A series where I will post basic beginner guides to Android. There will be guides coming out regularly so keep up with UltraLinx by following us on Twitter or Facebook. If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments below.
There is a whole list of replacement launchers out there for Android, it's a feature which phones like iPhone's and Windows Phone 7 don't offer. It's what sets it apart from the rest of the crowd.
My personal favourite is LauncherPro. It is a very minimal launcher which provides some basic features. It is not as advanced as some others out there but it is the simplicity which draws me to this replacement launcher. You can get it up and running quickly and don't have to fiddle about with the settings much. You can have custom docks, custom swipe gestures and can choose from a variety of homescreen transitions. The main reason I use this launcher is because of how stable and smooth it is on my HTC Desire. I never have any force closes with it and it loads up very quickly from the moment you unlock your device.
There are also a number of other launchers. Each come with their own unique features.
ADW EX has a lot more features and options compared to LauncherPro. It is also highly customizable with the addition of being able to download themes for the launcher straight from the Android market. It's more for advanced users who want to really customize their device to the max.
Go Launcher EX has risen to success from all the GO apps coming from the developers. It's become a very popular replacement launcher in the Android market and offers some great unique widgets. It's also basic like LauncherPro but not as popular.
Regina Launcher is an upcoming replacement launcher which also features some unique widgets like GO Launcher EX. It's not the smoothest launcher on my HTC Desire but that may be because my device is over a year old.
However may be you love the look of Windows Phone 7. With Launcher 7 it enables you to get the Windows Phone 7 look on your Android device minus the live moving tiles. The tiles are however customizable and you can use your own custom tiles with custom images. This is another place where Android sets itself apart, with the ability to completely change the look of your device.
If you can't choose between the ever growing list of replacement launchers I suggest trying out these four first. Give each one a week of use, dive through the settings and features and find which one suits you best. It will also help with finding out what launcher works best on your phone. When it comes to replacement launchers I find it is all about preference because there is no best one out there. You don't want a device which you work around but a device which works around you.