Don’t like the way your Android’s home screen look? Change your Launcher.
Launchers have the biggest impact on Android customization. And thankfully there are many options to choose from.
Up until now, I was a fan of Nova launcher (and don’t get me wrong, I still am). But recently, I got some time to play with the Lightning launcher and it completely blew up my mind. Unlike its competitors, the Lightning launcher ($3) is only available for paid users and it’s worth it.
Lightning Launcher Tips & Tricks
Most Android launchers support quick gestures on home screen, but Lightning Launcher goes one step further.
It supports Gestures on every screen i.e. on Desktop as well as in App Drawer. You can even apply Gestures inside an individual folder and panel. which makes it super easy to launch activity based on different contexts (specific Gesture action in a specific folder). Each Gesture supports multiple numbers of actions e.g. Double Tapping on Desktop can close all folders and also set a specific zoom level on Desktop.
#2 Infinite Homescreens Desktops
Say, you want to use completely different Desktops for your home and office use?
Now, with the Nova Launcher, you can only have multiple pages on Homescreen. But with Lightning Launcher you can have an infinite number of Desktops and each Desktop can have an infinite number of Pages.
The desktop contains a canvas which the user can customize freely making it possible to even have vertical pages as well. Additional items like folders and panels can also be added to the Desktop.
If you like to go one step further, you use tasker to automate Desktop switch.
#3 Item Customization
While most popular Android Launchers let you customize basic features such as — changing the app’s icon or name etc. What if I want to freely rotate the icon when you touch it? Or even use a GIF image?
Well, with Lightning Launcher you can redesign the complete set of features of any item. Like changing icon image (yes even GIFs), changing launch action, create a replica, change selection effect (Material or Holo) etc. Some other customization features include Shadow, reflection, icon size, smoothness, the background image for an icon, overlay image, borders etc.
#4 Folders, Panel & Sidebars
We all want folders in our Android Launcher because they keep all the icons in a systematic manner. Lighting launcher allows us to create two powerful tools such as Sidebars and Panels along with folders.
It is more convenient to have a sidebar on our home screen to access some more shortcuts on the go than to have a folder. Panels are nothing but folders, but without a window and all the panel elements are visible without opening it. All the folders, panels and sidebars push Lightning launcher to a new height where we can control our items more flexibly and easily.
#5 Advanced Application Drawer
Some basic customizability like changing the grid size is inherently present inside LL application drawer and it even allows different grid size for rows and columns. We can literally design the grid size from 1×1 to 50×50 which is a cool feature to have.
Other theming options like adding a card background with almost any color is possible along with different background images. The application drawer also provides four distinct categories where the user can create their own version of application drawer. The bottom line is, you can implement any layout for the application drawer that you can think of without any hassle.
#6 Custom Lockscreen
Looking for a custom Lock screen application for your launcher? Don’t worry, there is no need to go for a separate lock screen application when you have the Lightning launcher installed. Any desktop which was customized by you for your needs can be used as a lock screen which essentially means that all the customization of Desktops is available for lock screen as well.
#7 Custom Themes
The Lightning launcher also supports third party widget and wallpaper application with its inherent layer-wise implementation of design. All these capabilities allow the users to extend the functionality of the launcher beyond conventional launcher designs.
In the Lightning launcher, theming is not limited to changing wallpapers and icons, but also involves a skillful use of multilayer designs with custom objects. There is a large community of Lightning Launcher that is constantly developing new themes using all the customization possible.
#8 Floating Desktop
Whenever we swipe left on our home screen, we either find Google Now or some other kind of shelf like an application where we can put our widgets and notes for quick access. If you are playing a game and you quickly want to note something important, then you will have to come back to your home screen for accessing your shelf.
A better option in such kind of situation would be to have a shelf that can be accessed from any screen. Guess what! The Lightning launcher uses the same concept and allows the user to have a Desktop (known as Floating Desktop) which is accessible from any screen with custom swipe gestures.
#9 Tasker Integration
If you are an Android geek, then the best thing that can happen to you is Tasker support for your considered application. Tasker is an awesome application that allows automation in Android based on certain conditions.
Lightning launcher comes with a Tasker plugin which makes it possible to trigger any action inside the launcher using Tasker. The integration between both the applications is excellent as it is possible to even interchange variables between them.
Also check some of best articles on Tasker.
#10 Scripting Support
The script editor is provided inside the launcher to make things simple and elegant. All the sample scripts can be found here or you can directly visit the community of Lightning launcher for information and usage regarding scripts.
Here are some of the best features of Lightning Launcher that you can use and design your own Android layout. You can learn to integrate Lightning with Tasker and other third party applications to have more fun. Try all these cool new features along with scripting and let us know in the comments section about your experience with Lightning Launcher.
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