As everyone knows, the beauty of Android is the way one can customize their experience to their taste. From the launcher, to the icons, and even to the nitty gritty features (if you’re coding-capable), you can make your phone completely unique and YOURS. I took a look at my Robin today and had the chance to peek at a few others around the office and noticed how different everyone’s setup was. For me, I have a blank homescreen and use gestures on Nova Launcher to get what I need. For others, they prefer a stock Robin experience. I sat down with Alastair, one of our Test Engineers, to go in-depth into his Robin.
Here are Alastair’s homescreens:
K: Hey buddy, what launcher are you using?
AA: YO, sup Khanger. Nova Launcher, but I use the Nextbit Launcher on my secondary and test devices, of course haha.
K: Why do you prefer this setup over our own launcher?
AA: A couple key reasons:
I need an app drawer since I have about 170 apps installed + shadow icons. I dislike having to perform more than 3 swipes/actions to launch an app. In this setup, my first tier apps are 0-1 swipe away. For all other apps, I utilize Nova Launcher’s search a la Mac OS Spotlight to launch apps. For example, to launch Pandora, I 1) hit my home button 2) type P and 3) launch Pandora via the search results.
App search toggled by tapping the home button.
widgets on the home screen: I enjoyed this functionality when I switched from iOS - having weather and my daily agenda always there is very useful for me.
customizable layout - having 2 home screens is a pretty hard requirement for me, so I need to pack as many icons as I can while maintaining high usability. I frequently access my phone riding around on my bike and need quick and easy access a few apps - Maps, Soundcloud, Spotify, Messaging.
gestures & search - complementary to the above point, I enjoy the ability to bring up app search via the home screen, the ability to pull the notification curtain down by swiping down anywhere on the home screen, etc. These gestures make up for and enable me to have few home screens and less overall visual clutter.
K: What widget is that?
AA: It is the Arcus weather widget - providing the 48 hour temperature and precipitation forecast. I ride my bike every day, so knowing what the weather conditions are like is useful - ie. if I wait another 20 minutes, the crazy rain storm will pass and I can ride with slightly less misery.
K: What are three apps you use most often?
AA: Relay Pro, Soundcloud, and Instagram. Our Camera app comes in right at #4…
K: Can you tell me what icon pack and wallpaper you’re using?
AA: The icon pack is called CandyCons and the wallpaper is from the Murum wallpaper app. Needed a simple dark wallpaper that would blend into the background while making the bright material icons pop.
What I love about Android is if I’m feeling that my experience is a little stale, I can use a new icon pack, or a new wallpaper, or change up my launcher to make it feel like a completely different phone. Every month, we’ll be checking out a different HQ Rebel’s Robin to show you how we rock our devices. Alastair's a super-busy guy, so huge thanks to him for spending some time to share his Robin with us.
If you like Alastair’s setup, you can check out these links: