Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/161152/what-custom-android-launchers-are-and-why-you-might-want-to-use-one/
One of the many ways you can customize your Android home screen is by replacing it entirely. Android developers can create their own software to replace your home screen — Facebook Home is just one of many options.
i read about go launcher, think i'll try it out
Go Launcher is by far the best but it has a lot of crapware like GO market, GO Notifictaions ...
Go launcher has really gone downhill since ice cream sandwich, mostly because the stock Android launcher improved a lot. Then there's all the useless features and bloat they've been adding. You are forced to make an account with them to download themes, which signs you up for sms spam.
I strongly recommend Nova Launcher, which is what several of the screenshots in the article represent. It's based on Android's stock launcher, with everything essentially turned up to 11. The level of possible customization is very nice, without dramatically altering how you use your phone.
I use Zeam. It has not been getting updates, but does what I want. The app drawer is configurable to be paged or continuous scroll, and the widgets are re-sizable. It is also very light weight, which makes it great on older hardware, especially to replace heavy custom launchers from the phone maker or carrier.
Don't forget ADW launcher. ADW is very customizable, OPEN SOURCE, and free. No ads, no $$.
I use ADW on all my devices, mostly because it lets me have 5 rows on my phones, and I like the gesture support.
I like the Apex launcher personally.
I installed Nova Launcher on my S3 - never looked back
For what it's worth, only two of the big players in the launcher field are open source... ADW and Trebuchet (Trebuchet was developed by the Cyanogenmod team and is the native launcher for its ICS and JB builds).
Those are all great launchers, but I just found the the best launcher I have ever seen.. It's called SPB Shell 3D.. search for it in google play and watch the video.. you will be impressed.
With all the high quality FREE launchers available, a fifteen dollar launcher had better bring me my coffee in the morning and provide a "happy ending" before bedtime.It doesn't?Well, screw that.
I really like Atom Launcher.
Nobody mentioned Holo Launcher? Best for Gingerbread and minus, though, and that's what I run. ADW is also nice, just not as awesomely copied from JB as Holo.
I second your vote for Nova Launcher