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Yes, Nokia has released an Android launcher


The Android launcher scene might be getting a little out of control -- even Nokia (whose X phones are now under Microsoft's wing) is getting into the game. The Finnish firm has just released Z Launcher, a home screen replacement that gets you to frequently-used apps, contacts and sites as quickly as possible. The software learns your habits and surfaces the content you're most likely to use based on where you are, what you're doing and the time of day. It might put your calendar app at the top when you're in the middle of the workday, or highlight Instagram when you're out on the town. You also don't have to dive into the app tray if you're looking for something specific; you can draw an item's first letter to bring up a narrow set of results.

Z Launcher's interface may be simple, but getting a copy may prove tricky. It's currently available only to a limited number of users in a rough alpha release. And while the alpha should run on many Android phones, Nokia has only tested on the Nexus 5 and recent Galaxy S models -- don't be surprised if other devices throw a fit. We've also noticed that the launcher download process is hit-or-miss, so you may have to be patient. Still, this is your big chance at seeing how Nokia designs an interface for other companies' handsets.

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