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Sunday, 9 June 2013

How China 's Go Launcher is Trying to Replace the Android home screen

Go Launcher , which is attempting
to replace the browser as an IT standard , may be the
lowest -visibility company in the world with 200
million-plus users.
After this week ' s Google I /O conference here at the
Moscone West conference center , the Beijing- based
software company should be a little less unknown. Go
Launcher is an Android smartphone app ,
downloadable on Google Play, that enables users to
completely customize their phones by offering dozens
of cover and lock -screen choices that use animations,
photos and videos in them .
Users can manage whatever content and apps they
want to put " up front " on their phones, make it look
and sound the way they want, and program it to
change on a periodic basis . They can even place
often - used widgets and other content on their
screens.
This is far from the social - network -centric approach
of Facebook Home or the advertising -oriented ( for
music and movies , mostly) home screen that comes
native on standard Android phones. It ' s not the
standard Windows 8 block - based experience , either .
Go Launcher , which has 60 million of its 200 million
users in China and 40 million in the United States —
mostly earned through word -of -mouth , viral means—
is a Web- enabled chameleon because it adapts to
whatever look and feel the user wants.
" Launchers personalize smartphones and tablets with
dynamic themes , widgets and extra features, and are
fast becoming an alternative to browsers , " Go
Launcher Chief Technology Officer and Vice President
Chris Huang told eWEEK . " People are not only
spending more time online via mobile devices instead
of PCs, but they now spend the vast majority of their
mobile time in apps compared to time on the Web. "
Go Launcher was one of a select group of developers
—and the only one from China—invited to demo their
new applications at the Google I/O conference in San
Francisco on May 15- 17. The app is currently a top
four publisher on the Google Play platform, Huang
said .
" We expect that 1 billion of the 3 billion Android
devices shipped from 2013 -2015 will have a third-
party launcher installed, " President and founder Zhang
Xiangdong told eWEEK . " We' re very proud to be one
of the few developers invited to demo at the Google I /
O conference. "
Next up for Go Launcher is Next Launcher 3D , which
will be launched in June in Google Play. Advance
orders for Next Launcher 3D , which costs $ 15 .95, has
already made it the No . 1 paid app in the United
States in Google Play' s personalization category ,
Huang said .

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