There's a new Pixel-inspired launcher available for those who want a similar experience to Google's flagship Android handsets but with a bit more freedom to express themselves. In fact, this new launcher – which is called Lean Launcher – was actually built on top of one of the first root-free launchers to bring that U.I. to non-Pixel devices, which was released last year by developer Amir Z. Unfortunately, as with that other launcher, some features of the app prevent it from being available on the official Google Play Store due to package naming conventions. However, for those feeling adventurous enough to give it a look, Lean Launcher adds quite a few tweaks that may make it well worth consideration.
To begin with, customizing Lean Launcher is very straightforward. Each of the new tweaks is available via a simple long-press on the home screen, followed by a tap on the Home Settings option. That ease of use is bound to be appealing for those who want a new launcher experience but without having to fiddle with a ton of new interface elements. For starters, in Lean Launcher, many of the adjustments can be made via simple toggle switches. That includes the ability to remove Google's At A Glance clock and information widget, allowing users to use their own widgets. But that also includes a toggle to get rid of the bottom-anchored search bar or hide the app drawer's search bar. Beyond that, there is also an option to remove the "spring" animation effect that shows when a user scrolls too far down the app drawer. Meanwhile, users can declutter the app drawer further by completely hiding apps that aren't ever used with a simplified list menu. On the theme front, the Lean Launcher will allow users to set a dark or light theme manually or automatically based on the wallpaper, and icon packs can be installed and set. Once everything is set up perfectly, another toggle allows for desktop locking, in order to prevent accidental changes.
Of course, it goes without saying that users should be cautious about downloading applications from sources outside of Google Play. Users will also need to open their device's security settings and allow app downloads from third-party sources in order to install Lean Launcher. Once installed, it is generally a good idea to turn that setting back off. Thankfully, the installation itself is easy enough and the app seems to work with just about any Android device. The download can be grabbed via the button below.