Jack Wallen introduces you to yet another Android home screen launcher, one that takes personalization seriously.
I love to switch up the Android home screen launcher. At the moment, I'm fixated on EverythingMe. This award-winning home screen launcher anticipates the apps, people, and information you want. EverythingMe is one of those launchers that doesn't just upgrade the look of your home screen, it alters the very functionality.
EverythingMe offers two unique features:
- Prediction Bar: Anticipates what you'll need throughout the day.
- Smart Folders: Apps are automatically organized according to your interests (you can customize this during first run).
You'll also enjoy a very fast in-phone search — plus the information you need, when you need it... all of this with a clean and efficient interface that uses areas of your home screen for specific purposes (Figure A):
- The top: Is your search
- The middle: Are your Smart Folders
- The bottom (above the dock): Is your Prediction Bar
The breakdown of the EverythingMe home screen sections.
I will say that EverythingMe search is ridiculously fast — faster than any other local search I've ever used (on a mobile device). If you find yourself constantly searching your mobile for various pieces of data, you owe it to yourself to give EverythingMe a try, if only for the search.
With that said, let's install and use this new home screen launcher.
There's little out of the ordinary with the installation of this free app. Just follow these simple steps and EverythingMe will become a part of your Android mobile life.
- Open the Google Play Store on the device
- Search for and tap the entry for EverythingMe
- Tap Install
- Read through the permissions listing
- If the permissions are acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once EverythingMe is installed, tap the home button on the device. You'll be asked which app to use as the home screen launcher, and if you want to use it Just Once or Always. Select EverythingMe, and then tap Just Once (try it out before you set it as the default).
When you first run EverythingMe, you'll have to walk through a short wizard to better personalize your experience. The primary focus of the wizard is selecting categories for organizing your apps. Make sure to scroll through the entire list (Figure B) and select every category that you know will help organize your apps into more efficient folders. These categories will make up your Smart Folders. Every time you install an app that relates to a particular category, it will be added to one of the categories in the Smart Folders — so, make sure you don't ignore this step.
Setting up EverythingMe on a Verizon-branded MT8.
Once you've made it through the first-run, you'll find yourself on the EverythingMe home screen. In the Smart Folders area, you'll find a Personalize button, where you'll be able to:
- Add apps
- Add Smart Folders
- Add widgets
- Change wallpapers
- Configure the preferences
Also on the home screen, in the Prediction Bar area, is a Morning button, which will launch a weather widget (Figure C).
The EverythingMe weather widget.
Think of the Morning app as a hidden widget page focused on bringing you the information you want. By swiping to the left, you can view the other widgets that make up your "morning." You can also add meetings and read the top news.
At this point, you may think the Smart Folders are just as smart as their organization abilities. That is not even remotely true. Some of the Smart Folders are also contextual. For example, if I open up a Photography Smart Folder, I not only see photography-related apps, I also see suggestions from the web (Figure D).
Smart Folders displaying results from the web.
Some of these "from the web" results are apps and some are web sites. The Around Me Smart Folder will display a map of your current location, plus apps and sites focused on that location.
As you use your device throughout the day, the Prediction Bar will change. The apps you use the most will pop up for quick access. You'll also see a clock replace the Prediction Bar (after a brief period). To get the Prediction Bar back, simply swipe the clock (Figure E) upward.
The Prediction Bar clock.
EverythingMe is one of the more unique home screen launchers that does an outstanding job of evolving as you use your device. From the lightning-fast search, to the Smart Folders, to the Prediction Bar, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more personalized home screen launcher. With all of these personalizations comes one thing — efficiency.
Give EverythingMe a try and see if it doesn't very quickly turn into your default home screen launcher.
What do you think? Are the features of EverythingMe truly useful, or do they stand in the way of you using your smartphone? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion thread below.