Switching between launchers in Android 4.4 KITKAT [VIDEO]

To say that switching between multiple replacement launchers in Android has been a pain would be a vast understatement. It sucked, and for a lot of users — particularly those who don’t consider themselves “power” users — it was downright confusing. Thankfully, Google looked to address that in Android 4.4 KITKAT with a new menu option under settings.

Simply dubbed “Home,” this menu houses a list of all the different home-screen / launcher replacements you have installed on your phone. Touch one, and that is now your default launcher. It’s extremely simple, but it’s a change that’s going to save a lot of people a lot of headache (especially if you’re the type to switch launchers about as often as you switch underwear).

I should note that this menu also gives you the option to uninstall said launchers, though you obviously won’t be able to rid your device of the one that came pre-installed. No biggie, there — it’s always good to have a backup plan. Watch the video above to see how this simple, yet powerful feature works.

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TAGS: Android 4.4 KitKat , Nexus 5 , Resources

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    The new way is definitely cleaner wouldn’t say the old way was all that confusing though.

    • UniBroW

      it is for people that aren’t technically inclined. Having to go into application manager and then try and remember what the laucher was that you didn’t want to use and know that you had to clear defaults was a pain. It just wasn’t user friendly. Some apps, like nova, allowed you to pick whatever home screen replacement you wanted from Nova itself which made things easier.

  • AndroidProfit

    Cant remember where I read it (lot’s or rumors float around before a release) but there was mention of 100gigs of Drive storage if you bought the Nexus 5. No mention on the Google Play store so I assume that this rumor was just a rumor. Seems too good to be true anyway. Anyone know if is this is true?

  • AlexMWilliams

    …you’re supposed to switch your underwear?

  • Joey

    can this be fragmentation’s cure in disguise?

    • maynefzb828

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    So much lag.

    Sad really.

    • fourthletter

      Stop watching yo mama make your pancakes and get on topic!

  • ecdy

    Don’t understand the difficulty with changing launchers in earlier Androids. Settings>Manage Apps>Launcher>Clear Cache, then the next time you go to the home screen you’ll be asked which launcher to use, and whether it should be the default. But why do you think people change launchers frequently? I change mine about as frequently as I change my underwear–once a year or so.

    • andrew__des_moines

      Simplicity is in the eye of the beholder.

    • Romdude

      Easiest is use home switcher, it works and works well. I use it on swypepad and can quickly switch launcher when I want to.

  • Alu Zeros


  • dhinged

    I will definitely be using a launcher replacement for the stock Android KitKat 4.4 launcher, as it is now just like the iPhone. On the Nexus 4, the main home screen was the center screen, and it took a maximum of 2 swipes to get to any other screen. Now that the left-most screen is the main one, it takes 3 swipes to get to your 4th screen, 4 to your 5th, etc. My iPod frustrates me this way and Android’s center home screen set it above. Now the only thing differentiating it from iOS is the widgets. Pathetic.

    They even use iOS’ little page dots… and Google Now is a left-most swipe, just like search on iOS! On top of that, it’s just easier swipe up from the Home button, so why not leave it at that instead of adding another home page to swipe through?

    Why make these unnecessary, conformist, and detrimental changes?! My experience with this will be more difficult, as I use 5 screens. This is essentially the death of the Android main interface for me, as it hardly differentiates from the annoying iOS launcher and is hardly better.

    • Simon Belmont

      Actually, on iOS 7 the left swipe doesn’t have Spotlight Search anymore. If you don’t like Google Now to the left, long-press the home-screen, choose Settings, and then turn it off.

      Alternatively, if you don’t like the GEL, then use a third party launcher like Nova. Stop bitching because you have multiple options here.

      • dhinged

        Thanks for the info Mr Belmont, but you missed my point. My point is that Android was innovative by differentiating from iOS and standing above it. Now it’s moving towards becoming more like iOS than ever before, which means Google is becoming less differentiated and superior to it, and I’ve read several reviews of KitKat since I posted this that mentioned the same thing, so go ahead and tell them to “stop bitching”, because it wasn’t about that.

  • Romdude

    Can you say home switcher for froyo or home switcher? I wonder how other people switch launchers without making it too complicated.

  • catt4u

    Switching launchers has never been a problem for me.
    I have GoLauncher set as default

    Go to the playstore and get Launcher Switcher wich works like a charm!