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Nokia’s Z Launcher is an alternative home screen for Android

Get to your favourite apps in just one second with Nokia's brand new Android home screen

Nokia has announced Z Launcher, an alternative home screen for Android phones. Nokia says it’s “the fastest way to access everything on your phone”, claiming that everything from apps, contacts and websites will be just one second away.

It’s a radical redesign of the traditional Android home screen, with a clock and calendar occupying the top of the screen while six app icons and their respective names are listed below. Four shortcut icons and the app tray are still visible at the bottom of the screen, but the apps on the main display will change depending on what you’ve used in the past. It will even vary from morning and evening as well. The more you use it, says Nokia, the smarter and better it gets. 

You’ll also be able to scribble letters on the screen to search for apps, contacts and phone settings. For example, draw a U anywhere onscreen and everything that begins with that letter will be populated on the phone’s home page. 

We are creating a more personalized and contextual mobile experience,” said Nokia. “By working hand-in-hand with you, your devices, apps, features and content, we’re making your phone more useful for real life.”

If you end up prefering your old home screen, switching back is simple. Nokia says all you need to do is tap the gear icon in the top right, go to preferences and select “Reset the default home screen launcher”. 

Z Launcher isn’t available for the mass market just yet, but Nokia is currently offering a limited beta of the app that can be downloaded direct from the Z Launcher home page. It’s currently optimised for more popular devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, Google Nexus 5, Motorola Moto X, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z1, but Nokia says it’s working to support a greater number of devices in the future. It’s not yet optimised for tablets either. To see Z Launcher in action, watch the video below.

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