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Nokia Z Launcher rolls out new update, offers pre-beta access to more users

Nokia is rolling out a new update to its Z Launcher pre-beta, introducing new features and plenty of bug fixes. Even better, they are also offering new users access to the trial.
July 30, 2014

After getting out from under Microsoft, Nokia released a new Android launcher in June dubbed the Z Launcher. At the time I was very impressed by the effort, though ultimately I stopped using it as my primary launcher after about a week due to frequent forced close issues. Of course, it is a pre-beta so the problems I encountered with it haven’t discouraged me, as I’m still quite interested to see what the launcher evolves into as it progresses.

For those that either gave up on the launcher at first release or simply weren’t able to get in on the pre-beta, we have some good news. The Z Launcher blog has announced a new update has arrived, bringing a fair amount of bug fixes and a few new features as well. This new update is not only good news for existing beta users, but also for those that previously signed up to gain access to the pre-beta.

If you signed up through Gmail, you should be receiving an email (if you haven’t already) with download instructions. For those that used a different email provider, you’ll need to head to Z Launcher’s website to gain access to the pre-beta. I have yet to personally try the update due to losing access to the app after loading up Android L (though I’ve contacted Nokia to hopefully address this issue), but it seems to be a pretty significant update.

Some of the biggest changes include a way to configure your favorites and hide select apps. Here’s the full change-log:

  • Configure Favorites via drag-n-drop on your home screen – #2 requested feature on user forum.
  • Hide apps, Uninstall apps via press-n-hold: A quick way to get rid of stuff you don’t want – #3 top requested feature on user forum.
  • Better support on HTC One and Moto X – We continue to work on adding support for popular devices.
  • Wi-Fi SSID incorporated into our algorithm – Aimed at improving the algorithm’s ability to recognize and promote apps used on specific networks.
  • Data Insight – Explore how you use your phone, what apps and contacts you access and when. If people like this feature, we’ll develop it further, but for now we kept it simple.
  • Bug fixes here and there – We’ve worked hard to make Z Launcher more reliable.
  • In addition to the update, the Z Launcher blog also notes they’ve opened up more pre-beta signups, kinda. Capacity for the pre-beta filled up quick but now that more spots are open, if you were one of the people who previously requested to join after capacity was reached, you can now download and start using Z Launcher.

For those that have already experienced Z Launcher, what do you think so far?