Everyone is so uppity about ICS that I thought I should go see what else is running around the web and bring it back to light. Originally I was on a quest to find a good working version of the Xperia Arc home screen. This was spurred by me receiving an Xperia Ray for review, which you will start to see shortly. It has been a while since I used the Xperia launcher and wanted to give it a go again on my Vibrant. During that search I found what I was looking for, but I also came across a port of the Acer Liquid home as well. Let’s take a quick little look at both and give you all a chance to mess around with something else for a change.
The Xperia launcher actually has a few different replacements available. I purposefully wanted the one that can be found on the Arc and the Ray. There were a few reason I really wanted it was for one simple widget, the photos and videos widget. It reminds me of the stacks you find on Honeycomb and ICS. It is a Rolodex style view of your photos right on your home screen. Why Sony was able to make that happen in a launcher and no one else is able too is beyond me, I am not a developer. I haven’t even found an app on the market or in the forums that can offer it. Seems crazy to me. I also really like the visuals that Sony has implemented when moving applications and widgets across your home screen.
The Arc launcher also offers a very nice folder option for your dock bar. Simply drag an icon to one of the 4 squares at the bottom and make a folder for certain apps. In the app drawer you can customize the app sorting wither manually, or by standards like alphabetical, most used or recently installed. Beyond that though there aren’t many settings. It just looks really nice, functions really well and offers some visuals that no other launch has that you can easily install.
Snag the files below in the zip, unpack then and install them like any other 3rd party application. It includes DigitalClockWidget, GenieWidget, Home and PhotoWidget. These are not modified and are all pulled directly from the system dump of the Arc. There is a chance that the version found below may be older than others available around the web. If you find newer version feel free to let us all know.
Download – Xperia Arc launcher apps.zip
The second launcher I came across is the Acer Liquid launcher. It has a very unique style to it with some interesting visuals that I haven’t seen in the past. On the bottom of your screen is a dock bar box. it is a 4 X 2 style allowing to have 8 applications docked at once. You slide up the dock to access your app drawer and scroll left to right. While on your home screen you can only slide one panel to the right. This panel is extremely useful and at the same time, not functional at all. You can see all of your folders that are housing any photos along with the folder name. Tapping on it should launch the gallery or a gallery of some sort, but it doesn’t. You can switch to the view to music and videos. Offering you same side ways Rolodex with image preview. the videos work if you tap on one. I don’t have any music on my main memory so I didn’t test that out myself.
By long pressing on the home screen you can alter a few various settings such as Album art as the wallpaper while listening to music or remove the digital clock. Not a lot of customization though. After you have launched an application it then becomes available in the application history to the left of the home screen. Again, offering you a really nice Rolodex style view of recent applications.
One of the most annoying drawbacks to this launcher is the lack of a status bar of any type. It is supposed to appear on the lower dockbar as it is seen in the images, but doesn’t seem to work. This could really become something nice is someone could take the time to solve some of the issues that it has. I would be willing to use it as my primary launcher actually.
Since there are various different download options for this particular launcher, I will refer you to the original thread containing all the information you ever need about it.Just point your browser to aalopez10′s XDA thread and snag what you need.
P.S. I was able to easily install and run both of these launchers on my Vibrant running MIUI. Give it a shot and see what you think. I am sure there is some device incompatibility, so be prepared for things to not look the same or work.
Sources: XDA – Software2Tech – Xperiax10