Nokia's Android launcher could make your phone smarter

The Z Launcher. (Nokia)

The Z Launcher. (Nokia)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 2:14 PM ET

Called the Z Launcher, the app will make navigating a smartphone easier, and the more it's used the better it will get.

Nokia may have sold its handset business to Microsoft, but it clearly hasn't given up on smartphones altogether. It has just announced the Z Launcher.

The 'smart' Android launcher aims to clear up messy home screens and the folders of preinstalled apps that seem to come as standard on most handsets running Google's OS.

But as well as putting an end to visual clutter, the Z Launcher wants to make it quick and simple to find and open the right app at the right time and in some cases offer the app before you start searching for it.

So, for example in the morning there are icons on the home screen for LinkedIn, Gmail and Google Maps but in the evening they're replaced by Facebook, Spotify and YouTube.

It does this by keeping track of which apps you use and when you use them in the hopes of preempting your needs. And, if it has filed away apps that you do want, it has an equally intuitive way of locating them called 'Scribble'. Simply trace the first letter of the app on the home screen with your finger and it should magically appear and, if it doesn't, trace the second letter too.

For instance, searching for Pinterest might require writing a 'P' and an 'I' because Plants and Zombies also starts with the letter 'P'. And as with organizing home screen apps, these Scribbles are remembered too so if Pinterest is always the app being searched for, it is always the first offered when a 'P' is traced on the screen. 

Nokia has not said when it hopes to launch the finished version for general public use but it is offering the Z Launcher in beta version for people to test; however the number of testers is limited so it's a case of first come, first served.


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