Nokia Continues to Flirt with Android, Releases New Android Launcher
Not too long ago, Microsoft bought over Nokia – at least it’s hardware division and has now dedicated it to producing Windows Phone Devices and entirely forked Android devices. The division that Microsoft did not buy, however, has now released a new Android Launcher.
The Nokia Z Launcher, is a predictive launcher for Android which will customize the applications and layout of the launcher to suit your needs. The launcher is very gesture based and has, in fact, gotten its name from the “Z” gesture you draw on the screen to begin the search function. The application is a very simple one with search and customizability at the core of its functions. It does, however, lack in the widgets department which are not present in any form in the launcher – not even Google Search.
According to Brook Eaton, the lead product manager of Nokia’s Emerging Platforms group, the Nokia Z launcher stemmed from an organisation problem on devices. The folder, though helpful was apparently not enough. Eaton and his team instead went for the first items people saw on their phone home screen. Based on this philosophy, the team created some predictive algorithms which would predict based on the time of day, the location and your own activities, what you’d need on your screen at any given time. Application and contact suggestion apparently improves over time as the launcher gets to know you. If it doesn’t just simply trace the letters of the application or contact you want and the launcher will search for and display.
The application was released in “pre-beta” for a limited amount of time in the Play Store and has now been taken off. No official word whether the launcher will see a full release later on.