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Third party launchers question.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Oh Dae Su, May 27, 2011.

  1. Oh Dae Su

    Oh Dae Su Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi, just a quick question about launchers. Are there any benefits to them or are they just a aesthetic customization?
    Can anyone recommend one that would be good for a non rooted noobie :)
    Thanks in advance.

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  2. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    Hi and welcome to the forums!

    There are definitely benefits to 3rd party launchers. In my case, I'm hearing impaired, my Evo 4G default dock (Sense UI) includes an icon for the phone app that cannot be removed. I can't use a phone for voice/hearing features so I wanted to remove that icon. I found that I couldn't but 3rd party launchers could. Other benefits include smaller app size, using less system resources, huge amount of customization, themes, and more.

    There are lots of launchers in the market, go to the market and search for launcher and you'll be greeted with a large list. Try as many as you like and see what they offer.

    Some of the popular launchers right now are LauncherPro, Go Launcher, ADW launcher, Zeam, OpenHome, aHome and dxTop but there are plenty more in the market.
  3. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    Personally, I would say if you're not rooted there is little benefit to having a third party launcher.

    I've tried Go Launcher, and Launcher Pro and very briefly ADW. None of them offered anything that was worth having something running on top of the stock HTC Sense Launcher for.

    Always ended up going back to HTC Sense. Simple, stable, reliable. ;)
  4. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    The launcher is just an app, like all other apps. When you run a 3rd party launcher it doesn't run "on top of" the htc launcher, rather in runs in place of the htc launcher. Now, you may see the htc launcher as "running" in Manage Applications, but it's not running.. it's cached.. it isn't using any battery or CPU.

    For more information, please see my recent article about cached apps versus running apps.
  5. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    Maybe I didn't word that quite right (sorry for the confusion)

    What I mean is you cannot replace the launcher. So if you download a 3rd party launcher, you cannot delete the HTC Sense launcher.

    Given that there's not a great deal more a 3rd party launcher can do over the HTC Launcher which you can't delete anyway.

    Original Poster - don't forget though, these are only opinions. The beauty of Android is that you can set the phone up how YOU like it, regardless of how everyone else has theirs set up. :cool:
  6. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert

    Very good point :)
  7. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    Sorry, I forgot to mention - excellent article. I've long since learned of the unnecessaryness of Task Killers, but this is really well written. Nice one.

    You can see proof of this if you use HTC's bookmarks widget. If you have it on one of your home screens, and you don't flick to that screen for a while, it will reload the bookmarks when you flick back to it. This is because Android has closed the widget automatically due to lack of use/needed memory for something else. :cool:
  8. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Extreme Android User

    rooting has nothing to do with custom launchers

    alot of people like sense as its ready made and has a lot of features out of the box. its also polished however there is what makes me hate it, its the same on every device and its pretty boring.

    If you can be bothered custom launchers like GoLauncher EX, LauncherPro you can customise to look how you want it in every way and further more you can find widgets to do some of the stuff sense does like Colorize

    have a look at the homescreens sticky to get an example of the creativity you can get into with custom launchers

    also if you want a basic fast launcher that emulates different devices try HELauncher
  9. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    Using other launchers than the one that came with the phone can be fun.
    Recently I've installed Go Launcher in my friend's SGS and he says he is very happy with it.

    You can't remove the original launcher, because it is a system application, just like other system apps. However, you can set the new launcher to be your default one.

    The benefits include extra features and functionality (like the ability to have more scrolling and transition effects, icon management, extra homescreens, etc), refreshing UI (funny to try Windows 7 Launcher), ability to use themes for the phone.
  10. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    The point I was trying to make is that if you root you can get rid of HTC Sense, and just have the 3rd party launcher. If you're unrooted like me and the original poster, you can't.
  11. DesireMe

    DesireMe Android Expert

    Hiding apps in the app drawer, having it open, scroll and close in a different manner, close running apps from the app drawer, control grid size of screen, control number of homescreens, have scrollable docks with upto 15 icons and swipe response too.

    There's just a few reasons to try a launcher like Go. I couldn't go back to sense, the dock does it for me, allows less clutter and only 2 homescreens to get all i want.
  12. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    ...none of which are a good enough reason for using a 3rd party app over Sense.

    But like I said, everyone's different!
  13. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Extreme Android User

    but it makes no difference anyway as most of the sense features are removed when you use a custom launchers and as you said yourself its only cached in memory and not being used when you are using another launcher

    its in every way irrelevant
  14. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    It's installed though isn't it? Meaning it's taking up space in the phone's internal memory?

    Or do you have to have Sense installed whether you're rooted or not? It was my understanding you could delete it if you were rooted?
  15. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Extreme Android User

    you cannot delete sense if you are rooted, you can flash an aosp rom that uses androids stock launcher and doesnt include sense as its not HTC's rom

    you can only remove sense/rosie if you have s-off (another layer on top of being rooted that needs to be done seperately)
    either way its pointless if all you are looking for is a different level of customisation

    sense does not take up internal storage memory space as its installed to /system/app and not /data/app (data is the internal storage space)
    if its not in use it will only be cached in memory and eve then i think its dropped at reboot unless you call it up again and clear defaults

    Basically you have no reason to uninstall sense as it doesnt take up any "User" space as its a system application.
  16. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    Thanks for clarifying that. I know it's cached when you use another launcher (I have actually tried Go Launcher for a full week and Launcher Pro for about a week and a half, so it's not like I've just dismissed other launchers), and when you flick back to sense it restarts the whole thing (i.e. white HTC logo, etc) but I thought the bones would have had to be installed in internal memory and that you could get rid of it if you rooted.

    I'm due an upgrade in two months anyway so when I get a replacement, I may keep this one and try rooting it. Be an interesting exercise....but that's another topic I guess.
  17. Rastaman-FB

    Rastaman-FB Extreme Android User

    yeah no worries
    rooting is not everyones cup of tea, i was just making it aware that for custom launcher experience or install space it really makes no difference whether you are rooted or not

    what phone you getting
  18. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    I don't know, I was thinking of getting an iPhone 4.... [pause for laughter]

    No, only joking. I'd like to stick with Android and HTC, but the only option I can foresee is the HTC Sensation, which is pretty much the same as the Desire, only with updated software and a bigger processor. I like the idea of a better battery life and the nice screen though. :cool:
  19. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    How dare you! :mad: :D

    Engadget did a review for HTC Sense, and they say the battery rocks!
    Read it here: HTC Sensation review -- Engadget
  20. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    Thanks for posting that - I had to check the article before I knew whether "rocked" meant good or bad, but it looks good. Not overly keen on the soft buttons, but by the looks of things that's the way all the range is going now so it's to be expected.

    I apologise to the Original Poster for this thread getting sidetracked from its original purpose!
  21. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    My advice to the OP would be just to try a few, play with the setup & see what you like (and, as has been said, look at the desire homescreens sticky thread).

    For me cleaner screens, less wasted space (the very unfunctional Sense dock in particular), scrolling widgets for calendar & messages were more than enough reason. I stopped using the Sense launcher within about a week of getting the phone, which was well before I rooted never mind changed ROMs. But others find it's what suits them best.

    Only you can decide, but as most are free or have free versions it's no problem to try them out.
  22. Kibbster

    Kibbster Android Expert

    The sense launcher and dock is one of the most limited you can get.
    3rd party launchers often support custom icons, launcher widgets, folders, swiping, up to 5 icons on the dock and multiple docks as well as custom app trays.

    Sense will allow you to use sense widgets and have a fixed 3 button dock.
  23. deanshep85

    deanshep85 Android Expert

    actually im a little confused at you saying that...so your saying all those 'benefits/changes' that DesireMe said you get with other launchers OVER sense are not good enough reason to change?

    I'd say they were the best reason to change...

    the thing that really grinds my gears with 'Sense' is the damn theme/add button on the right side of the dock...its not needed...as you can either hit the physical menu key and do the same thing or long press the screen..

    Don't get me wrong 'Sense' compared to other manufacturers launchers/UI's is rather nice...and it definately beats the old touchwiz back a few years ago...or the not really different Symbian look...but it still doesnt allow ANY kind of change to it....its basically "DO IT OUR WAY"....yes you can have your widgets etc...but other than that your stuck with the same old dock and forced look the entire time....not to mention 7 screens you cant add to or delete..

    Now me...I use LauncherPro plus...have only 3 screens, a custom dock background...swipe actions on each of my 5 dock icons, coupled with a nice flip transition between the screens and a secondary use of 'Wave Launcher' on top....I'd say to do all that is PERFECT reason to use another launcher and not use sense at all again.
  24. Oh Dae Su

    Oh Dae Su Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks to all who posted, lots of information. Will just try a few launchers and see if I like any :)
  25. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast

    I don't see them as benefits/changes that are worth changing to a third party launcher for. Sense is perfectly capable of doing everything I need it to do and is inherently more stable given that it was designed for this phone rather than for other makes of phones as well.

    What you described with Launcher Pro sounds very fancy, and I'm sure it is. But personally I just tap an icon, and an application opens. Job done.

    As I've been saying all along - we're all different. You like Launcher Pro, and that's cool. That's the beauty of Android, we can have them however we want!

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