Description: Metro UI Launcher 8 is an Android launcher for smartphones and tablets that, unsurprisingly, brings some Windows 8 to Android. It’s based around the new Start menu that Microsoft introduced some time ago now and it’ll bring Windows 8’s look to your Android smartphone or tablet. Apps can be launched as tiles on your start screen and the app drawer acts like it might on your PC or laptop if you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1. You can change the wallpaper in Metro UI Launcher 8 and it even includes the charm bar and search functions that Windows 8 users will be familiar with. The question is however, does such a launcher have its place on Android?
How it Works: If you want to play around with Metro UI Launcher 8, all you need to do is download it from the Play Store. Then, the next time you hit your home button you can just choose it from the list. From there, you’ll be greeted with what feels like a Windows 8 Start menu.
When you hit the Start menu on your device, you can take a look at all of your apps in a Windows 8 style start menu.
If you want to pin an app to your Start Menu, you can easily do so by holding on an app listing and just selecting the option, like I have done with this BBC iPlayer app.
There’s a whole host of options that you can play around with as well.
Those looking to customize things can do so with a lot of settings like the colors of accents and applying icon packs, like Metro looking packs available from the Play Store.
One of the most convincing Windows 8 features on offer is the charms bar, which can be pulled out from the right hand side just like it is on your PC or laptop.
Opinion: My gaming PC is running Windows 8.1 right now and well, I’ve never been that impressed with Windows 8. However, that’s because my desk is not a touch environment, where Windows 8 makes sense is more on the likes of the Surface and convertible laptops. Which is why Metro UI Launcher 8 actually looks good on tablets, I couldn’t imagine using it on a smartphone, but an 8-inch or larger tablet, this could offer users the same sort of look and feel that they’ve been getting on their PCs or laptops. I was however, disappointed with the overall performance of Metro UI Launcher 8 and found it to run much slower than most other launchers I had tried. With some further attention to detail and a performance boost, I can imagine Metro UI Launcher 8 being a much more appealing launcher for tablet users.
- Speed (3/5) – Even on my G Pad with a Snapdragon 60o, I found Metro UI Launcher 8 to be slower than most other launchers out there.
- Features (4/5) – With a good offering of Windows 8 touches here and there, Metro UI Launcher 8 is a great launcher for those looking to get a bit of Windows 8 on their tablets.
- Theme (4/5) – A decent look and feel, this definitely brings Windows 8 to Android and details like the clock and the charm bar really help sell it.
- Overall (3.5/5) – It’s a decent launcher, but with some worrying speed issues, it’s hard to recommend this to anyone that has a slower device, but those with the latest Snapdragon 800 line of tablets should be okay.
- Charm bar and clock in the bottom corner really help sell that Windows 8 look and feel.
- Fans of the new Start menu will have a lot to love here.
- Works well on tablets, making good use of the space.
- Lots of different options to configure and change to your heart’s content.
- Very slow on devices, needs a performance boost.
- Settings revert after 5 minutes in the free version.
Conclusion: Metro UI Launcher 8 is a fairly decent launcher, but it’s far from perfect. It’s got some issues when it comes to speed, which I hope are worked on as that seems to be the biggest issue with it right now. There’s a whole host of settings that people an tweak with, and it’d be good for those with tablets that also spend a lot of time with Windows 8 machines. It’s got all the right touches like the charm bar as well as the Star menu for an app drawer, it just needs a speed boost.