Nokia's Z launcher (as pictured above) has become something of a quiet success for Nokia, and it's the basis for the N1 tablet that's been selling very well in the Far East. Essentially, the Z Launcher is yet another launcher that tries its best to make it quicker and easier for you to get to your most used applications as well as get to those contacts you talk to most. In that regard, it's relatively simple, offering a list of apps, games and contacts on your home page that are frequently used. However, the party trick of Z Launcher is what many of its fans stick around for.
With the Z Launcher, you just need to draw the first letter of an app or contact to see them pop up. For instance, I might want to load Fruit Ninja up, so I would draw an 'F' on my display and all apps beginning with 'f' will be displayed, I can further sort through these by adding an 'r' after that. You quickly get the idea, and while it's an awkward way of using a launcher for me, many have adapted to its unique way of launching apps quite well. It's still in beta right now, but is available for most Android devices to download from the Play Store. My Xperia Z2 is supported just fine for example, but my Nexus 9 isn't, sadly.
Nokia continues to update the app with new features, changes and bug fixes and this most recent update is a big one for fans of customizing their homescreens. Now, the Z Launcher features the ability to use custom icon packs downloaded from the Play Store (or anywhere, for that matter). You just need to head to the preferences menu and choose an icon theme. The full changelog is included below and there are a few shots of icon themes in the gallery below. Are you a Z Launcher convert? If so, let us know why!
– Preliminary support for icon packs
– Long press on text – you can uninstall or hide app app from the ranked list, in addition to existing long-press behavior such as long-pressing the icon to drag it to the favorites bar
– UI improvements for a wide range of Android devices
– Improved design and performance of carousel widgets
Improved Scribble handwriting recognition
– Play store icon will load Play store without pre-searched text (We heard you on this one!)
– Bug fixes