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Android Home Launcher Review Roundup: iOS / iPhone style Launchers (part of Android Home Launcher Review Series)

Updated on May 12, 2013

How many alternative Home Launchers Have you tried?

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Introduction

The "home launcher" on an Android device can usually be replaced with an alternative launcher with different look and/or feature set, and I review them, as many of them as I can! This is one part of a series of Android Home Launcher Reviews, focusing on iOS style home launchers for Android OS.

Android implementation of iOS style launcher varies from an exact clone to merely something that was inspired by the iOS launcher but tries to mix in the Android metaphors. There should be something you like, if you prefer this style over the Android default style with the "app drawers"!

NOTE: I only review the free version of the launcher.

iHome

iHome, is one of the first Android "home" launchers that emulates the iOS launcher style. it is slow as molasses when it first launches. It has 3 static shortcuts in the bottom, permanently set to browser, contacts, and settings. You can also hit the search key, which will bring up T-9 style filters so you can find the apps faster. Else you have to scroll through however many screens you actually ended up having. No themes, no live wallpaper.

Download iHome from Appbrain

vLauncher

vLauncher basically takes the iPhone launcher idea to the Android. There's only multi-pane desktop, no app drawer. They added a pane or two for widgets (or you can remove them if you don't use widgets), and the standard dock with 4 shortcuts, but there's no doubt this is same idea as iOS launcher.

The problem is same as iHome... too many screens to scroll through. Thus, its slogan of "best launcher" is too much of a hyperbole.

Get vLauncher from AppBrain


My Home (free, $1.99)

My Home / My Home Lite is yet another iOS style launcher... Drag one app onto another app to make a folder, blah blah blah. It also has the horizontal scrolling and no app drawer. Author also added one screen just for widgets. As stated before, if you have like 100+ apps this can take a moment. latest version also added themes.

Check out My Home Lite on Appbrain


Espier Launcher

Espier Launcher is an EXACT CLONE of the iOS launcher. it even stole the Safari icon for browser. It's so close, Apple's lawyer should be calling them any day now. NOTE: App's in English, sorry about the screenshot as example) Stability has been a bit improved, but don't be too surprised if it crashes every once in a while.

Check out Espier Launcher on Appbrain

iLauncher

iLauncher, from iPhone Style Studio, is yet another iOS launcher clone, this one doing the iOS 6 UI almost down to the pixel. They even put in the lock screen (slide to unlock). On the other hand, the promised "themes" screen is empty, and wallpaper selection is a little thin (though there's an "online" button going to somewhere, probably China for download.

There are plenty of existing iOS icons for equivalent apps in Android, and it does a decent job of dressing up Android app icons to make them look like iOS app icons.

Other than that, it just looks nice, little else.

Download iLauncher through Google Play Store

iPhone 5 Launcher

Also known as "Real iPhone 5 Launcher" this is yet ANOTHER clone of iOS launcher, and seem to have a few more options than the other ones. However, it also includes some ads and points to some app downloads without being explicit. Give it a try, but don't be surprised if you get pop-ups asking for nice rating and such.

Download iPhone 5 Launcher via Google Play

MiHome (with MiLocker)

MIUI team took the launcher from the MIUI ROM, and made it a full featured launcher with themes so you can enjoy it without loading a full ROM.

The launcher uses the iPhone metaphor: apps are on screen unless grouped into folders) Run the theme app and it will download the themes but most are in Chinese. There's preview and download. They can make the phone more or less iPhone-like. The default MIUI theme is very iPhone-like.

The launcher also includes MIUI Locker that replaces your lockscreen, and it has its own themes and customization options.

The problem is this launcher was not stable on my test device: Motorola Droid Bionic. AND the performance is absolutely horrible. Your experience may vary.

Download MiHome (Android 2.3+) through Appbrain

360 iLauncher (free)

360 iLauncher from Qihoo of China is from the same people who brought you 360 Launcher Pro (i.e. 360 Desktop) This one is iOS style, while the other one is Android style. All the apps are either on the desktop or inside the "folders".

iLauncher has full skin and wallpaper support through 360's own download site, and many are free, though the good ones cost money. There is also Classify (auto), where the launcher classifies the apps for you into preset folders, such as System Tools, Games, and such, but the usefulness for that is debatable.

Another nifty feature (shared from that other 360 Launcher Pro) is the corner swipe menu.

If you like the iOS type launcher, and lives in China, this one is worth trying. Its utility outside of China is debatable.

Download 360 iLauncher through Google Play

Did you try any of these iOS style launchers?

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Conclusion

If you really want an iOS experience (having just migrated from iOS) you can keep that by using Espier Launcher.

However, you should try vLauncher or some of the other style of Homescreen Launchers just to see what's out there. Switching back is easy (just uninstall one and you'll be asked to pick the new default).

You won't know what's missing until you try it.


Comments

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    • toptendeals profile image

      Jason Benedict 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

      I have an old android phone and launchers kept my OS somewhat relevant =) Maybe I'll check out iHome thanks for the reviews.

    • kschang profile image
      Author

      kschang 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      Root, install a "recovery" like ClockworkMod, download a new ROM, install.

    • dmwong profile image

      dmwong 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Any tips on upgrading to new os by android for galaxy tablet,

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