Saturday, April 9, 2011

Android Home Screen Replacement - Using Free ADW Launcher and iPhone Themes

You can quickly replace the default android home screen and theme with fancy theme like iPhone look alike theme. You can do this Android home replacement with a free app called ADW.Launcher. But doing Android home replacement using ADW.Launcher is bit tricky for normal phone users and I am going to teach you how-to get up and running with ADW.Launcher in no time.

Download And Install ADW Launcher From Android Market : You can download the ADW Launcher .apk file from many sources on net but I would suggest you to download app apk from your trusted sources only. Similarly you may find many ADW Themes for free download on internet and I would again suggest that download themes from your trusted sources only.

One of the trusted sources is Google Android market. Launch the Android market app on your mobile phone and search for ADW Launcher. You could find free version of ADW Launcher as well as Pro and Ex versions which are paid. Tap ADW Launcher which is free and you would see it's description as shown in screenshot below.

ADW Launcher on Android Market
Tap the "FREE" button to proceed for installation to your phone. Once you initiate the installation of ADW Launcher then go back to search of Android Market and search for "ADW theme free".

Download And Install ADW Launcher Themes : This would show you list of ADW themes available for your phone. Some of the free themes on Android market are displayed in screenshot below.

Free ADW Themes
You can install the themes you like but if you are interested in iPhone kind of look & feel then install ADW IPhroid IPhone Free theme. You can also try out ADWTheme MiPhone Free theme. Once you have installed  ADW Launcher and one of the ADW themes then you are ready to try out Android home replacement.

Get Started With Android Home Screen Replacement : The tricky part of adw launcher and these installed adw themes is none of these appear as applications in app drawer. To start using installed ADW Launcher press the home button of your Android mobile phone. This would display a menu shown in  following screenshot.

Home Screen Launcher Menu
If you notice there is a checkbox "Use by default for this action". If you check this ON then next time this menu would not be displayed and selected Launcher would be launched instead. I suggest to keep it OFF till you carry out all your trials and get comfortable with new ADW Launcher and themes. After applying any theme if it get force closed then the only easy option to recover is press the home button and tap "TwLauncher" option. This would bring you back to good old default home screen of your Android phone. To start using ADW Launcher, tap "ADW.Launcher" option.

ADW Launcher Settings For Android Home Screen Replacement : You can see the new look of the ADW Launcher's default theme in screenshot below. This does not replace your wallpaper which you have already set.

ADW Launcher in Action
Notice the three icons at the bottom bar. The left icon with gray star icon is where you can drop any shortcut from your desktop to make it your favorite. Center icon with four boxes is for opening or closing app drawer. App drawer is where you find all your installed apps. Rightmost icon is your mobile browser shortcut. Now press the menu button of your phone to see the menus of ADW Launcher.

ADW Launcher Menu
Add menu is to add items to your desktop, wallpaper is to set the wallpaper you like, Search is to launch Google search bar, Edit is to edit the desktops and Settings is our good old settings menu.  If you tap the more menu then you can see two more menus as shown in screenshot below.

ADW Launcher More Menus
Lock desktop menu locks your desktop icons and settings from accidentally being modified. You should do this ideally when all your desktop settings are done. You can unlock using the same menu if you want to do any changes. Tap the ADWSettings menu to launch the ADW Settings screen.

ADW Settings 
There are many choices here and you can explore those and try out in leisure. One of the interesting menus and in which we are interested now is "Themes Preferences".

Applying iPhone Theme To Android Phone : Tap this menu to proceed for trying out new iPhone theme for your Android phone.

Themes Preferences
Now tap "Select your theme" option to launch the dialog which displays the available themes you have on your phone. This include those which you have recently installed and default one from ADW Launcher.

ADW Launcher - Select your theme
The content of this dialog would differ depending on which themes you have installed on your Android phone. For iPhone like look & feel select the theme "ADWTheme_Blazing_IP" option. This is nothing but the "ADW IPhroid IPhone Free" theme which we installed earlier.

ADWTheme IPHROID Preview
You would need to scrolldown to see the preview of the theme and available buttons for actions to take. You can see the button like iPhone in the preview.

ADWTheme IPHROID Preview Scrolled
"Get themes!" button take you to the Android market store. You can start using this new iPhone like theme by tapping "Apply theme!" button.

iPhone look a like Theme for Android 
Voila, you can see now your selected Android theme in action. You can see how shortcuts are looking like those on iPhone. Next you can go ahead and change the wallpaper with the one you like and start putting required widgets on your desktops.

Resizing Widgets With ADW Launcher Home Screen Replacement : There are many interesting features and settings in ADW Launcher. One of those which worth mentioning here is you can resize the widgets on Android home screen or desktop. Let me show you how.

Gadget Context Menu
When you long press any widget on your desktop like a clock shown in screenshot above, it displays the context menu with choices "Remove", "Edit", "Uninstall". Remove just takes away the widget from your desktop and Uninstall removes it from your mobile phone. If you tap Edit then it would allow you to resize the widget as shown in screenshot below.

ADW Launcher - Edit Gadget
You can see that it display four double arrows using which you can resize the widget as you like. This is very handy when you want the large or small clock widget on your Android home screen. You can simply resize the clock to match your taste. If you are looking for cool, beautiful and best Android widgets then you can read about it at : Best Android Widgets - Clock, Weather, Calendar, Power Control, Music, Dictionary And SMS Widgets To Personalize And Beautify Your Google Android Home Screen

Here is one youtube video which you may find useful to understand ADW.Launcher well

There are many other settings and features available with ADW Launcher and you can explore those further. There are many free and paid ADW themes available for Android which you can use with ADW.Launcher and you should try those. One suggestion which I would like to repeat is, download free ADW.Launcher app apk and free ADW theme apks from your trusted sources only.

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