Apex Launcher – Best Android’s Stock ICS Launcher Alternative

If you are one of the fortunate few using Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on your phone, you’ll probably agree that the stock launcher for ICS is a vast improvement over the launcher it replaced. As good as it is, there is still room for improvement in terms of user customization, and some of the fixed features (such as the search bar that appears on every screen and cannot be removed, the inability to change the size of the home screen, etc.) are counterproductive. The stock ICS launcher served as the foundation for Apex Launcher, a home screen launcher that offers significantly more flexibility and customizability.

Apex Launcher maintains the integrity of the stock launcher, in contrast to other home screen replacement apps that completely alter the appearance, feel, and user experience of the home screen. You can use it immediately without having to relearn it because it has the same look and feel. The features of Apex Launcher that I like are the ability to change the size of the home screen, set gestures, and remove items that aren’t possible with the default launcher.



From the Google Play Store, install Apex Launcher Pro APK.

Hit the Home key. Pick Apex Launcher from the list when prompted.

While Apex Launcher Pro APK has the same appearance and functionality as the stock launcher, it has different functionality. Now that the top search bar has been removed, you can enjoy a large 5 x 4 screen area. The dock also has a scroll feature and supports up to 35 apps. Since I don’t use docks, a static dock with five app placements will do for me. I do, however, have friends who adore the extra docks so they can clear out space in the main area and minimize the number of screens.


Two icons—Apex Menu and Apex Settings—will appear on the Home Screen once Apex Launcher has been launched. When the Apex Menu is tapped, a screen containing shortcuts to various phone features appears. You can modify your wallpaper, manage your apps, add more Apex buttons, access Apex Settings, access System Settings, and lock your desktop. Once your home screen is set up, you can use the Lock Desktop feature. Any long press on the home screen after the desktop has been locked will be rendered invalid, and you won’t be able to add or remove widgets, shortcuts, or icons from the home screen.



All the configuration options are in Apex Settings. Homescreen, Drawer, Dock, Folder, Behavior, and Advanced are some of its sections.

You can choose the number of screen sizes (up to 9) and the grid size in the homescreen settings, which will affect how many icons you can fit on the home screen. Additionally, you can choose whether an infinite scroll should be used once you reach the final screen as well as the transition effect when switching between screens.

The gesture actions that you can set up for swipe up, swipe down, desktop double tap, and desktop long press are one of Apex Launcher’s standout features. I don’t have to extend my thumb all the way up to pull down the notification bar because I am using a Galaxy Nexus with a large screen and I can set the swipe down gesture to display the notification bar.

The resizing of widgets that are typically not resizable is the next best thing. You can only resize widgets in the stock launcher if they support it. Whether a widget supports resizing or not, Apex Launcher gives you the option to do so. While some of the widgets may not look right after being resized, others may.


The Google Play Store has a tonne of home screen replacement apps, some of which, like the Go Launcher and ADW launcher, are extremely well-liked. Apex Launcher is the one for you if you like the stock ICS launcher but wish there were more customization options.