Give Your Android A Google Now-Inspired Home Screen With SF Launcher
The revamped, smarter and intuitive Google Search app for Android might have earned a lot of praises from users around the world, but that’s mainly because of the app’s tremendous improvement on the functionality front and more specifically, due to the inclusion of an immensely intelligent search assistant with a Smart Cards-filled UI in form of Google Now. That said, Alamo Apps seem to be inspired enough by the Google Now’s interface to design a full-fledged Android launcher replicating its look and feel. Currently in alpha, SF Launcher is an Android home screen replacement app that takes cue from the stock search app included within Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and higher devices. The app’s main interface is split into three segments supporting multiple widgets and custom favorite apps.
Although SF Launcher is arguably one of the first attempts to offer a complete home screen experience sporting the Google Search style layout.
The top section of the home screen displays the current time and date atop the San Francisco skyline graphic grabbed from the Google Search app itself. This section has been designed to automatically detect and reflect the current time of day.
In the middle section, you can add widgets of your favorite system and third-party apps. You can add multiple widgets to this sections, and switch between them by just swiping sideways like cards.
The bottom segment is where you can add shortcuts to your favorite apps for quick access. This section is empty by default, but you can start filling it by adding app shortcuts yourself. For this, swipe leftward to reveal the SF Launcher app drawer and then pin any app to the home screen by just long-pressing its shortcut.
The launcher’s various configuration options can be accessed by swiping right from the home screen. Since the app is currently in alpha, not all of its features are functional at the moment. As of now, you can only tinker with various layout settings of the app drawer and the favorites list, whereas the Header and Widgets options serve as mere placeholders for future development.
The developer is determined to improve the launcher considerably with the upcoming updates. You’ll soon be able to configure the header, complete with custom images and control over the type of information displayed on it. A good idea would be to update the header image according to the current weather conditions, in addition to time of the day. At present, the widget cards and favorite apps cannot be rearranged; expect that to be changed in the upcoming updates too. Among other additions, the developer intends to make the app tablet-optimized and usable in both landscape and portrait mode.
Even in its current alpha state, SF Launcher is worth trying. The app is compatible with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and higher devices, and can be downloaded from the Play Store via the link provided below.