Theme Thursday: Launcher 7

Theme Thursday: Launcher 7

Feb 2, 2012

For this revival of Theme Thursdays I am going to take a look at a wholly different launcher theme. Really, it’s not a theme at all but an entirely different launcher that is a nearly exact port of the UI running on the current Windows Phone 7. Now, I usually am a Mac guy, and ask my PC toting friends I have been known to give Window’s some grief, but, as evidenced by my gushing review of the Zune-themed media player Uber Music, the Redmond giants have been making a style comeback. I was a big fan of the old Zune’s interface and was happy to see it brought over, conceptually at least, to Window’s line of smartphones.

For those out there not familiar with Microsoft’s Mango user interface, it replaces the typical sectioned, widget-based home screens that are customary on Android devices with one screen containing a grid of customizable tiles. These tiles can display web content and house smaller widgets and overall present a much simpler, cleaner display. The major drawback, especially with Launcher 7, is the lack of full widget support, which begs the question: how often are those battery draining widgets used? I would wager not as often as initially thought. Above, I said “full widget support” because Launcher 7 offers widgets within tiles and they work fine but they do appear stretched as to fit the tile’s limited size; therefore this works best on the smaller widgets only.

That aside, say cleaning up the home screen and trying something new sounds inviting, Launcher 7 is definitely worth the shot. I’ve had it on my phone for a while and it just get’s better with each update. The graphics and animations are crisp and excellent font choice adds a subtle grace. Launcher 7, like most custom launchers, is highly customizable, and playing with the tile color and transparencies with different backgrounds is a lot of fun. Beginners might have problems with a fairly steep learning curve, but this is nothing to be afraid of, as trial and error can sometimes be rewarding. Launcher 7 is split into two side-by-side panels, one containing the tiled home screen and the other is the app drawer. Like other launchers this app drawer is customizable and removing items from the list as well as adding them to the main panel couldn’t be simpler.

Overall, I would quickly recommend Launcher 7 to most Android users. Launcher 7 is a beautiful, professional launcher that is more than worth checking out due to its high level of quality and refreshing change of pace.