If you're a member of the Android nation, you know how flexible these devices can be. One masterful means of flexing your Android muscle is to install a new home screen launcher. Each launcher offers different features to appeal to different users. For those looking to take an Android device to new heights of efficiency, Nova Launcher offers plenty of features geared toward making Android an amazingly simple platform.
One feature of Nova Launcher is gestures. With the help of gestures, you can assign applications so that they're only a double-tap, pinch, or swipe away from launching. To get the most out of gestures, you'll want to purchase the Prime version of Nova Launcher for $4.00 (USD). Once you've installed the key for Prime, you can start adding a number of app-launching gestures.
For example, here's how to configure the Pinch out gesture to open Gmail.
- Open the app drawer
- Tap the overflow menu (three vertical dots in the top right corner)
- Tap Nova Settings
- Locate and tap Gestures and Buttons
- Locate and tap Pinch out (Figure A)
- Tap the APPS tab
- Locate and tap Gmail
Configuring Nova Launcher gestures on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4.
You should now be able to launch Gmail with a pinch out gesture, as shown in this video:
Go back and configure the remaining gestures in the same fashion. You can also configure the home button for a different action (in the same manner you configured a gesture). For example, I configured the home button to launch Voice Search (with a double tap). The long-press menu option allows you to assign an action for when you long-press the device menu button. You can also configure direct dial and direct messaging with gestures.
Nova Launcher is a highly flexible home screen launcher. See how easily you can make Nova Launcher perfectly fit your needs with the use of gestures. If you're constant, on-the-go business day requires you to eek out as much efficiency as possible, these gestures might be just what you need on the Android front.
Are gestures the best way to launch apps, or do you prefer the old home screen filled with launcher icons? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.