Nova Launcher Prime Review

Nova Launcher Prime Review

Sep 19, 2012

Android defined mobile customization. Third-party launchers exemplify that customization, and competition breeds a great selection, and it takes an awful lot to stand out from the crowd. At first glance, it seems that Nova Launcher Prime from Android third-party heavyweight TeslaCoil Software just might be able to do it.

Nova packs a productive punch. I am picky about my homescreens, and Nova became the horribly indulgent uncle. I was resizing widgets in no time, and working on animations, theming and more.

I was a huge fan of the LauncherPro. The combination of tweaks (like sliding docks and icon hiding) appealed to me. Nova seemed to incorporate a lot of these features, and more. I found Nova’s UI smooth, with it natively giving me access to its menu and the device’s menu, as well as wallpaper. The initial five homescreens were snappy, and the pop-out animation of the application drawer worked without a hitch. I thought that it incorporated some of the better aspects of Sense, and actually improved upon it.

Widget re-sizing is nothing new; it is an almost expected feature in any third-party launcher replacements. Nova makes it easy by using an adjustable grid to facilitate sizing. Thus, I was able to make widgets that were truly my own.

As if that is not enough, as noted earlier, I was able to change the icons using themes. Customization is where Nova truly shines, and I appreciated the ability to use themes made for ADW and Go (other popular launchers for Android OS); I was able to find dozens icon sets in the Google Play Store and XDA Forums. I could also hide icons I didn’t want to appear in he app drawer, and also able to adjust the number of icons in the dock.

Two features I truly liked were the gesture-based button functionality and the sliding docks. The former created the ability to make one dock button do an additional action based on type of interaction — interactions like either press, swiping up or down, zooming in or out and double tapping, among others. As an example, I was able to create a direct dial action as an alternative action for the phone icon in my dock. The latter gave me easy access to icons in any screen by swiping.

I liked Nova way more than I thought I would. I mourned the fact that there was not a social widget, and wished for a hub-type functionality that allowed the downloading of icons from within Nova itself. Still, I am sure that most people will love Nova, and will be pleased enough to make it the default portal to their devices.

Theme Thursday – Thanksgiving and Forever Thankful

Theme Thursday – Thanksgiving and Forever Thankful

Nov 25, 2011

Editor’s Note: Do the Black Friday crowds have you down? Want to remember why this is a holiday weekend in the first place? Then enjoy this week’s Theme Thursday on a Friday. Freaky Friday will return next week at its scheduled time and place! Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all!

This week’s Theme Thursday is another double-feature, each with a Thanksgiving theme to help you celebrate the holiday. The first ADW Launcher theme to be featured is called, aptly enough, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving comes with a cornucopia of 150 custom icons, each featuring a different app icon within its very own horn of plenty. As you can also see, the custom wallpaper depicts a scene of the Android decked out in Pilgrim’s attire as he hunts the wild turkey for the feast.

This theme, which runs on ADW Launcher is only US$1.25. You can find it here on the Android Market.

The second half of our double-feature is Forever Thankful from MommaDeuce.

This theme depicts several decorative Autumnal scenes and items inspired by the season. It contains 35 wallpapers in addition to assorted custom icons, docks and other elements to give your Android device the look and feel of a Fall harvest time scene.

You can find Forever Thankful on the Android Market for US$1.49.

Each of these themes will require ADW Launcher, a home replacement utility. ADW Launcher allows you customize several different elements of your Android’s graphical user interface all at once simply by switch themes or customizing existing themes to use any icon, wallpaper, dock or other element already installed on your Android device. Even the way the app drawer behaves can be customized to your liking, making it an extremely versatile utility that allows for a truly unique experience. ADW Launcher is available for free on the Android Market. However, to use custom docks, you will need ADW Launcher EX, available on the Android Market for US$3.32.

From all of us here at Android Rundown to everyone out there, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Theme Thursday – Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o

Theme Thursday – Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o

Oct 27, 2011

It might not be science-fiction, but this week’s Theme Thursday is definitely a double-feature!

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween with a theme for ADW Launcher and thought last week’s Tha Flesh was just a bit too extreme, Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o are a lot more friendly.

First up, Tha Pumpkin carves up over 720 of the famous gourds into the easily identifiable shapes and symbols of apps for your Android device. It’s all the fun of digging into a pumpkin without any of the mess! And the best part is, they’ll never rot away. You can have the memory of happy Halloweens all year round.

Next, Tha Jack-o features more than 720 icons in the same unique style of Tha Pumpkin, but this time, illuminated from within. These spooky lanterns are just waiting to greet trick-or-treaters on a darkened doorstep, and you won’t have to worry about any nasty tricksters smashing them in the street, as they live right at home on your Android device. You don’t even need candles!

Each theme is built for ADW Launcher, a custom home screen utility that radically alters the graphical user interface of your Android phone or tablet. By switching to ADW Launcher, you can use these custom themes to quickly and easily change everything from icons to wallpapers and more, even the way the app drawer behaves can be easily changed! One caveat is that to use the custom docks included with these themes, you’ll need to purchase and install ADW Launcher EX, available on the Android Market for US$3.32 and includes many other features not available in the free version.

Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o are each US$2.99 and available on the Android Market. However, you can download free versions of Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o to see how you like them before purchasing. Happy Halloween!

Theme Thursday – Tha Flesh

Theme Thursday – Tha Flesh

Oct 20, 2011

As Halloween shambles ever closer, we prepare for its arrival with a theme that is certainly not for the faint of heart! It might be a good idea to turn back now, if you have a weak stomach. However, if you dare to witness the grisly screenshots of this terrifying theme for ADW Launcher, well, we won’t be held responsible for whatever happens next. This week, for Theme Thursday, we present to you Tha Flesh.

Tha Flesh is a bone-chillingly gruesome display of blood and gore, done up with shreds of ripped skin, stitches and the living dead. It’s the perfect “gross out” theme for any horror fan or zombie fetishist looking for a darker take on ADW Launcher themes.

As a theme for ADW Launcher, obviously, you’ll need to have ADW Launcher in order to see the changes made by installing and running Tha Flesh. ADW Launcher is a home replacement utility that allows you to completely customize the graphical user interface of your Android device. Icons, wallpapers, dock bars and so much more. Even the way your app drawer behaves can be customized a number of different ways with ADW Launcher. With ADW Launcher, you can give your phone a radical new look simply by selecting a different theme. It’s that easy.

With Tha Flesh comes more than 720 disturbing, custom icons; a set of nightmarish wallpapers and hideous custom docks. (Note that custom docks require the purchase and installation of ADW Launcher EX).

You can find Tha Flesh on the Android Market for $2.99, but there’s always the chance that it may find you, first. Or, if you prefer to take it for a test spin and see if this theme bites you the right way before purchasing, download the free version which comes with considerably fewer icons and features, but gives you a good idea of the sick and twisted imagery that will haunt your nightmares for weeks to come.

Theme Thursday – Sense

Theme Thursday – Sense

Oct 6, 2011

When selecting a theme to feature on Theme Thursday, I usually go for something eye-catching but also simple and elegant. This week’s theme, Sense, is no exception. While the interesting and colorful backgrounds are pleasant to look at, it’s the etched glass icons that keep pulling me back. Take a look at the screen shots and see what you think of it.

As I mentioned, the icons are my favorite aspect of this theme. The beveled glass squares with each application’s graphic etched onto it is very attractive, and the subtle touch of gold as the outline of the Android peeks out from the corner is also a nice touch. Each icon is quite classy and delicate, although they might be difficult to tell apart — especially if you’ve got a particularly busy wallpaper.

As the author states, there are more than 1200 icons included with this theme. I’m not about to count them in an effort to confirm this claim, but suffice to say, most of the applications on my phone are supported. If anything, it explains the size of the theme, coming in at 15 MBs.

As usual, this theme requires ADW Launcher to run; it’s not a stand-alone application. ADW Launcher is a home replacement utility that allows you to customize your graphical user interface in many ways. From backgrounds to icons, docks and even the way the app drawer works, all of these elements are easily customized using themes. Themes such as Sense change almost every element of the interface just by selecting it within ADW Launcher’s settings. While ADW Launcher is free, you’ll need ADW Launcher EX to support the custom docks and extended app drawer features. ADW Launcher EX can be found in the Android Market for US$3.32.

Sense can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.

Theme Thursday – StyGian Dirty

Theme Thursday – StyGian Dirty

Sep 22, 2011

This week’s theme for ADW Launcher is StyGian Dirty, a delicate weave of textures, patterns and a muted, pale color scheme. With 11 wallpapers, 11 docks and more than 240 custom icons, it’s sure to catch a few eyes when people see it.

You will need ADW Launcher to install StyGian Dirty; it’s not a stand-alone application. ADW Launcher is a custom home screen replacement utility which gives users complete control over the look and feel of their Android device. With ADW Launcher, you can customize your wallpaper, icons, number of screens and much, much more. You can even customize your app drawer, completely altering the way it looks and displays your apps. ADW Launcher is a lot of fun, and custom themes like StyGian Dirty are just part of what makes it great.

As you can see from the screen shots, StyGian Dirty consists of a number of background designs and icon images overlaid with several textures in a washed-out, pale color scheme. The stony textures and other patterns certainly make it feel rough and gritty, not exactly “dirty,” but I can see what StyGian Studios were going for.

One thing I will note is that the images on the icons are a bit hard to see. With more contrast and less brightness, the images might have “popped out” more, making them easier to see. As such, it is kind of hard to tell which icon is which at a brief glance.

I also admire the custom docks, ranging in design but still fitting in with the theme. Of course, you will need ADW Launcher EX to take advantage of the custom docks, but it’s worth purchasing as it brings a few more features with it.

StyGian Dirty is available on the Android Market for US$1.25

Theme Thursday – Industrial

Theme Thursday – Industrial

Sep 8, 2011

Holy rusted metal, Batman! If you like the look of dirty aluminum diamond-plate, rust, rivets and heavy-duty machinery, this is a theme you’ll definitely want to take a look at. For the true grunge lovers, Industrial is an ADW Launcher theme that’s aimed to please.

Industrial features more than 80 rust-covered icons in various shades of brown. Plus, you’re getting 4 new docks to go with each of the 4 wallpapers included as a set. Or, you can mix and match to your heart’s desire, using any of the docks with any of the wallpapers, allowing you to make a truly filthy, custom theme.

Industrial requires ADW Launcher to run (although, you’ll need ADW Launcher EX to take advantage of the custom docks). ADW Launcher is the customizable, theme-able home replacement utility that lets you completely change the graphical user interface of your Android device.

This is a newer theme, having hit the market very recently, so the icon pack is a tad skimpy. The good news is that the author is accepting suggestions for new icons. So, if you decide to purchase the theme, feel free to email them with requests if you don’t find a custom icon for your favorite app.

If you’re tired of squeaky clean, slick graphics and “pretty” themes that don’t quite fit your personality, Industrial should be just blue-collar enough to prove to the world that you’re a hard-working, no-nonsense kind of girl! (or guy… just saying.) Then again, maybe you’re a softie, at heart, but still want a theme that makes people feel like they need a Tetanus shot just from looking at it? Well, leave the Rust-Oleum and WD-40 at home, and prepare for some serious lock-jaw.

Industrial is available on the Android Market for US$1.12