Tired of Android? Launcher 8 is a seriously ambitious custom interface that tries to give your Android phone the look and feel of a Windows phone with zero hacking required.
It’s pretty convincing too. Launcher 8 manages to get some of that Windows Phone 8-style inertia when you scroll through the interface, giving your phone a feel quite unlike standard Android.
Launcher 8 emulates both the Live Tile-style home screen and the long scrolling apps menu, accessed by flicking from the right hand-side of the screen. It’s one of the most impressively single-minded Android launcher apps around.
When Launcher 8 first arrived it seemed quite buggy and slow, but using it on a decent quad-core phone (in our case the Huawei Ascend P7) performance is pretty good these days. There are also custom themes available to help you customise the look a bit, but far too many of them move the look too far away from standard Android. Why would you install Launcher 8 if you didn’t want your phone’s software to look like Windows Phone 8?
There are a few decent Windows-style themes, though, including a couple seen in the screenshots above.
It’s a decent app to check out if you’re thinking about moving to a Windows phone too although we should note that a few bits of the interface don’t react as they would in a real Windows phone. The People Live Tile just takes you to your bog-standard contacts app, and the Live Tiles aren’t as ‘live’ as they’d be in a Windows Phone 8 device. Still, it’s a launcher that deserves a round of applause.