Best 3D homescreen launchers for Android
There’s nothing quite like having everything out in the open for easy access. That’s the philosophy behind Full Screen Launcher. Though people may like flipping through pages of apps, some others prefer seeing everything in one place. Launch Full Screen Launcher on your Android device and you’ll see that the desktop becomes one big wall of icons with OpenGL ultrasmooth scrolling.
Scroll left or right and watch as your apps tilt with your swipe. All your apps will be presented in a large wall you can scroll through. Swiping was very fluid on our HTC Sensation. Overwhelmed with so many apps on your screen? Double tap and you can zoom out. Double tap again to zoom in. You can also zoom in and out by pinching.
Full Screen Launcher is a wonderful and fun way to look through your apps and to customize your homescreen. If you don’t want to clutter up your space, make a folder and throw shortcuts in there. When you want to rummage through the folder, you’ll be brought to another screen so you can completely focus on what’s in the folder.
You can get even more features when you purchase Full Screen Launcher’s pro version, such as being able to resize icons and widgets on your desktop.
Compared to the large wall of apps that Full Screen Launcher gives you, Nova Launcher makes scrolling through your home screen a 3D block experience. Swiping to the next page is like turning a 3D square around. The task bar at the bottom is also rather neat and attractive, packing icons for Voice Actions, Contacts, Apps, the Web Browser, and a preview of your homescreen pages. If you feel that your task bar is too cluttered, hold down on an icon and you’ll be given the option to edit it or remove it.
Nova Launcher is also packed with customization options. Even for the free version, you can select the color theme of your choice, as well as the icon pack. You can choose how you’d like to transition between the home screen and the app drawer. You can opt to sit back and watch the gorgeous transition animation or you can go as fast as lightning and discard the animation. Nova Launcher can use App Animations that it comes with, such as Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, or Slide, but it can also use your system’s default animations.
Upgrading to the pro version gives you access to gestures such as Pinch In to show Previews, Pinch Out to view Recent Apps, Swipe Down to expand Notifications, double-tap to access Nova settings, and a whole lot more. If you own a rooted device, you can have widgets in your app drawer.
From the name, you might be expecting a launcher with a lot of bunnies. What you do get isn’t exactly bunny-related, but it’s certainly fast and light. The Rabbit Launcher 3D Home Theme is a fast and light launcher that may appeal to the minimalist. It’s not overly clean that it’s spartan, but it’s clean and organized. Thin wire cubes float around your taskbar icons but don’t distract you when you’re browsing your homescreen.
It isn’t just the homescreen that looks visually appealing. Enter the app drawer and start scrolling through each screen full of apps. It’s like turning a 3D cube over. There’s a lot of space between icons so you won’t have to worry about accidentally tapping on the wrong icon. Switching between app pages is smooth with barely a pause. You can do a number of things from the task bar at the bottom of the screen. Access your recently used apps, check which apps are currently running, manage your apps and sort your apps by name, recently installed, and frequently used.
If you want to make your Rabbit Launcher 3D Home Theme experience even better, the launcher installs a Rabbit Store icon on your home screen so you can easily access and choose from dozens of themes.
Let’s take a look at a home screen launcher that’s totally different. homescreen 3D (free version) gives you a different home screen launcher experience by doing away with the typical home screen. Instead, it puts all of your apps in one place, right on your homescreen. You’d expect it to be messy and annoying but homescreen 3D puts them in 3 columns. Each app spins in its own 3D cube.
If you’ve loaded up your phone with a lot of apps like we do, don’t worry about having to swipe up and down through several dozen apps. There’s a taskbar located below with pale dots you can tap. Tapping them helps you climb down the app ladder, so to speak, so you can easily find the app you’re looking for.
Got too many apps? Tap your phone’s settings button and you can go through your app list and show only un-added apps. You can also increase the number of columns you have to four, which also shrinks the app icon sizes. Toggle between low, medium, and high textures or just disable MIP mapping. If you want to launch an app, tap on the app cube and it will zoom out. Unfortunately, the free version is only a preview and does not allow launching of apps. You’ll need to purchase the pro version to be able to launch apps.
homescreen 3D is tablet-friendly, so you can enjoy the slowly rotating app cubes on your larger mobile devices. It’s worth noting, however, that the app has not been updated in a while. According to the Google Play Store, the launcher’s last update was March, 2011. You may not be able to use it as a daily launcher but you will, however, be able to enjoy it’s 3D aesthetic.
A lot of the home screen launchers we’ve looked at seem to have an emphasis on looks and app accessibility. Let’s not forget that one of the main reasons why we love our smartphones is that we can keep connected with the people we love and the world around us. NetFront Life Screen was built with that need to connect in mind. Instead of just being a pretty face, NetFront Life Screen makes it easy for you to check on your friends without having to leave your homescreen.
When you launch the app, you’ll see your homescreen icons located at the bottom. Scroll through them and you’ll see that they’ve been set in a ring. On the right side of the screen, you can see your widgets such as your calendar and the weather. Tap on any of the icons in the ring and you can see the latest updates. Move over to the left side of the screen for even more icons, but this time, you can also access the app cube. Scroll through it and you’ll see that there are a number of apps on one side of the cube.
NetFront Life Screen isn’t just about giving you updates on your social media networks. It also supports Evernote so you can keep track of your latest notes. Tap on the People icon and you can easily access your contacts. Tap on the Browser icon and you’ll see your latest visited websites.
With these launchers’ vibrant 3D effects and animations, you won’t get bored with your Android homescreen. No need to stick with the flat and dull animations on your homescreen. With these best 3D homescreen launchers for Android, you won’t need 3D glasses or a 3D screen to enjoy these amazing effects and animations on your Android homescreen.
What 3D launcher app do you like most from the list? Cast your vote in our poll below. Do you use a different 3D launcher not included on the list? Share it in a comment below.
(with contributions from Dan Evans)