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What is a launcher or launcher and how to change my Android?

25 mayo, 2021

The Android launcher is one of the most important applications on a mobile, although its mere concept may be a mystery to some. If you are not sure what a launcher is (or launcher, which is the same but in English), here you will find the answer.

If you are new to smartphones or especially Android, surely you have often heard of “launchers” and which ones are better or worse. It is a topic that is often taken for granted and rarely explained, but no one was born knowing so here we will see what is a launcher and how can you change the one on your Android mobile.

How to add widgets to the home screen on Android

What is a launcher?

Let’s start at the beginning, what exactly is a pitcher? First of all: it is exactly the same as a launcher, which is the name it receives in English, also quite frequent. It is one of the most important Android applications, as it is the application with which you launch other applications.

It is therefore the first app you see after unlocking the phone, and the one in charge of showing you the icons of the different applications that you have installed (so that you can open them) and showing widgets.

ASUS Launcher (left) and Nova Launcher Launcher (right)

All Android mobile includes its own launcher, often customized by the phone manufacturer. For example, Samsung phones have Touchwiz while Sony phones have Xperia Home, and so on.

Unlike other components of the manufacturer’s customization layer (that is, the Android customization made by the mobile brand), it is possible to change the launcher of your Android by another downloaded from Google Play. In this way, if your mobile launcher does not convince you, you can always download and install another one.

Although there are all kinds of the most curious and original pitchers, the vast majority of them avoid reinventing the wheel and follow the same pattern: with a Desk and a app drawer. Some of them allow you to choose between whether you want to use the app drawer or not.

The desk


The desktop, which may also be called the “start screen,” is the equivalent of the desktop in Windows or other operating systems. It includes the shortcuts to some applications you want to always have on hand, as well as widgets.

Here it is necessary to differentiate between the launchers that have an application drawer (which we will see below) and those that do not. Those who don’t have app drawer show all installed apps on the desktop (in the same way as on an iPhone), while those that do have a drawer only show the access to the applications of your choice.

The app drawer


The app drawer is the list where they are displayed all installed apps that you can open as a user, and the way to open applications that you do not have on the home screen. The apps in the drawer can be displayed alphabetically, by installation order, or in a custom order, depending on the user and the launcher.

It is precisely from the application drawer that you can add new applications to the home screen, usually with a long press. In some cases, in addition to applications, the available widgets are also displayed, usually in another tab.

How to change the launcher

Changing the launcher of your mobile is very simple, and most of the launchers available on Google Play have some type of assistant that guides you through the process. The first thing you need, of course, is a different launcher than the one you are using. If you need an idea, here are a few suggestions. Pitchers they install just like any other app from Google Play.


You can change the launcher from the Android settings, but luckily there is a faster way: After installing a new launcher, when press the mobile home button Android will ask you which launcher you want to use, showing you the ones you have installed. The one you choose will be used from that moment on, without being asked again.

If you prefer to change it yourself, the option may vary slightly in position and name according to different phone brands, but it should be in the Settings Android, section Applications, sub-section or menu Default apps.


The default application settings allow you to choose a web browser, messaging, calling, and home screen application (that is, the launcher) from the ones you have installed. Tap on Home screen and you can change the default launcher to the one you like the most. Once again, remember that the names and location of these menus can change from one Android to another.