News by Luke Jones on Friday June 20, 2014.
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In case you missed the memo, Nokia is no longer in the mobile phone making business since the company sold its devices and services division to Microsoft. Once the biggest mobile brand of them all, Nokia cannot make a device until 2016 under the terms of the deal, and you may never see another Nokia handset even after that. However, Nokia will continue, so how will the company spend its time from now on? Services is the key direction Nokia will take, including building software.The Finnish company's first post-Microsoft foray is ironically into the Android market with a launcher for Google's mega popular mobile platform. You are probably thinking that once you have seen one launcher you have seen them all, but if Nokia's Z Launcher is anything to go by we can expect a great deal from the company in its new non-device making guise. Rolled out this week, Z Launcher is utterly refreshing and could even be described as innovative, while Nokia's stripped back ease of use approach is impressive. Z Launcher is casual, sleek, and clean, making it very good looking despite its practical aspirations. Nokia went the opposite direction to most launchers by making the space less cluttered aside from some key icons. Sitting at the top of the Z Launcher screen is the time, date, and calendar events, while tapping any of those will bring up a larger screen showing the calendar or clock. Below, the rest of the screen space features links to apps, contacts, and web favourites, each customizable for your preferred content. Pasted along the bottom of the page are five shortcut buttons that act as quick launchers to your favourites services. That is good for accessing all of your favourite features and content, but what about the rest of your smartphone. Nokia has added an innovative feature called "Scribble" that allows users to scribble letters onto the launcher screen. It works like an alphabetical drop down, so if you want Facebook and scribble "F" all the items on your phone starting with F that you use the most will drop down, the more letters you scribble the more accurate the system is. Scribble also works for web pages, allowing you to drop down most visited pages by scribbling the first few letters of the URL or name. Z Launcher is available for download as a pre beta release on Nokia's Z Launcher website and is compatible with a host of Android devices. source: zlauncher