A new version of the home launcher app found on Sony’s Xperia devices has leaked out, carrying version number v5.1.S.0.0. There are a number of noticeable improvements and changes in the updated launcher, which will be running as default on Sony’s Android 4.1.2 update.
The updated launcher includes a new look for the dock and the app drawer, a search button has been added in the apps drawer, and users can now add up to seven home screens. Also new is the way widgets, themes, wallpapers, and apps are installed/selected. When you long press on an empty area on the homescreen and select to add a wallpaper etc, the launcher shows all the options for those at the bottom on the screen.
Here’s the new launcher in action on an Xperia T:
The launcher is the official version and hence only works on Sony devices running Android 4.0, though users have reported that it doesn’t work properly on 2011 Xperia devices. Newer devices like the Xperia S, V, T, or Xperia TL can run the new launcher totally fine, and we can depend on the Android development community to soon port it over to non-Xperia devices.
The leaked Xperia launcher can be downloaded via the link below and sideloaded on to your Xperia device. It installs just like any other app, and can be uninstalled to get back the default launcher. For those not familiar with sideloading apps, a step-by-step guide is given just below the download link, followed by some screenshots.
How to Install Xperia Launcher v5.1.S.0.0
- Download the launcher’s .apk file (link is given above).
- Copy the .apk file downloaded in step 2 to the phone.
- Enable “Unknown sources” under the Settings » Security menu on the device, so that you can manually install apps (aka sideload apps) from the SD card.
- You’ll need a file manager to browse through SD Card. You can install OI file manager or ES File Explorer or any other file manager app from the Play Store if needed.
- Open file manager and navigate to where you copied the launcher’s APK file in step 2. Then, tap on the file to begin installation, which should complete in less than a minute.
- The new launcher will now be installed on your Xperia device. If you ever feel the need to uninstall the update and go back to the default launcher, go into Settings » Apps, scroll left to head to the All tab, find “Xperia Home” in the list, tap it, then hit the “Uninstall updates” button to uninstall the leaked launcher.
Sony had promised new features in their Android 4.1 update, and the launcher sure looks to be getting a noticeable makeover. Be sure to try the leaked launcher out and let us know if it works for you on your Xperia device.
Via: Xperia Blog