The ability to run custom launchers on Android devices is something that, to many, gives the Google platform the edge on its competitors. We feature plenty of launchers here at Redmond Pie, each of which tends to offer its own unique quirk, and and today’s offering is no different. Named SF Launcher, it is currently in early alpha stage, but already bears the hallmarks of a very promising home screen alternative.
As the alpha tag implies, it is still a little rough around the edges, so as such, we only recommend installing on a device you wouldn’t consider to be your "daily runner".
As you can see from the images, the higher section of the launcher presents your usual, quick-reference information such as time and date, as well as a graphic of a the San Francisco / London / generic Google Now skyline which changes depending on the time of day.
Underneath that, you get the widgets section, and adding / removing widget cards is a piece of cake. You simply tap on the "Add…" button, and by swiping across, you can also conveniently switch widget cards. A long press of a widget brings about the option for you to remove it, and while one cannot yet rearrange them, said functionality is, according to the developer, forthcoming.
Please note, SF Launcher is currently portrait-only, and while it will run on Android tablets, it has yet to be tailored to do so. In addition, the current alpha release has issues with updating widgets, so in a sense, it’s only really in experimental stage at his point in time.
Still, despite its shortcomings, it shows much promise, and if you have a spare Android smartphone knocking about, you should give it a go by clicking on the download link below.
The developer seems pretty keen to move onwards and upwards, but of course needs the help of users, so by downloading and submitting bug reports you can help turn SF launcher into one of the very best available on Android.
But hey, we get the gorgeous UI of Google Now right on our home screen, what else do we really want, right?
(Source: SF Launcher Alpha for Android on Play Store)
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