One of the beauty of having an Android device is the sheer amount of customization that is available to you, right at the tips of your fingers. Everything in the UI can be customized, and in many cases, you don’t even need to root the device to able to do it.
The Home Screen on an Android device can be said to be the literal face of your phone or tablet, and users sometimes go to great lengths to customize it just the way they prefer it. As a result, there are now various home screen apps or launchers available on the Play Store, each of which offers a different home screen experience over the stock look.
Installing a new launcher can make your droid feel like an altogether new device, and if it happens to be one styled after a different mobile OS, more so. A launcher handles the way you interact with your device, including deciding where you can put your app icons, widgets etc to enhance your experience with your device.
XDA Senior member rob43 has just released a brand new Windows Phone 8 styled home screen app called Tile Launcher, and has made it available for download from the Play Store. Tile Launcher replicates the Windows Phone 8 Tiled home screen look, combining it with the fluidity and smoothness of the stock Android Jelly Bean 4.2 launcher.
Some of the key features Tile Launcher includes are:
- Based on stock Jellybean 4.2 Launcher
- Optimized scrolling. Very smooth on most devices.
- Completely customize any tile and defaults for new tiles
- Works with all Windows Phone and Windows 8 icons and tile backgrounds
- Shortcut/widget settings (title, text color, background color, images, transparency)
- Desktop settings, change rows/columns, gap size
- Wallpaper scrolling options
- Multiple screen (Work in progress – Long click drawer to toggle layouts at the moment)
Now that we’ve had a look at the features, let’s check out some screenshots of Tile Launcher in action:
And here’s how you can customize your app icons on the home screen:
As you can see from the screenshots above, Tile Launcher transforms you Android homescreen, giving it that distinctly cool Windows Phone 8 look, while still maintaining the core Android experience underneath. Plus the level of customizability that is included is more than enough for the die-hard custom home-screen fan.
All tiles are multi-directionally resizable and the transitions are super smooth. Adding a widget to the home screen works the same way as it did earlier, except that Tile Launcher automatically resizes and restyles the widget. Even the background color and app icons in each tile can be further customized to your liking.
That said, Tile Launcher is still in Beta, which means that the odd bug here and there cannot be ruled out. While it should work perfectly fine on most devices, I did encounter a few force closes on my Galaxy Nexus which is running Android 4.2.1. But with active support from the dev, I’m sure that compatibility issues with 4.2.1 will get fixed very soon.
In any case, a few hours with this launcher should have you showing off a brand new Windows Phone 8-esque tiled home screen on your Android device to your friends. If you like what you see, and on the lookout for a different home screen experience, go ahead and hit the link below to grab Tile Launcher from the Play Store.