Earlier today, you might have seen the news that Nokia, fresh from selling their device business to Microsoft has rebooted themselves somewhat with the announcement of the N1, a 7.9-inch Android tablet running Lollipop. While the hardware is pretty interesting, thanks to some of the best specs available for a device, it’s the software that’s got many of us curious. This isn’t the Microsoft-maligned software from the Nokia X and nor is it Google’s image of Android, it’s something in between. Think of Lollipop built from the AOSP, without Google Apps, add a dash of Nokia look and feel and that’s what we have with the N1.
That Nokia look and feel is centered around the Z Launcher, a new type of launcher for Android that aims to make it as easy as it possibly can be for you to get to the app you want. This includes the ability to draw the first letter of an app to have it suggested to you. Much like other launchers, the Z Launcher suggests apps that you use regularly depending on what time of day it is, like social apps in the evening and more work-related apps during the day. This feels like an application designed by the team responsible for MeeGo software on the ill-fated N9, rather than the Microsoft inspired software from the last few years. The launcher itself was announced earlier this summer as a limited, closed beta program. Now though, it’s available for all to download from the Google Play Store.
When I say all, I’m not saying that it works with every Android device as, somewhat ironically, it doesn’t want to install on my Nexus 9. A tablet that’s running Android 5.0 Lollipop with the same aspect ratio as the N1. Still, it worked on my Xperia Z2 just fine. So your mileage may vary here, but again this is a beta for a reason. Click the link below to install it on your Android devices and let us know how you like it.