works with key presses too.
For instance, you can turn off the screen by long-pressing the back button when at the home screen. What’s more, Smart Launcher can lock your phone as soon as it detects you’ve placed it on a flat surface. However, a good amount of these features are reserved for premium users.
If this isn’t enough for you, learn how to set up custom gestures on Android.
9. Lock Screen
Smart Launcher can take control of your phone’s lock screen too. You can install a compatible custom option from the Play Store and have a refreshed look. While the majority of these are paid, you can try a few for free.
Despite what you may assume, setting lock screens through Smart Launcher doesn’t adversely impact the performance of your phone.
10. Immersive Mode
Smart Launcher also has the ability to hide the status and navigation bars for a more immersive experience. You can get rid of them individually or enter the immersive mode by hitting a global setting. It’s also possible to configure this with a gesture or hotkey.
11. It’s Mostly Free
The best part of Smart Launcher is that it’s mostly free and doesn’t constantly bother you to upgrade. The free version allows access to nearly every essential feature.
For a few supplementary options like the option to turn off the display automatically on a flat surface, you’ll have to spend a few extra dollars.
A Smarter Android Experience
If you’re bored with the launcher that came with your phone, why not give Smart Launcher a try? Whether you want something that’s refreshing out of the box or would rather tweak every element, it has something for you.
And if you like this, Smart Launcher is just one of the stock app replacements you can download for a smarter Android experience.