Nokia releases Z Launcher, a dynamically changing home screen experience for Android

Nokia has launched a new home screen replacement for Android. The company claims that Z Launcher will give users the power to access their information and apps in the fastest way possible.

The Android home screen app is able to accomplish this by dynamically changing the most frequently used apps throughout the day. Z Launcher is also able to include your contacts and frequently visited websites into the mix making it a complete and robust experience. This is all done locally and does not require a connection to the internet. 

If Z Launcher does not offer the apps you are looking for, you can easily bring them up by accessing a feature called Scribble. Scribble works by just drawing the first letter or two of the app or contact you want to access and instantly brings you to the proper selection. This virtually eliminates the need to tap, scroll, and hunt for the application or contact you are searching for. 

Z Launcher is currently in an alpha stage and is available as a special download through an Android browser. Those that want to try the new home screen will have to have a device running Android 4.1 or newer. 

Nokia says that the "Z Launcher is currently optimized for popular devices including Nexus 5, Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Moto X, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z1". We've also managed to get it running on some other handsets, such as the Sony Xperia T, as well as the Nexus 7 tablet, but be warned that it does not support rooted devices.

Source: NokiaImage via Nokia 
This article was updated after publishing to add details about device compatibility. 

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33 Comments

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The people most likely to use this would have rooted devices. So, Nokia makes it NOT WORK on rooted devices. That's some great logic, there, Nokia. #epicfail

What I get when launching it:

"Sorry

We are not currently supporting rooted devices

Exit"

...yeah, well, I'm gonna build my own Z Launcher, with blackjack and hookers!

MightyJordan said,
...yeah, well, I'm gonna build my own Z Launcher, with blackjack and hookers!

in fact, forget the Z launcher and blackjack!

they are just opening up the lock screen even more then they have had before first they had the dynamic lock screen then lock screen apps now customizable but as far as the deep UI changes won't happen that causes bad confusion and fragmentation the point of metro or (Modern) UI is to have the same look and feel across all devices but at they same time make them all unique and different

Doesn't support root huh?...... No such thing some dev will make it happen!

Root is the Red pill of android for me lol (Stay in wonderland and see how deep the rabbit hole goes #TheMatrix)

Biglo said,
Doesn't support root huh?...... No such thing some dev will make it happen!

Root is the Red pill of android for me lol (Stay in wonderland and see how deep the rabbit hole goes #TheMatrix)


Yea its kinda dumb that it refuses (for no reason) to run on a rooted device.

LogicalApex said,

Old Nokia. This team is not owned by Microsoft.

Thx for clearing it up, I was under the impression that software part of Nokia also went to Microsoft.

wv@gt said,
So is this under Nokia/Microsoft or the remnants of old Nokia

I would hardly call the rest of Nokia remnants.
There is a strong business there no consumers know about.
As someone who works in telecom, their carrier grade stuff is quite compelling.

IMHO, since most of Microsoft's patents that are being used to extort money from Android-ware manufacturers are expiring soon, this could be the way to earn some money through gradually tying the launcher to Bing an MS's cloud services for more penetration to Android market.

The "extortion" will not be ending anytime soon. This launcher is also not under Microsoft but Nokia. Microsoft only bought the hardware and services part of the company, Nokia is still a separate entity.

I don't mean to offend anyone but it's not fair to blame Microsoft for their hard work for those technologies. I know some of those are no that useful but there are some good patents there too. I do really like Android as an OS (I have a Kindle Fire) but I don't like what Google does. They used some technologies like Oracle's (java) and from MS and other tech firms to build out an OS fast, and get ad revenue from it as fast as they can, then they let HTC Samsung and the other OEMs to pay for their mistakes (by licensing those patents) . They are just taking all the advantages from Android and the OEMs have to pay the price.

And now you take all that anger to Microsoft because they didn't license all those tech for free? Would you do that?
It's not like they dragged anyone into court for some small patent such as rounded squares like Apple did, (you know, squircles) but there are 310 patents.
Heck ... Google didn't even build a Youtube Windows Phone app ... they didn't even allowed MS to build one ! It's not like Microsoft said "I won't license you this patent to build an Android phone". MS even built OneDrive, Office for android and is consider to release Office for tablets before the windows 8 one.

It's not cool to hate MS.
Just don't let Google transform you into sheeps guys :) and have a nice day

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
No Google Now, No Thanks

You can still easily access Google Now by swiping up from the Home button; that's what I currently do with Aviary (another great launcher in beta).