As last week, today I’ll write a review of another launcher, called the Apus. Installing a launcher is an excellent way of increasing the customization of your Android system, and it can change drastically the devices’ screen.
This app was developed by the Apus Group and it has been used on millions of Androids; it is at the same league of the CM Launcher— which was reviewed last week—, and according to the company the app’s strongest features are its speed, being easy to use, and low memory usage. It’s a simple, easy app, not being necessary to sign up in order to use it, neither answering to any questions about utilization. However, despite all similarities after using Apus for a while we could notice there are a few differences between it and the CM Launcher. Keep reading the review to get to know which elements distinguish them.
Once Apus is started it will generate a new screen disposition, placing all our apps into 10 different, labeled folders, such as life style, communications, tools, etc. Despite producing reasonably well-organized files, the app has shown a tendency to place all the unknown apps into the tools folder—which overloaded it and made the tools folder too confusing to be used. Therefore, there’s the need to change the modifications processed by the app.
Regarding the organization and browsing inside folders, the app is practically identical to its competitor, even though there is the possibility to organize the folders alphabetically and by frequency, let alone the possibility to browse folder to folder sliding the screen from left to the right. The radar allow us to take a look at the suggested apps. The suggestions are made according to the labels of the folders, but you need to have the radar on for that to work.
In the Apus configuration we can find many settings to customize the launcher. On this tab it is possible to change the screen’s transition effect, blur the wallpaper, and add or hide some functionalities, such as the tool bar notifications, the radar, the touch pattern (which allows you to block the screen with a double-click), etc. There is also the possibility of adding or hiding a popular app on the main screen. This functionality “hang” on your homecreen a sign with the app logo.
Besides the making of folders on the screen the launcher will add the following icons on your devices screens:
- Configurations — Fast shortcuts to Wi-fi, Bluetooth, system settings, launcher settings, etc.;
- Store — App store with shortcut to Google Play;
- Booster — cleans the RAM memory with one click;
- Comments — it’s an area where we can leave our opinion about the app;
- Apus Club — Publicizes Apus on Facebook page;
- Theme — Apus themes for Android;
- All the apps — Menu with all apps organized alphabetically;
- Radar — Suggestion of other apps on a radar-shape screen that rotates along with the earth rotation.
In the folder named Apus tools, we can find a few more functionalities (but some of them need to have other apps installed):
- Apus wallpaper — Apus’ wallpapers store
- Up-date — It’s possible to verify if there is some versions of the most recent launcher;
- Apus Power+ —Allows to optimize the smartphone battery;
- Apus researche — Access to search bar;
- Notification — Shows the notifications of certain apps on the icon
- Booster+ — Application meant to clean and support the smartphone memory;
- Flashlight — Turns the cell’s camera flash into a flashlight.
Just like the CM Launcher, Apus makes a search bar available on the screen, allowing you to choose the search engine and to see some of the recommended apps, the most popular searches, the news, etc.
The app uses a quite common method to organize and change the homescreen: you press the screen until the menu pops up showing options available to change the wallpaper and themes, to add widgets, and so on. We can also find here some shortcuts to the launcher and system configuration. However, it’s not possible to add screens to the menu, i.e., you have to add a widget or an icons, and drag it to the new screen in order to have them added. Be advised that as soons that a screen runs out of widgtes or icons it will automatically be removed.
The fastest way to change the app’s appearance is to change the launcher theme. There are 7 themes available, which is not that many when we compare it to other launchers that have a few dozens themes available. However, the themes made available are different from each other.
There are a lot of similarities between Apus and CM Launcher, even though Apus offers a wide range of customization options. So it is normal it takes more drive space and RAM memory to operate on your device. The app also has a lot menus, not being at all a hard or too complicated app to operate, being an easy-to-operate app even for less enthusiastic users.
As for the looks, we can see that all icons, menus and wallpapers are very colorful, have a simple design, and show a good resolution.
The level of customization of Apus is well balanced. The customization does not compromise its simplicity, but it does not make it one of the most customizable and complex launchers for Android. So it is perfect for those who are in search of a new look for their smartphone, but don’t want to take a chance in endangering their phone performance.
Performance/impact on the device perfomance
As it was announced by the manufacturer, the app is not heavy and it is fast. For this reason, there wasn’t noticed any significant change on the smartphone. However, when we compare it with the CM Launcher it is possible to notice there is a slight increase in memory and RAM memory consumption—and one take hold of this to decide which app is the best for them.
The same happens when comes to the battery consumption, i.e. there’s no significant change through out the time it was tested. However, just like the CM Launcher, Apus Power makes it possible to save a bit more battery thanks to the data provide and the additional definitions.
Despite not having a high level of customization, the app offers many of the functionalities offered by the more complex launchers, keeping well-balanced simplicity and customization. Some of the app features — simple design, low RAM memory consumption, simple menus, and a set of customization tools — make it a good option for those who want give their smartphones a new appearance, and for those who want more than just change the wallpaper or widgets, without taking the risk of affecting the device performance.
Note: Review made by Pedro Silva in android-emotions.pt and translated by Anderson Rodrigues