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The best Android launchers for enhanced efficiency

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Your smartphone’s home screen is the heart and soul of your mobile tech experience — the launching pad for nearly everything you do on your device. And since you use Android, you’ve got a unique advantage over your iPhone-totin’ associates in that your home screen doesn’t have to be the same tired old grid everyone else is using. It certainly can be, if you want, but you also have the option to take complete control of that environment and turn it into a time-saving command center for your personal productivity needs.

We’re not just talking about sprinkling a few exceptional widgets into the mix, either (a privilege the Apple faithful can now also enjoy). With Android, you can install a completely new home screen launcher that lets you incorporate all sorts of custom actions, interfaces, and shortcuts into your device’s desktop — giving your phone a different look and feel and creating a system that’s custom-tailored to the way you like to get things done. It can make a current phone infinitely more useful and make an old phone feel new again.

The Google Play Store has plenty of commendable launcher options to consider, and figuring out which makes the most sense for you ultimately comes down to deciding what exactly you want to accomplish and what style of interaction you prefer. After spending time with all the top contenders, these are the Android launchers I’d recommend for serious professionals — broken down by what type of experience they offer and in what areas they excel.

Lawnchair: A Pixel-plus experience for everyone

Google’s Pixel phones are known for their standout software — and while Google itself no longer offers its home screen framework to non-Pixel owners, a team of third-party developers has stepped in to fill that void.

The Lawnchair launcher (say it out loud to get the joke) emulates the Pixel Launcher’s clean, simple, and visually pleasing foundation — but it doesn’t stop there: The app takes things a step further and offers all sorts of powerful possibilities the Pixel Launcher does not, including options to customize and control practically every facet of the home screen experience.

While there’s certainly no shortage of productivity-minded functions to be found, what truly makes Lawnchair stand out is how the app absolutely nails the balance between simplicity and power. It works perfectly well right out of the box, and even if you never so much as glance at a single advanced setting, it’ll give your phone a fresh, light, and delightful foundation that you’ll immediately appreciate, especially if you’re coming from a non-Pixel device (hi, Samsung pals!).

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