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Non-Microsoft owned Nokia division releases an Android launcher

Take that, Redmond
Fri Jun 20 2014, 12:03

Nokia Z Launcher for Android devicesTHE PART OF NOKIA that Microsoft didn't buy has launched a custom home screen replacement for Android devices called the Nokia Z Launcher.

Nokia's new Android home screen design is much more minimalistic than those of most competing custom launchers, placing five static shortcuts at the bottom of the screen and space to fit in six additional shortcuts that fill the remaining screen space- be it an app, contact or website.

Looking to stand out in the crowded Android launcher market, Nokia's barebones home screen also learns your habits and the apps that you use most on your device, and will tailor the display appropriately.

Nokia said, "As soon as you install and start using Z Launcher, it starts learning what you use throughout the day and automatically surfaces whatever you're most likely to need at the right moment.

"The more you use it, the better it gets at predicting your every whenever/wherever/whatever," Nokia added. "This way your smartphone becomes more than a constantly shuffling myriad of stuff - it's truly your device."

The most interesting feature is perhaps Scribble, which allows you to find an app by doodling the first letter of its name on the handset's screen.

"Scribble makes this easier: Simply draw the first letter of what you're looking for, right on your screen. Ta da! Z Launcher brings you the right app, contact, or task practically instantaneously. Or, as we like to say, less tapping, more apping."

Nokia Z Launcher is available now as a pre-beta version, but it can be downloaded immediately. However, the firm has warned that it will be offering only a limited number of downloads initially, with a widespread release to follow in the coming months.

This isn't the first time Nokia has ventured into the world of Android, as it unveiled the Nokia X lineup of smartphones that run a custom fork of Google's mobile operating system at this year's Mobile World Congress. µ


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