3D Home: how does it compare with other free app launchers?
Download 3D Home for free on Google Play:
Star Rating: 4.5
Installs: 100,000 - 500,000
By robomantic, 27th August 2013
3D Home by Borqs is one app launcher which has caused quite a stir lately in the Android community. The free-to-download app, known for taking a radically unconventional approach to homescreens, has already amassed over 100,000 downloads on Google Play, with an average user rating of 4.5. But how good is 3D Home really? To find out, I compared 3D Home to four of the best free-to-download competitors on the market: Go Launcher Ex, ADW. Launcher, Buzz Launcher and Apex Launcher. The five apps were evaluated in terms of their performance on several features I view as essential for making the perfect Android app launcher. And here’s what I discovered.
3D objects and 3D animations
The clear winner for this feature is 3D Home which, unsurprisingly, excels in all its 3D offerings; 3D objects and 3D animation effects are key aspects of the overall 3D Home experience. When users enter the app launcher, they are welcomed by a room, which contains all their phone’s apps. Nothing unusual? Well how about this: the “room” is completely 3D, featuring apps in the form of “3D widgets” that respond with nifty animations when accessed. That’s fairly difficult to trump, I’d say.
Among the other app launchers, Go Launcher EX was the only competitor which offered some form of 3D features, and actually they’re very smart. I particularly liked the Go Launcher’s 3D app viewer, which displays all the apps running, in the form of a nifty globe. There’s also a really cool SMS widget which displays your text messages in the form of a 3D ticket-strip.
adding new widgets
All the app launchers in our comparison, save for Apex Launcher, include the feature to add new widgets. 3D Home was the only launcher to feature 3D widgets, integrated with its other 3D functionality. Go Launcher EX was the clear winner in terms of the sheer range of unique widgets and plugins. Its Clean Master stood out as a really useful memory usage indicator and task killer. But my favourite on the widgets front was Buzz Launcher, which allows users to create their own unique widgets, using the Buzz Custom Widget app. In terms of the other two, Apex Launcher doesn’t add any new widgets or plugins, but its paid version allowed us to use our old widgets in cool ways like making them overlap. And ADW. Launcher only features one new widget, the ActionBar, which integrates a search and a configuration menu.
backup and restore & advanced settings
All app launchers except 3D Home provide advanced settings and allow users to backup and restore their profiles and widget layouts. Just imagine you’ve spent hours configuring and tweaking your launcher, but you’d like to try another style: a contingency plan needs to be in place to prevent mishaps. Go Launcher EX steals the show for both features, allowing users to backup their entire settings and desktop configurations to an SD card. If that wasn’t enough, Go Launcher EX even lets you keep the app in memory, preventing force closures when running out of memory. This is a fantastic failsafe if you’re down on juice. Sadly, 3D Home lacks both of these features, so adding a backup option and advanced settings would greatly improve its customizability and security.
summary of results
3D Home was developed by Borqs to address the growing need for differentiation among app launchers. Borqs seem to think that Google Play and other Android markets are flooded with “samey” apps, so they’ve developed something they regard as truly unique. They may well be right. And it’s good for us because the result is extremely original. After having used 3D Home now for a few weeks, I can safely confirm that it rises quite well to the challenge. 3D Home does exactly what it says on the tin.
Unsurprisingly, 3D Home’s most distinguishing feature is its fantastic 3D experience, at which it performs best. But despite this unique facet, I feel that 3D Home still has room for further improvement. Integrating backup and restore would give users even more security when using 3D Home. And the addition of advanced settings would take customization to an even higher level. Having said that, I half suspect they’d implement these features fairly soon because they’re fairly good at responding to customers. Just check out 3D Home on Google Play to see for yourself.