Smart Launcher Team has finally released the next version of its Smart Launcher home screen replacement and customization tool, Smart Launcher 5, to the Play Store. However, it's worth pointing out that despite taking the number eight spot in top-grossing personalization apps, it is still in beta. Bearing that in mind, it hardly functions as though it's in testing and offers a huge number of advantages over many other apps in its category. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of ways to customize and tweak the aesthetics. But this launcher is mostly aimed at those who want a simple way to change things up without having to go through too many settings.
To that end, Simple Launcher 5 will even neatly and automatically organize applications by type into a multi-folder widget on screen or in the app drawer. Meanwhile, the overall theme will change to match whatever wallpaper is chosen and hundreds of themes for that and icons are built right into the app. That allows the entire setup to be changed at once. The latest additions to the app primarily bring things up to speed with the latest Android innovations. The notification bar can be hidden, icons are adaptive, there's a smart search bar that can look up anything on a device or perform calculations, and customizable gestures have been included. It effectively has all of the features anybody could want from a launcher – widgets can even be moved around without being linked to a grid – without most of the hassle. The only real caveat is that Smart Launcher 5 will take some getting used to for those who've never used Smart Launcher. That's especially true for those coming from other popular launchers but the learning curve is not too steep.
Of course, it might be expected that because this is a new app in the Play Store, users of the previous Smart Launcher – Smart Launcher 3 – will need to pay to unlock features again. That absolutely is not the case, according to the app's description. Paid features will transfer over to the installation of Smart Launcher 5. For those who hadn't purchased the previous pro version, the cost is a bit steep. However, it doesn't seem too bad for a fully featured Android launcher replacement at $6.99 via in-app purchase.