9 Cards is a beautiful smart launcher designed to make your life easier

by: Andrew GrushMay 1, 2014


One of the greatest things about Android is that the experience can be whatever you make it, thanks to custom launchers, icon packs and other apps that allow you to tweak various parts of the Android UI.

What if you are already (mostly) content with your Android experience just the way it is, but wouldn’t mind making it just a little bit smarter? 9 Cards could be exactly what you are looking for. Instead of a traditional launcher, 9 Cards is billed as a “home launcher” that compliments your existing launcher — whether that’s Nova, Apex, or stock Android.

So what exactly does 9 Cards do? Basically the app/launcher automatically analyzes your apps and puts them into special categories. Over time, 9 Cards will further track what apps you are using and when, allowing it to refine the options it gives you. There’s also an “add new” section within each category that will give you app suggestions based on your usage patterns.

Accessing these collections of apps is as easy as sliding your figure up from the bottom (like the default Google Now pattern), or by dragging down from the top right. The latter of these actions will even bring up a mini-toolbar that looks a tiny bit reminiscent of the Unity dock found on Ubuntu.

Some of the features that 9 Cards offers can already be found in contextually aware launchers like EverythingMe, Get it on Google Play but 9 Cards has the advantage of also working on top of your existing launcher of choice. 9 Cards can be downloaded for free from Google Play, though there’s also an optional premium upgrade that offers a few extras for $2.99.

  • I’m a proud beta tester of this app :)

  • MasterMuffin

    Its looks are really nice, but I never find these categorizing launchers easy to use or better than “normal” launchers

    • Anonymousfella

      I try all these but end up going back to Nova.

      • Rick jaan

        so true … cant even use stock launcher …. nova FTW

      • dodz

        yeah but the problem with nova and other launchers is i cant use some widgets in touchwiz like the default weather clock widget, and i dont want to download another weather widget. i think nova is the slickest launcher but not supporting other widgets on touchwiz is a dealbreaker for me. i end up going back to touchwiz.

      • MasterMuffin


    • Exare

      I use Smart Launcher 2. It’s pretty great at categorizing things and it helps me keep a really minimalistic homescreen by hiding the apps until I tap a spot to reveal them. It takes a bit of a BB10 approach at revealing your app drawer, it’s similar to how BB10 reveals the Hub. A new update added a good amount of customization features too so you can really make it what you want, including adding custom icon packs.

      • The new update with customizable categories and popup widgets isnt out yet, it’s in Beta :p

  • MakD

    That launcher looks like pure bull…

  • Albin

    Lot of swiping of (pretty) 3X3 tile layouts. Not pimping for ADW – I’m sure other launchers are similar – but I not only have reduced icons in 5X5 on screen and in my lower launch bar, but the app manager is configurable as a handy sliding group manager across the top. I like my screen clean for my own wonderful photos, and get that plus an apparently more efficient interface.

  • Mur

    This looks just like Aviate…

    • TechTinker11

      Hardly. It shares the same principal of apps when you need it where ever you go. Something I couldnt get to work well with aviate. Besides that its just organizing apps which others have done before aviate, and its in a different style.

  • Luka Mlinar

    I’ve tried a few launchers now and they all have the same flaw; they look overly simple and take away from the sophistication of Android. They make android stupider. This is one of the reasons no one likes WP or Windows 8. We are happy with the stock look and feel, so don’t change it. Try to make it work better and faster. Bring features like Paranoid Androids Hover and i’ll jump right on that.

    • Andrew Grush

      Honestly, I ‘ve used this one a bit now and it’s now bad. The good thing about it is that you still have stock Android if you so wish, this is just something you can “pop up” when you want to use it .. sort of like Google Now. :) Though I do agree with your point overall.

      • Luka Mlinar

        The real question is: will you still have it on you’re phone in 3 months. My money is on “no”.

        • TechTinker11

          Of course not. Will you have the exact same set up in 3 months? Probably not. Thats Android, always changing tweaking. Sometimes its good just to have a week or 2 of something like this. This is still stock android, its just kinda like a redefined app drawer really. And its quite good for that.
          Android is quite simple in itself, more simple than ios in someways. I think what you were pointed at however is how sophisticated you CAN MAKE Android.
          Also your point on “NO ONE” liking WP is also wrong, its actually getting quite a market. Sure its not up there with iOS/Android but its getting good growth. Mainly because of the cheap but performs well factor, but some people do just like it.

          • Luka Mlinar

            I always have the same set up. Stock :D
            But yea i agree that always changing look and feel can be a good thing. On the WP i was referring to the simplicity of their OS. The tile thing seams like a theme and the menu looks like a retarded rainbow. I have a ton of friends. From slackers to menagers of all kinds. I am yet to find someone who uses and likes WP. If they are out there, i don’t see them. And my world is not small btw.

        • MarkMyWordz

          First off, you shouldn’t make a comment about anything being overly simple, the sophistication of android, and blame them for making android look “stupider”. No offense but are you sure it isn’t user error making android look stupid? You could say look more stupid, but “stupider” is not a word.

          now, about the sophistication of android. You are saying that all the launchers are too simple and the stock look is sophosticated? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this a subjective topic so there is no right and wrong, but I think that because of another launcher I have been able to make my phone not only look sophisticated but now also has become more suitable for my personality, more useful in different areas of my life, and feels as though it is now an extension of me. Where as the stock l9ok is kind of a one size fits all because it at first it is used by all droid owners. So it has to appease to everyone, for at least a short time until people decide to use different launchers. Which launchers have you tried? Do you spend a lot of time figuring them out? A good launcher should be challenging enough so that you are constantly discovering new tweaks and hidden features to keep you interested. When you said sone launchers are overly simple thst is what I thought of. If they are too easy to set up and once it’s set you just leave it alone are too boring (simple), to me anyway. There is a level of enjoyment and satisfaction you get when you think you have your phone exactly how yiu want it and then you discover a new tweak that “you can’t live without” and not inky does it add to the customized, one of a kind, home screen you designed, but it also passionate about the droid experience which in turn is why android is continually getting better and better. It is one of the very few products on the market where the consumers feel like they have a voice and they can influence the next generation of products and apps. To me, using the stock look is basically being an iphone user who happens to own a droid phone.

          I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I was an iphone user from the very first generation through the 4s. The iphone is a really good phone. Very efficient, and the app store is pretty amazing. Plus I really like how everything fits together, as in itunes abd the appstore sync perfectly to the iphone which makes managing the stores, the music player and apps, and your music, pictures, abd files easy. It doesnt matter what you are on, from the phone to the tablet to laptop to desktop. It all integrates seamkessly. Android, not so much. But the customization you can do on droid is amazing. Not on the look but the way your phone behaves, responds, and carries out tasks. I just don’t think you are using the phone to its true potential when using stock anything on the phone.

          Sorry for going on a tangent. This is what happens when you convert from being an iphone clone to a Droid owner.

          • Luka Mlinar

            Haha, no problem. I had fun reading it with my morning coffee :D

          • MarkMyWordz

            I cant believe you ruined your morning coffee, reading my long winded comment. On top of it you handle yourself with class. Not very normal in today’s world. You are a good man, my friend. Good luck on finding a launcher you like. Is your phone rooted? Might be an option you would enjoy and get more out of then these launchers that mimick each other. Have a good one brotha.

    • K2

      You might wamnt android to be needlessly complicated, but thinking that everybody else is the same is absolutely wrong. A lot of android users like simplicity and wise android was more simpler to use. These are non tech savvy people, who want to spend time more time using the phone and not tweaking it.

      You can choose to ignore this launcher, but dont ruin it for everybody else just because you like android to be needlesly complicated.

      And a lot of people like wp too.Just saying….

  • wsydgx


    • Phynex

      Exactly my thoughts too.
      Smartisan must be cheesed. LOLL

  • Sal

    This looks nice… but let’s see how far it goes with future updates that is.

    • MarkMyWordz

      You, my friend, just made commebt of the year. How many launchers, or any app for that matter, look promising for their debut, improve dramatically with the first two updates, just to become the biggest waste of time and device memory, with one update, and never get back to being even remotely close to as good as it was touted as being.

      • Stevie_Rave_On

        I’m still confident the rewrite of LauncherPro will come any day now

  • AndroidBrian

    Or you can just use one of your home pages on your launcher and Add a variety of folders….

  • pallu

    Still prefer Aviate….

  • Otto Andersson

    Haven’t these types of ideas already been implemented? I don’t really see what makes this app stand out? I think developers should focus more on widgets that dare I say live tiles as a means of more instant information.

    Also, I’m getting tired with the cloned Apple advertisement method of quirky upbeat music and a soothing voice. It makes me miss 10 years ago when things were extreme and in your face.

  • Andrew Tan

    Recently too many auto categories launcher. Frank speak none is good.

  • TechNique

    Hi guys check out my new video on 9 Cards. Definitely worth the shot.