How-to: Using custom launchers for Android

Many casual Android users may not realize that Android’s home screen, app drawer, app dock, and a whole assortment of settings associated with them, can be customized rather heavily and easily.  The program that controls all of these settings on your device is called the launcher.  As I’ll explain further in this post, new launchers can significantly extend your phone’s functionality, enhance its performance, and provide a refreshing visual refresh to boot.  In short, it’s a win-win combination.

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Making the leap: From dumbphone to smartphone

Five years ago, if you told me the future of computing was a mobile device, I would’ve politely disagreed, pointed out that a phone could never combine the functionality and ease of use of my trusty Windows desktop, and gone back to downloading cool extensions for Firefox.  I might’ve also resisted the urge to laugh in your face.

By most accounts, I should now be laughing at myself.  Earlier this year, based on at least one scientific study, the number of smartphone users surpassed dumbphone users in the United States.  In 2011, smartphone manufacturers shipped over 470 million units, which itself was a 58% increase over shipments in 2010.  It’s no mystery that the popularity of mobile devices has been skyrocketing in the past several years, and it’s likely we’re still only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

So, although some 41% of adult Americans are still clinging to their flip phones and clamshells, the dumbphone, like the dodo, shall pass.  Thinking about jumping ship and casting your lot with we enlightened smartphone users?  If so, this post is for you. Continue reading “Making the leap: From dumbphone to smartphone”