The Android Home screen is the hub of your mobile phone. It is here that you access widgets, launch apps from shortcuts, find the main program menu, access your phone settings, change the background and generally use the device to make calls.
However for some reason the Home screen is only three screens wide; that is to say, other than the main screen which occurs when you hold down the Home button, you can scroll one way to the left, and one way to the right, to find additional space to place widgets and shortcuts.
This isn’t really very much, is it?
Given the size of the standard icon, this would allow 16 small widgets or shortcuts to be displayed on each screen. Unless you want your Android Home screen to get cluttered, this isn’t practical.
Bigger Home Screen in Android 2.2
The most recent releases of Android have been endowed with an impressive 7 Home screens. This is considerably more than the 3 available on versions 1.5 and 1.6, and more than enough for more Android users.
But what do you do if your phone isn’t on Android 2.2 – or worse still, cannot run Android 2.2?
The obvious answer is of course the correct one – download an app! There are several apps available for Android 1.6 that allow you to add a whole new home screen and manage your widgets and app shortcuts in a new and interesting way. Using apps such as these, you can extend your Android Home screen beyond the default three.
Apps with Larger Android Home Screens
You can increase the available real estate of your Android 1.6 Home screen with any of the following apps.
Home++ is for Android 1.6, and offers a much larger Home screen “playing field” as well as offering a much improved attitude to widget placement, while the power strip has also been revised. Access to your old Home screen is still possible, of course, and Home++ also features a Home screen selector. Home++ is available free on the Android Market.
Designed for Android 1.6, CrazyHome offers 3 different desktops with up to five screens on each. Desktops can be accessed by swiping up and down, effectively giving your Android phone 15 screens of real estate! Lite and Pro versions of CrazyHome are available.
OpenHome meanwhile offers 6 “workspace screens” again an improvement on the standard 3. This app has been developed over several versions of Android, and comes ready to apply a variety of themes to. OpenHome is available in Lite and Pro versions – find out more about these via the developers home page, betterandroid.wordpress.com.
If you have seen something in any of the above apps that takes your fancy, you should probably consider the Home Switcher app. This free tool lets you easily switch between any of the Home screens you have installed, thereby maximising your options even further!
All of these apps are available via the Android Market – alternatively you can find out more about them by visiting www.appbrain.com and using the search feature.