15 Minute Challenge: $16 Next Launcher from the GO Launcher Dev Team [VIDEO]

A wise man once said, “You can never have too many options.” Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, that’s the beauty of the Android OS. When it comes to customizing, there are almost countless methods at an Android user’s disposal, making for devices where no 2 are ever the same. One of the easiest ways to change things up is simply to swap out your stock launcher (you know, your homescreen where you dump all your app icons) for another. Instead of releasing another of the same old traditional Android launcher you’ve come to expect, the boys at the GO Launcher Dev Team are it again. This time they’ve released a re-imagined launcher into the Google Play Store called Next Launcher.

First things first — let’s talk about that price. Next Launcher is one of a very elite group of “premium” launchers to launch in the Play Store at the $16 mark. While I’m all for paying good money for great software, you really gotta bring something new to the table to warrant box-o-Ferrero-Rocher-pricing. The GO Team attempts to accomplish this by injecting an incredible amount of flare and pizzazz into Next Launcher. But does it really make for anything new or intuitive? Well, yes and no.

Initial Impressions

Unlike TSF Shell that threw the traditional Android launcher for a loop, Next Launcher behaves very much in the same way you’d expect a typical launcher to behave. You have your homescreen, app drawer — all of which can be customized with various animations, shortcuts and widgets. Nothing new there. However, you have a bit more freedom in how to display your icons on your homescreen. Using a 2-finger gesture, icons can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing for a fun, and unique layout.

Everything in Next Launcher is fluid and animated beautifully. I haven’t seen a launcher hitting a constant 60fps since TSF Shell. But alas — that’s where the eye candy ends. The stock “theme” on Next Launcher is a sort of mix of glossy, glass looking icons with neon highlights. Yes, neon. This (aside from its ridiculous pricing) will no doubt be the biggest turn off for most Android users. I understand Matias Duarte’s “Holo UI” may not be for everyone, but for heaven’s sakes, the GO Dev Team could have gone with the traditional GO Launcher icon set/theme. Something less Fast and the Furious and more minimal. To call Next Launcher simply “inspired by” SPB Shell 3D Launcher, is an understatement. It’s clear what the Go Team was trying to accomplish here (even in pricing).

Widgets n’ Things

Like GO Launcher, Next Launcher has specific widgets and live wallpapers that will only work 100% on NL. Not yet available, the GO Team did mention that “fancy 3D widgets” will be coming soon, so we’ll have to wait and see how impressive those turn out. The first live wallpaper for NL, Next Honeycomb Live Wallpaper, is truly a sight. While you can get it to display on other (cheaper) launchers, it wont have the same special effects as when displayed through NL.

15 Minute Verdict

Of course, it’s going to take a whole lot more than fancy live wallpapers and snazzy animations to get anyone to plop down $16 on a launcher replacement. In fact, in its current state, I can honestly say there is absolutely nothing offered by Next Launcher that really deserves such a ludicrous price tag. $5? Sure. $7? Maybe. $10? Easy, tiger. $16? STAHP. While I normally love almost anything the GO Team releases in the Play Store (no, not because it’s free), when it comes to Next Launcher, your money could be better spent supporting smaller devs like Tesla Coil’s Nova Launcher.

[Next Launcher on Google Play]

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  • scoter man1

    I stopped using Go launcher when I switched to ICS. $16? no thanks. Wouldn’t even bother looking at it.

  • dreadnatty08

    Chris, you’re hilarious!
    Thanks for the vid and saving me $16.

  • ScottColbert

    Unlike TSF Shell that through the traditional Android launcher for a loop,

    Threw not through, Mr. Chavez, see me after class. :P

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Yes, sir ._.

  • IronHorse01

    Chris, what rom is that you’re running?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Stock Samsung Galaxy S3. O_o

      • cheapskate88

        Scandalous!!!

      • IronHorse01

        Yeah? Stock touchwiz? Because that clock and icons are the ones from stuck 4.1.1 or something

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Shhhhh… It’s for a new feature I’m working on :)

          • IronHorse01

            Ahhhh I see, you’re secret is safe lol

  • Jordan Pfingsten

    Died laughing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oliver-Crangle/100003079637271 Oliver Crangle

    Well I’m glad it’s $16 bucks, because if it was $5 it would signify the end of Go Launcher EX.

  • Jonathan Hayes

    Saved the $16 by pirating the app. hehe. this app is not worth that much money..

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Enjoy zero updates and potential malware O_o

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

        Chris, there are literally zeros chances of getting malware on android unless the app is czech or russian but the no update thing is real though

        • Michael Thompson

          That and the dev(s) not being supported for their work.
          No updates and the dev(s) not being supported for their work.

      • Jonathan Hayes

        zero malware from the pirate bay release.. :)

  • Crimsonshadow774

    What a deal, buy one crap launcher for the price of 3 good ones!

  • bluegreen343

    I will just stick with the stock jellybean launcher thank you.

  • Anthony Ngo

    hahaha chris i love your reviews xD

  • bmg314

    $16?? Will the GO devs buy me dinner first? °_°

  • mhmmd123

    I use the SPB Shell 3D and I love it.

  • http://www.swornbrotherhood.com/ nemesys06

    I checked it out. I like the feel of it. like you mentioned, the neon is a turnoff. I will keep this purchase however in hopes they update it with new themes. And I have hopes for the live wallpapers in the future. But $16? Maybe 8 or 10 if they offer different themes besides the neon

  • Nobama

    Is this covered by ObamaCare..LMAO!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Farhan-Chowdhury/1170646625 Farhan Chowdhury

    it looks like UI you would find when a movie character is looking for secret files on a computer in a 90′s movie

  • Lan2CP

    How did you get that 4.2 Clock widget on your homescreen? I can’t manage to get it working :/.

  • WilliamKingX17

    Nova Launcher FTW!!!

  • PhoenixPath

    While I am tempted to try it out, since there are zero options for trying it out aside from paying an absurd amount (and trying to make the decision to keep in a ridiculously short 15 minute test drive), it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Rob Wild

    10 bux says Chavez secretly re-purchased the app cause he thinks it’s cool. ;)
    Love the reviews bro, always. :)

  • phinn

    Why anyone would pay even $1 for a launcher let alone $16 when the stock Jelly Bean is awesome is beyond me.

  • peanutsrevenge

    Asking £10 for an incomplete launcher is just fail.

    When I saw it was GO releasing a new launcher I was quite excited as it’s been my default for a couple of years now as it’s so theme-able and works for me and this new one has much potential for those that like funkiness, but without the themes and extras to back it up, few people will be buying it and the reviews will make it a laughing stock.

    Sort yourselves GO, have patience and release when it’s properly ready, not just when the base is stable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.zedicher Michael Zedicher

    Not gonna lie I liked most of what i saw but no way in hell I would spend that kind of money for it. Way overpriced IMO.

    Oh and Chris, i almost spit my drink out when you popped the menu button up, funny.

  • TechGuy22

    Yeah i love the livewallaper thats it. screw that launcher. its too expensive. so far only 108 people bought it. not counting refund

  • http://www.facebook.com/AGx07 Chris Brown-Demoreno

    I watched the video they have on the play store and I wasn’t impressed in the least bit. It’s pretty and all but it doesn’t do anything that is worth $16. Hell, you cant even theme it (which is important to me because, aside from the nice animations, its pretty ugly). I’ll pass on this.

  • Dipo Lawal

    Ok, here we go:

    I’ve gone through my fair share of launchers (Apex, GO, Nova, ADW, SPB, TSF, NextL) and I just want to share what I think with you all.

    NextLauncher is by far the best looking launcher available. I combined it with the stunning HD widgets and I almost shed a tear when I look at my home screen. Obviously look isnt everything so I’ll break this down.

    Price:

    $16 is definitely too much for a launcher, but the thing is it isn’t just some launcher, it comes with more apps/widgets that most people would pay for in separate apps.

    We also need to keep in mind this is 1.0.0, really people it will only get better.

    This launcher could easily become the next gen TSF. Combining stunning beuaty and amazing GUI is worth thr $16.

    I am NOT saying it is worth $16 right now, but I am saying I believe it easily could be further down the road.

    Look:

    By far the biggest feature of NextLauncher that already lets it fly by most other launchers. The only launchers you should even begin to compare to NextLauncher would be ADW, Apex, and maybe just a little bit Nova. Nova is good don’t get em wrong but Apex and ADW outshine it. NextLauncher has most if not all of Apex/ADW’s features while being much more attracting to the eye.

    The only launchers capable of combating NextL in the look & feature department are TSF and SPB. SPB is very much is the same boat as NextL but I still want to see NExtL a few updates down the road before I compare. TSF seems to be the GUI NextL aims to achieve, for you TSF users it’s obvious why.

    Performance:

    My Samsung Galaxy S3 runs all transitions and features smoothly with no jitters or breaks. All animations run smoothly even when left in loop for hours. Battery life is average just as Apex/ADW. It CAN eat up more battery than other launchers but you can easily disable some of its more consuming features it the preferences menu. Looking pretty good so far.

    Other Features:

    I absolutely love the custom app position and I mean completely custom. Rotate side by side (as close as you want), upside down, etc. It’s just a marvelous feeling being able to customize so much on this launcher. This is a feature no launcher has reprodueced quite like it.

    Notification App Drawer, the app drawer button has an animation for when a new app is added so you can easily find it. This isn’t a super important feature but I find it very nifty.

    Transitions, has basically all the GO Launcher transitions (which is a lot for those of you who have used it), and has a Random Transition feature, which I myself use.

    App icon animations, yep that is right apps can animate on press with a nice list of animations as well as a random animation feature.

    TSF/SPB seem to be the key componets of this launcher.TSF has an amazing GUI and list of features making it easily in the top 5 of launchers, SPB has beauty like no other, NextL seems to be trying to combine these features, white it is definitely an eye catcher it still has some features of TSF. I do hope they continue to add more TSF features as this launcher could easily be in the top 3 and by then it would be worth the $16.

    Now for the darker part of NextLauncher, I’ll talk about some of its lackings.
    ——————
    CONS:

    ——————-

    Features:

    The Dock, as far as I can tell dock is limited to 5 apps for now. I have tried countless items to add more. I personally love this feature and do expect and hope for it to be added in later updates.

    App Drawer, lacking custom tabs. I loved being able to have tabs in my drawer for all sorts of my apps, games, favorites, widgets (widgets was indeed very useful), etc. The folder feature is ok but you can’t have apps in 2 folders at the same time, definitely a bummer for me.
    Widgets, I found that some widgets would simply disappear if I placed them in a position just barely off sometimes. I had a 4*3 widget calendar and a 4*1 widget under it and when I tried to move the 4*1 just a little bit it would disappear after I left the page.

    ———————————————–

    Final words on the matter, this app is chocked full of cool stuff and isn’t just eye candy, it is very bit as convenient as every other launcher out there.

    If you like SPB Shell 3D you will lovev NextL they are brother and sisrter in my eyes, I just want to see how NextL grows up before a true comparison.

    For TSF users you’ll miss some of the features but you’ll love the extra beauty. I would recommend staying with TSF until NextL has developed farther down the road.

    Is it worth the $16 at the moment no, I do think the price should either be lowered to about $10 or add in free trials. This launcher is easily worth $10 in my opinion with all the extra apps heck maybe even $12, but $16 is a bit much, but hey I am loving the launcher so far so I’m not complaining.

    Overall Score:

    9.2

    Customization:
    9.4

    Look:
    9.8

    Features (as of version 1.0.0):
    8.9

    Extra Features (the ones that aren’t launcher related):
    9.1

    ——————————————————————————-

    I hope this helps you all make a good decision on this launcher.

    Cheers.

  • mikeym0p

    Please do this again, make a whole lineup of 15 minute challenge videos so it becomes signature to Phandroid.

    • Michael Thompson

      That is an excellent idea.

      They definitely have the chops, but are they willing?

  • Michael Thompson

    Awesome stuff!
    Entertaining and informative!

  • Robb Nice

    Thanks but no thanks! all screen transititons and nothing else, to much effort to try and figure out, especially with a 15 min refund policy on the play store, doesn’t help the developer sales! Google really need to rethink their refund policy. doesn’t help big tickets apps, if I had maybe 3 days with this app, I could possibly make it work, as of now NO Way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.thomas.37604303 Matt Thomas

    nova will do ;)

  • pr1nyc1

    I love Nova, and bought it when it was a quarter, ill wait for this to be a quarter as well.

    • ratnok

      ^ This is why we can’t have nice stuff.

  • parkg626

    Interesting how that launcher looks so “Much” like SPB…am I right? or wrong? Just saying, and SPB’s launcher cost $15

  • Andrew Perkins

    Can anybody share the gray tetris-like wallpaper? I can’t find it and was hoping it could be pulled from the app once you download it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clay.roesler Clay Roesler AkaPoeticallity

    Really great launcher… I “got” it today hahaha You are able to share it with with friends for free if you look in the about section ;) Best launcher out there. Kind of flashy, but is really smooth and should theme well in the future

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevles Steve Brain

    After using Next Launcher for a while now, I can truly say it is not even remotely worth $16.
    It’s not worth any more than $5 to be honest. Even that is a reach.
    What the hell were they thinking? Go Dev used to be good, then they sold out. It all started when they came up with the idea for selling themes via their in-app store. Terrible, terrible shame to see a good developer team go so money hungry.

  • http://twitter.com/Cindy_Humphrey Cindy Humphrey

    Very much like SPB Shell launcher, which I spent $14 or $15 dollars on but soon got tired of its loose fit to my expectations. It had a wow factor but not as practical or customizable as GoLauncher EX. I’m sticking with GoLauncher EX…love it. Tnx for the demo.