Smartphones

Configurations that will make GO Launcher EX your favorite UI

Jack Wallen highlights more configuration options for GO Launcher EX. Find out why this Android home screen replacement is his favorite UI for mobile devices.

The GO Launcher EX home screen replacement for the Android platform has become my favorite UI for  mobile devices. Not only is it user-friendly, it also takes full advantage of the flexibility of Android and offers features most home screens don't. Any type of user can make the most out of GO Launcher EX. With so many features, it's almost hard to know where to start.

In a previous article, "Add some eye candy to your Android device with GO Launcher EX," I walked through some of the basic configuration options. This time around, we'll dig a bit deeper and get GO Launcher EX looking even better, backed up, and extend the functionality of the app drawer.

First, if you haven't already, go to the Google Play Store to download and install GO Launcher EX. Now that everyone is on the same page, let's make this home screen a thing of power and beauty.

Improve the look and feel

One of the nice things about GO Launcher EX is that you can really extend the look and feel of your device. You can change the themes, font, transition speed, and even hide the statusbar (among other things).

It's easy to smooth out the transitions from one screen to the next. Tap the menu button on your device, select Preferences, and then tap Screen settings to reveal a number of interesting options (Figure A). Figure A

The Verizon-branded Droid Bionic loves GO Launcher EX.

Do the following:

  • Enable Screens scroll circularly
  • Tap Screens transition speed, and select Quick (speed: 75)

If you enable the circular screens, you can scroll immediately from your last to your first screen without having to scroll all the way back. The screen transition speed can make the difference between a lagging and an instantaneous screen scroll.

From that same settings screen, you can configure the home screen to show or hide the status bar. This is nice if you want to get a clean, minimalist screen. If you opt for this, fear not, you can still see the status bar by swiping the home screen downward.

Now, let's add and change the font used by GO Launcher EX. In order to add fonts, you'll need to find some you like on the Google Play Store (you'll find a nice font on the GO Store that you can download for free). If you download any fonts other than from the GO Store, you'll have to relocate the downloaded fonts into Internal phone storage | GOLauncherEX | fonts. Once you've done that, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the menu button on the device
  2. Tap Preferences
  3. Tap Visual settings
  4. Tap Font
  5. Tap Scan font (Figure B)

That process should find the font packages you've placed in the appropriate folder.

Figure B

Here you see the scan font process in action.

Now tap the Select font entry and scroll through the listing of fonts to select the one you want to use. Just remember, this font is only used by GO Launcher EX-aware apps, icons, widgets, etc. Other apps won't use the font you configure here.

App Drawer

If you tap Menu | Preferences | App drawer settings, you can change quite a number of things, such as:

  • Scrolling orientation
  • Grid size
  • Show/hide app drawer tab row
  • Show/hide app drawer search
  • Show/hide app drawer app labels
  • App update info
  • Choose locked apps
  • Show locked apps

The options you certainly want enabled are:

  • Show/hide app drawer tab row
  • Show/hide app drawer search
The app drawer tab row sits at the top of the app drawer (Figure C) and allows you to switch between All, Recent, and Running apps. The app drawer search appears at the bottom of the app drawer and gives you the option of searching your installed apps. Figure C

From the Running tab, you can also close apps that are sitting in memory and not being used.

Backing up

With Go Launcher EX, you can backup your entire configuration to an SD card. This is an incredibly handy feature, especially if you have to reset your phone to the default settings or you get a new phone (and can move the SD card to the new phone). To backup and restore, follow these steps:

Backup

  1. Tap menu on the device
  2. Tap Preferences
  3. Tap Backup & restore
  4. Tap Back Up Settings (Figure D)
  5. Tap OK
Figure D

You can also restore to the GO Launcher EX default settings.
Restore

  1. Tap Menu on the device
  2. Tap Preferences
  3. Tap Backup & restore
  4. Tap Restore settings
  5. Tap OK

You've now seen even more configuration options and features of GO Launcher EX. By now, you should be convinced to at least give this home screen replacement a try.

About

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 getjackd.net.

11 comments
patrick
patrick

I have used GO launcher for a while and made my custom settings, and look and feel. I now changing my phone and followed those advices to backup settings from my previous phone and restore settings to my new phone;

backup from my previous one worked and saved to my SD but on my new phone : can't retore because it doesn't detect my previous backup from my first phone 


any suggestions ?


Thanks

eenll
eenll

At first when I had an earlier version, whenever i entered Preview Screen, there was a 'plus' button which was used to add more screens. I don't see it in this version. I am using Samsung Galaxy S2. Does anyone know how I can add screens in version 3.15?

DaveLissa
DaveLissa

I used Go Launcher and found it took quite a bit of battery power, so I uninstalled it. I'm now happy with Cyanogenmod. These features and much more are available, but one has to root the phone.

billet
billet

I tried all the most popular launchers including Launcher Pro and came back to Go as the most flexible and easy to use. It also does a better job with grid size, auto fitting/re-sizing widgets and auto rotating the home screens. These are the best features of Go for me, I have a 5x5 icon layout that auto rotates.

joyto
joyto

Go Launcher Pro is a great application. Just be careful with the plugins you download from other than Go store. Some of them will have ads and also check the permissions. If it ask for too much, then don't install it. Still is better than most of the stock launchers that are out there.

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

I have used GO Launcher a lot, but I am currently not running it. I have it installed, but it isn't my HOME UI. I use "Home Switcher" if I want to try one of the other one's I have installed (SPB, Launcher Pro, ADW). I like how it interfaces with GO SMS Pro (my main texting program)....but what I don't like is that you can't use HTC Widgets. I personally like the GPS On/Off, WiHi On/Off icons. But, other than those little annoyances.....great APP.

LDabreau
LDabreau

I just started using Launcher Pro, they seem very similar, do you think one is better than the other?

p.sawyer
p.sawyer

I put this on my aging Dell Streak 5 (running ICS btw). Admittedly I didn't play too much with configuring it but it just made Android feel like IoS.

lcplwilson
lcplwilson

Nice! But will it work on a tablet?

FlagstaffCJ
FlagstaffCJ

I used Go Launcher EX for quite some time and it is by far the prettiest Launcher on Android. The problem I'm finding is that it's been getting slower and slower over time. Granted I have a somewhat older EVO 4G, but it was getting unbearable. I switched to APEX Launcher and the slowness disappeared instantly. Apex is definitely not as pretty as Go Launcher but it has just as many (or more) customizable features but runs much more smoothly. I'll probably try going back to Go Launcher when I get my upgrade in December assuming whatever new phone I get is snappy with Go Launcher, but until then, Apex is my current Launcher.

fergy89406
fergy89406

Swipe up your bottom menu and hit Edit. You can add new screens and the placement of your home screen. You can have up to a max of 9 screens.