apus launcher

Sponsored App Review: APUS

May 12, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

APUS Launcher is an Android launcher that focuses on being lightweight, while also offering users all of the extra features that they’ve come to expect from third-party homescreens. APUS launcher features an emphasis on making it quick and easy to access apps on your device, as well as find new one to install. Those that spend a lot of time on the Internet will appreciate the built-in search app that offers up information from all over the world as well as a quick way to search contacts, apps and more on your device. APUS Launcher is easy to theme with lots of free themes available as well as new wallpapers all the time. It’s infinitely customizable and we’re sure that more themes will be coming to the launcher soon. For now though, let’s read on to see what APUS is like.

You’ll need to download APUS from the Play Store and then make it your default launcher. To do this, just head on over to system settings and find the “Home” entry, this is if you’re running Android 4.4 or above. If not, just hit the home button and choose APUS as the default choice.

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One of the first things that APUS did, which I thought was odd, was to speed up my phone. I had not asked APUS to do this, and I really don’t want just another task killer on my phone.

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Thankfully, this can be turned off in the settings along with the app suggestions as well, which is nice to see really.

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APUS strikes a balance between common aftermarket launches throwing everything on one screen and keeping everything neat and tidy. The app drawer here is great, and the homescreen feels like an Android homescreen, rather than some other launchers that try to ape iOS.

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Not only does it have an app drawer, something that’s sorely missing in competitors, but it also features neat, universal folders that automatically organize apps and games neatly for you.

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After I spent some time with APUS, I found a really nice theme – which was free – and set a few things up. Here’s the result:

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Do you see the dangling little charm in the top-right corner? Yeah, that’s an ad for an app and it’s a recurring theme throughout APUS, sadly. While these can be turned off, it would be nice to not see this as default behavior, as it can come across as a little pushy.

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This shot above is of APUS’ sort of equivalent to Google Now, and it’s a neat little way of helping users find commonly-accessed sites in the region, as well as Daily Deals on Amazon. It’s nice, but again, I could do without so many of these suggestions by default. If you’re a Google Now fan, you can still perform Google Searches here, as well as being able to use whatever search engine you like, really.

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There’s a lot of great themes on offer for APUS though, that’s for sure.

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Another area that launcher fans will appreciate is the settings menu, which has all sorts of neat little helpful additions on offer including the “Other Settings” entry which will allow you to turn off app suggestions.

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No launcher of its type would be complete without fancy transition effects now would it?

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A lot of other third-party launchers think that we don’t need an app drawer, and frankly that decision is idiotic, so I’m glad to see that APUS has chosen to use an app drawer, a very handy and easily navigated one at that. The organization doesn’t stop there though, as there are neat sections you can swipe through that make finding and browsing through apps an absolute breeze. Those features alone make APUS great, add in lots of speed and responsiveness and you have a great launcher. Then, there are the ads. There’s a suggestion of which latest app or game to download worked in to practically every screen, and I’m less than impressed by this. Sure, developers need to make money, and I get that, but a flat-out purchase fee to remove these suggestions would be favorable as they really do get in the way of an otherwise pretty damn good launcher.

Ratings

  • Speed (5/5) – I have to hand it to APUS, this is easily one of the faster launchers that I’ve spent time with.
  • Features (3.5/5) – There’s a lot on offer here, and I LOVE the organized app drawer and smart folders, but the app suggestions are annoying. They’re easily turned off, but it’s off-putting default behavior for a homescreen app.
  • Theme (4/5) – Another highpoint for APUS, this is a great-looking launcher and the plethora of themes available only makes things better.
  • Overall (4/5) – It’s super-quick and there’s a lot of great features on offer, plus it looks great. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and the app suggestions just get in the way, with little added value.

Pros

  • Good-looking launcher overall, with a good use of color and a great framerate and style.
  • App drawer as well as organized folders are brilliant to see in a launcher like this, and they work brilliantly.
  • Lots of settings and neat little toggles and such to play around with, including a neat notification drawer item, too.
  • Theme fans will love the simple and professional-looking themes that are easily applied, with many of them for free.

Cons

  • Could be an overload of features for some users, and at times it feels like there’s less customizing things than battling with features nobody asked for.
  • The app suggestions are too frequent and too distracting out of the box, but they can be turned off.

All-in-all, APUS Launcher is a decent offering and it’s one that offers good organization with lots of settings and options. The app drawer on its own is a great feature to see here, but when you add in all the other features like a Google Now-esque online hub, smart search options as well as hundreds of themes to quickly and easily customize the overall look and feel of the app. The game and app suggestions however, are more than a little in-your-face and there’s a definite taste of feature creep here with a lot of features on offer that average users might not appreciate. Still, APUS is very configurable, and you can easily turn off suggestions and rein things in a lot.

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