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Nokia unveils Z Launcher for Android with context awareness

updated 12:59 pm EDT, Thu June 19, 2014

Z launcher marks Nokia's second major foray into Android since Nokia X

Nokia has launched an Android launcher, just two months after completing the sale of its mobile phone manufacturing business to Microsoft. The Z Launcher, the company's second major foray into Android after releasing the Nokia X smartphone, is an Android user interface that attempts to offer shortcuts to tools and apps when the user needs them most.

The home screen of the launcher provides the date and an appointment reminder at the top, an app dock at the base, and a list of shortcuts that will alter over time, reports BGR. "Throughout the day, Z Launcher is learning how you use your phone and promoting your favorite apps so you can get them faster," claims the website, hinting that the screen will change based on what the phone thinks is the most relevant to the user at that moment.

The headline feature of Z Launcher has to be its app search function, called Scribble. While an alphabetical list of apps can be brought up, users can shorten the list by writing the first letter of the app or shortcut on the home screen, with subsequent letters narrowing the field of apps and items further. Apps and shortcuts brought up in this search will be given a higher priority on the home screen for that time of day.

Z Launcher is being made available in a "Limited pre-beta release," with the website stating it is being tested to run optimally on the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, and S5, along with the Nexus 5, though it is apparently not optimized for use with tablets.

by MacNN Staff



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