Google Play Store is home to many, many… many launchers. You can browse through all kinds of launchers and find the one that fits you most. Nova, Apex, Action Launcher, Smart Launcher, ADW, Go Launcher, Buzz Launcher, EverythingMe Launcher… and so on. If you look hard enough you’ll definitely be able to find what you’re looking for, Android is all about customization and that’s why we love it so much. There is a new player in town, made by a well known developer “Klinker Apps” which already has some extremely popular applications under its belt. Apps like Talon for Twitter, Sliding Messaging and EvolveSMS.
The app we’re talking about is called “Blur – A Launcher Replacement”. It is exactly what is says in the title, yet another launcher out there, though this one is unique in its own way. This launcher is based on Google Now launcher but offers more functionality, the look is very familiar though. After you launch it you’ll get some basic functionality tips and a rather well known Android home screen. The fun begins when you slide from left to right as you would in Google Now launcher, though this time you won’t get a Google Now page but what Klinker Apps calls “Pages”. What are these? Well, they are basically 1 page apps, or extremely functional widgets if you’d like. Klinker Apps opened APIs for developers to create Pages for their own apps so that you can add them via this launcher. Only 2 pages are available in the launcher itself for now, “Blur Info” (more on this later) and a “Simpler Calculator” page. You can increase that number to 4 if you download Talon for Twitter or EvolveSMS which are apps made by the same developer and are already optimized to work with this launcher. There are more to follow when / if developers start messing around with the APIs and optimize their own apps so you can use them with the launcher.
Blur Info Page I talked about earlier looks like Google Now, but it’s not Google Now. What is it then? This is Klinker Apps’ another feature, an open source project of sorts. You are able to choose 3 cards to add to this page, Weather, Alarm and Calendar cards which will give you the necessary information in Google Now-like design form after you refresh the page. Developers are able to create additional cards for their own apps as well. If you however click on Google’s search bar on the top the launcher will re-route you to Google Search app.
This launcher also has some customizability options, like enabling 2 predetermined gesture actions, changing the layout and / or the dock and it has icon support amongst other options. The app is free in the Google Play Store and it doesn’t support ads, which is great. Don’t be scared away by in-app purchases indicator either, it is included because of a “Donate” option within the app, in case you want to support the developer. Note that the app still has some bugs, though we didn’t notice any during the testing period, so that’s encouraging. This launcher is actually a great idea, though its success will depend on the will of the developers to make their apps available within the launcher.