Nokia has released its recently announced Android launcher app, Nokia Z Launcher, onto the Google Play Store.
The app is now available for free as a beta version on Google’s mobile app store.
Z launcher dramatically changes the homescreen navigation experience on whatever Android phone you own. It’s extremely lightweight and simple, stripping everything back to a single static screen.
Initially presented with a simple list of your most commonly accessed apps and contacts (it will learn and refine as you use it), as well as a time and weather widget, you can find other apps and contacts by swiping in the key letters.
The handwriting recognition appeared to be very good in the brief time we were able to spend with the app, and it seemed like an elegant way to find what you’re looking for without engaging in that tiresome trawl through home screens and app trays.
Talking of app trays, one is still present through the Nokia Z Launcher. Apps are presented here in alphabetical order on one long scrolling list. Your Android phone’s notification menu and lockscreen are left untouched.
Nokia Z Launcher works with most Android phones (including rooted ones) running Android 4.1 and later. It’s a little hard to find on the Google Play Store at present, so head here to download it.
As well as its innovative launcher app, Nokia also recently surprised us all by unveiling an Android 5.0 tablet. The Nokia N1 looks a lot like the iPad mini 3, but runs stock Android Lollipop – with the Z Launcher pre-installed, of course.
The Nokia N1 will launch in China in February, and in select European territories thereafter.
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