10 things you didn't know your smartphone could do and a few extra |

with its own interface, be it Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense. They spend enormous amounts of time making sure they get it just right, trying to improve on stock Android while standing out from the crowd. But despite their best efforts they can’t please everyone. Features are lacking or forced on you and things just don’t look or feel right. Thankfully there’s a solution. Smartphone makers aren’t the only ones who can develop an interface (or launcher) for Android and many third parties have unleashed their own creations onto Google Play, allowing you to download new launchers and replace whatever one your phone came with. A quick search for ‘launcher’ will turn up many, but some are better than others. Nova Launcher is among the best. It closely resembles stock Android but gives you a number of powerful tools to further customise it, from a scrollable dock, to new homescreen transition effects and the ability to add widgets to the dock. The basic app is free, but a paid for ‘Prime’ version adds even more features, such as customisable gesture controls. Another option, particularly if you want a launcher you can show off with, is Next Launcher 3D. As the name suggests, it uses a 3D effect to make icons pop out of the screen. Fancy effects aside it’s also got a robust feature set, including the ability to create custom themes and app icons. At ]]>

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