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.

UberMusic Review

UberMusic Review

Oct 19, 2011

One of the first things I did when I got my new HTC EVO 4G over the summer was find something, anything else, to replace the awful stock HTC music app. On the most basic level a music player has to be two simple things: efficient, and attractive; unfortunately HTC’s music player is neither. On the Android Market there are a bevy of media players, and it’s very hard for one to stand out from the other because their jobs are incredibly simple: play music and don’t get in the way of finding that perfect song. UberMusic, created by Federico Carnales of LauncherPro fame, does just that perfectly.

UberMusic is a perfect port of Windows Phone 7’s striking media player and can be easily skinned to give the classic Zune look, complete with album and artist backgrounds. There are a handful of customization options as well as downloadable skins, but the customization options aren’t too impressive. Regardless, out of the box this is the best looking media player available for Android. Artist photos load with a slight delay the first time they are used but then appear instantly afterword, and the whole app swiftly navigates between panels without any sign of lag.

Unfortunately this app is not perfect. One of UberMusic’s major downsides, especially if you currently use an app like WinAmp, DoubleTwist, or MixZing, is that the number of features offered is noticeably slim. Currently, the only connected feature is scrobbling. If features are what you’re looking for then UberMusic will be very disappointing even with an included live wallpaper of moving album artwork. However, if a simple, beautiful, iPod replacement is what you are in search for when looking for a high-quality music app for Android, then UberMusic should be at the top of your list.

GO Launcher EX Review

GO Launcher EX Review

Jun 22, 2011

The launcher is a big part of the Android experience. Since the launcher controls many things such as your home screens, dock, and app drawer, it’s hard to find one with all the features you need. GO Launcher EX promises to be a great looking, highly customizable launcher without sacrificing your Android device’s performance. How does it stack up against other well known launchers such as HTC’s Sense UI, ADW Launcher, and Launcher Pro? Surprisingly well, in fact.

When you first start up GO Launcher EX, it really doesn’t look that much different than any other launcher. It really starts to shine when you open up the app drawer. Instead of having a boring black background, this launcher uses a transparent app drawer that sits on top of your wallpaper. At the top you have three tabs for your apps: All, Recent, and Running. Those tabs are great for users who like to see what’s exactly running on their phone without having to navigate through Settings. A press of the menu button reveals options to control sorting, create folders, hide apps, and control settings for the drawer. Within settings, you can adjust how the drawer scrolls, what background it should use, transition effects between pages, and how many apps are shown on screen.

Just like iOS, GO Launcher EX supports folders. This is a feature that hasn’t been seen on very many launchers. You can create folders in two ways, via the menu button, or dragging apps on top of each other, iOS style. You can also drag the folders down to the home icon to place them on your home screen. This launcher also comes with the ability to download basic widgets such as a calendar and task manager to place on your home screen.

The customization of this launcher is also quite extensive. You can customize everything from icons and widgets with GO Launcher EX’s themes. Most themes can be found on the market, but for you advanced users, you can also make your own themes with a dedicated Windows application.

Performance wise, GO Launcher EX runs as fast as your other common launchers. I had minimal issues upon opening the launcher, such as waiting for the app drawer to repopulate, or waiting for the transitions to cache. Overall, GO Launcher performed as fast (if not faster) than all of the other launchers tested. The built in application management tools also help with performance because you can quickly and easily kill the apps that you’re not using.

GO Launcher EX does however lack in various areas. This launcher relies on caches a lot; Upon first loading it up you will notice that transitions and the app drawer will be very slow and choppy. This is the launcher building up the animation caches, which can take a few minutes. After a fresh reboot without loading any apps, it ate up around 27MB of RAM, about twice the amount of other common launchers. So, if you are running an older phone, you might want to think about sticking to your current launcher.

While the widgets are free, they are also not bundled in when you download GO Launcher. This isn’t a huge issue, but it is a little bit of an annoyance to go through each one and download them through the market. As stated above, GO Launcher EX also supports themes, though official ones are not free. It’s nice to support the developer, but I would have liked to see some simple additional themes to whet the user’s appetite.

Overall, GO Launcher EX is another great launcher for Android. It provides many features that are absent in other popular launchers, however I feel some of these features would hold certain devices back in performance. The interface the Go Launcher EX Dev Team created is extremely easy to use and functional. This launcher also provides a lot of features that iOS has which may be useful to those switching to Android. It takes the best of both worlds, yet still keeps one of the great features of Android, total customization.