Free Android Launcher to Give Stock ICS Look to Android Phones

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Apex Launcher is a free launcher for Android devices running Android 4.0 or above to give them a more stock ICS/Jellybean feel. It has been developed by Android Does. It offers lots of smooth transition effects, just like the stock Android 4.0, and looks and behaves in a pretty similar manner. It uses pretty low system resources, and it is highly customizable because of the tons of themes available for it. You can even create folders inside the launcher to group the apps. It offers buttery-smooth transition effects as well. It is also optimized for tablets.

Apex launcher is a must have launcher for all those users who have ICS/JB version of Android, but are unable to experience what the real experience on ICS/JB feels like because of themed launchers by their manufacturers, like the Touchwiz interface from Samsung, and the Sense UI from HTC, which look nothing like the stock Android interface. This launcher also comes in handy when you simply want to boost the speed of your Android device, because this launcher is extremely lightweight and goes low on system resources.
Apex launcher home screen

Features of APEX launcher for Android.

  • It has a very neat and clean interface, which comes very close to the stock interface of Google’s ICS/JB launchers seen on the NEXUS devices. To access the menu of this launcher, you can click on the OPTIONS softkey on your Android device, and a menu will pop up as shown in the following screenshot.
    Apex launcher menuIn the above menu, you can Add home screens (Add), Change Wallpapers (Wallpaper), Change theme settings (Theme Settings), manage your applications(Manage Apps), Go to Apex launcher settings (Apex Settings), go to System’s settings (System Settings), Lock the Desktop (Lock Desktop), or view the help documentation for Apex Launcher (Help).
  • When you click on Apex settings, you will be taken to the following menu in the screenshot below.
    Apex launcher settings
    Clicking the Homescreen settings will allow you to manage the settings of the home screen like transitions etc. You can also change the Drawer settings, Folder settings, Behaviour settings (here you can control gesture settings, etc.), change the theme settings (Change/download more themes for Apex), etc.
  • When you open the applications list, the apps will fly out at you. There are three tabs on the top, namely, Apps (contains all apps on you device), Downloaded (contains the downloaded apps on your device) and Widgets (contains the widgets stored on your android device). To add a widget, you can long press on a widget icon and reposition it on the home screen. There is also a “three dots” menu which contains various other options like Play store (clicking here will take you to Google play store), manage apps etc.
    Apex launcher apps screen
  • The downloaded apps menu will look like the following screenshot. Here, you will only see the applications that you have downloaded from the Play store. You can access this menu by clicking on the DOWNLOADED tab at the top of the application list page.
    Apex launcher downloaded apps screen
  • The Widgets menu will contain all the Widgets that are available for display on the homescreen of your device. It houses all of the widgets, and you can add a widget on the homescreen by long pressing on a widget and dragging and positioning it on the homescreen. The Widgets menu can be accessed by clicking the WIDGETS button, and it looks like the following screenshot.
    Apex launcher widget screen
  • On the home screen, of Apex Launcher, you can reposition folders, shortcuts etc, by long pressing and repositioning them in any area that’s free. Once you leave the icon that you were repositioning by dragging, the place where you leave the icon will be set as its new location.

Some other launchers I covered earlier include: Nova Launcher, Vire Launcher, and 91 Launcher.

What I like about this launcher?

  • Fast and buttery smooth transitions.
  • Lightweight.
  • Gives a stock NEXUS like launcher appearance.
  • High customizability.
  • Optimized for tablets as well.

What I don’t like about this launcher?

  • Some features are locked and only available in the paid version.
  • Supports only ICS and Jellybean devices as of now, so other devices stuck on Android Honeycomb or lower are left out.

Conclusion

Apex launcher is a good app for your Android device. It’s fast and lightweight, and offers a lot of eye candy. Although you need to buy the pro version to unlock the locked features, the free version has enough features to keep most Android user happy. Our only complaint is that it supports only ICS and JB devices, and so other devices are left out. But if you are running ICS or higher, there is absolutely no reason as to why you should not download this launcher!

Get Apex Launcher free.

Supports: Android 4.0 and higher.

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Works With: Android
Free/Paid: Free