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The One Real Thing Iphone Users Are Missing Out Android LaunchersBy Expert Author: Ariel Brady
Some might say the question presented above represents a constant battle between two very different mobile operating systems. We are all aware of this battle, because we have all participated in it, either as the “casualties of war” or as the “innocent bystanders”. However, when urged to pick a winning side, it is clear that the Android operating system boasts one very major and specific advantage over iOS: Its customizability options.
Sure, your iPhone might have been jail-broken a few years back, Cydia being your new (and confused) best friend, and might offer you a few interesting tweaks to your operating system. But that's not very exciting. However, in Android, you are completely free to customize your entire operating system. How? Easily. By using Launchers.
A Launcher is the name given to your Android's user interface. Using a Launcher allows you to modify your Android's home screen, your keyboard, to add widgets... basically, you can change your entire phone's interface. These modifications are utterly impossible to perform in your standardized iOS, but are allowed in the Android operating system due to its massive flexibility.
There are various kinds of launchers which are available under Google Play, AKA the Android Market, which is your primary destination for all of your favorite Android applications. Major launcher types are as follows:
1. Theme-Based Launchers – Launchers capable of modifying your device's entire theme, without interfering with any of its functions. For instance, Nova Launcher has loads of themes to choose from, that can instantly revitalize your device’s home screen without a hitch.
2. Launchers with tweaking abilities – Launchers which are capable of completely modifying your phone’s interface. Visually impaired users, for example, can use BIG Launcher for automatic customization of their call history, to enlarge their home screen icons, to add speech recognition and many, many other features.
3. Contextual Launchers – These Launchers can adapt themselves according to your different habits, preferences and taste for specific applications. Such a Launcher is EverythingMe, which targets the user's current needs based on his phone usage history, and can predict his next action in order to assist him.
But what happens if one Launcher has several specific features that suite you, but you've fallen in love with another Launcher's abilities? Well, this is the really fun part – just install as many launchers as you'd like on your phone simultaneously to enjoy maximum capabilities. Yes, it's that easy.
Customizing your Keyboard –
Do your fingers ever get tired when using your iPhone's keyboard to type emails, notes or even messages? Did you ever wish your could personalize your iPhone's keyboard? Well, that's tough, because that's probably never going to happen. Unless, of course, you're willing to jail-break your iPhone, thus leaving it completely defenseless against those notoriously-known viruses out there.
However, the Android operating system offers many different options to customize your phone's keyboard by changing its look, feel and functions, all within a matter of mere seconds. For example, in some of these modified keyboards, such as Go Keyboard, you don't even have to type: You can simply swipe your finger in specific, personally predefined, patterns in order to type, making it faster and more accurate.
Modifying your Home Screen –
Your iPhone home screen will basically remain the same, no matter how you try to improve it. Sure, you can move this application from one screen to the other or change your background image, but that's pretty much it.
However, when using Launcher apps, such as Nova Launcher, you can easily personalize your home screen design, create icons for your different folders, add scroll effects, hide unused applications... You get the idea. Moreover, new features are constantly being added, so there's no actual limit to users' customization level. It will simply keep on improving progressingly.
Widgets of your choice –
One of the more up-and-coming terms we encounter on our web strolling is the obscure “Widget”. A Widget is an independent application that can be embedded into third party sites, programs or platforms. We can use these Widgets to even further customize our Android mobile device, as some Launchers include a variety of them . These Widgets can contain news bulletins, weather forecast, sports scores and many other features that can be embedded wherever we like it, whenever we like it. Needless to say, this neat trick is not available for iOS.
To Conclude –
In this ever-evolving mobile ecosystem, where users dictate their will upon their own devices, the iOS continues to appear as archaic and is in serious risk of being left behind. However, the rapidly growing Launcher market, which has just begun testing the waters, already offers users with many new and shiny new features to be played with.
So, if you are unsatisfied with your phone's current outlook, and you are looking for a user-friendly interface, with infinite customization possibilities - then congratulations, you've picked a side! Android is with a doubt the operating system for you.
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