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A brief overview of the Substratum developers' new launcher: Hyperion

Combine all of your favorite aspects of other launchers and you might get something that looks like Hyperion.

Published onOctober 16, 2018

Hyperion Hands-on

If you’ve ever looked into how to theme your Android device, you’ve probably heard of Substratum and the team of developers behind the app. Since Google blocked the exploit the developers used for device theming, the team decided to build their own launcher called Hyperion

Talking with the Substratum group leading up to Hyperion’s launch, the team said they wanted to create an experience that incorporated fan-favorite features from other launchers. To make all of this possible, Substratum welcomed Anass Karbila from AOSPA to be Hyperion’s main contributor and future maintainer.

So, what features do you get with Hyperion? Let’s jump right in.

Let’s start with some of the launcher’s basic features. Once set as the default Home app, you can access Hyperion’s settings and several shortcuts by long-pressing on any open space on the home screen. In addition to the standard options to pick wallpapers and add widgets, you can tap on Icon pack to change the images associated with your installed apps. If you don’t have any icon packs downloaded, the launcher will take you to the Play Store to help you find some.

Jumping into the Hyperion settings, one of the most prominent menus is Colors. This allows you to not only customize the theme color found throughout the app but also to adjust the background color and transparency in the dock, folders, app drawer, and anything the launcher manages.

Read more: Substratum developers launch petition

This amount of customization also makes its way over to the iconography. Using Hyperion’s settings, you can manually adjust the app icon size, shape, and more, based on your preferences. What’s even better is that you can set all of these defaults to be different whether you’re looking at the icons on the desktop, dock, or drawer.

Take a look at the basic menus for everything mentioned in the various screenshots below. 

Moving into the more technical areas, Hyperion allows you to adjust the finite details found throughout the interface. There are too many to list, but this includes options to change the app drawer icon, choose what apps to hide from the app drawer, and further customizable items concerning the various aspects of the launcher.

Going deeper, there are options to change Android’s animation speed, set up various gestures, and so much more. Only by really digging into the various menus and settings will you be able to discover all of the customization features found in Hyperion.

As the Substratum team puts it, Hyperion is much more than a launcher; it’s also an experience. Though it’s no longer possible to easily theme Android Pie like what was possible with Oreo, you can at least make the operating system look and work how you want it to. 

One change I would like to see added, however, is the ability to clone your home screen setup when Hyperion is first installed. Being able to keep your previous widget and app layout would make it easier to switch over to this launcher.

As Google doesn’t allow most launchers to include the Google Feed, you’ll have to sideload an APK to add this to the Hyperion launcher. Unfortunately, the Substratum team hasn’t made this available yet, but it’s coming soon. 

You can download the Hyperion launcher directly from the Play Store by clicking on the button below. While most of the features are free to use, you will have to pay $3.99 for Hyperion+ to unlock the launcher’s full potential.