Open Source Android Launchers in 2021

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Zim

I just love that name. Its like a cartoon alien’s name. “I am Zim from the planet FOSS and I’m here to install Ubuntu on your systems!” Then all the people run away screaming because Ubuntu.

Zim launches an oddly bare homescreen. Nothing but a drawer icon and an at-a-glance widget. Ready for you to make it your own? Maybe? The developer forgot defaults? Possibly?

Zim lacks most of the customization that more popular launchers offer. Different themes are offered thankfully. By default, the menu was horrific. The headers were difficult to read. I changed the theme to Black, of course, and I could see again. Praise be.

Apps can be hidden but not found. The at-a-glance widget can be modified for weather source and Fahrenheit or Celsius.

I wish there was more to say about Zim. I really like the name. Its fun. Like a little green Martian about to scramble your DNA. But unlike the Martian, there’s little in the way of features, customization, or differentiation.

Keikai

I’ve noticed a trend with open source launchers: its about simplicity and speed. Build something that’s easy to use and is fast. Keikai is a good example of this.

All of the apps are listed on the homescreen. The settings menu can change how apps are sorted. Apps can be pinned to the top of the homescreen to make them easier to find. Keikai is a very quick launcher but its sorely lacking for features. If your needs are simple, this might be a good choice.

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