Changing the face of Android: how to make a smartphone look different


What if you really wanted an iPhone but didn’t want to fork out that money, or prefer the interface and look of an iPhone but are after the features of an Android phone? Well, we can help with that, or rather developers of these fine homescreen replacement apps can.


Price: Free, but with in-app purchases.

One of the original iOS styled launchers, Espier works well, but hasn’t really evolved the way other iOS launchers have. While it’s technically free, other parts to turn your Android into an iPhone copy now cost money, so just be aware of that.

iOS 7 Launcher

Price: Free

Modelled on iOS 7, iOS Launcher is pretty much like having an iPhone on your Android, only without the operating system being made or run by Apple.

It’s not an iPhone, you need to be aware of that, but if you fancy the look of an Apple iDevice, this will let you have it.

One Launcher (iOS 8 Launcher HD)

Price: Free

Probably our favourite iOS launcher of the group, One Launcher seems to do the best job of emulating the iOS experience, letting you swipe between app menus, drag down for a search bar, and uninstall apps quickly. It’s iOS without the iOS.


iOS and Android are great, but what if you really like the high contrast heavy colours of Windows Phone, but don’t want to be stuck with an application ecosystem that just isn’t there yet?

Windows Phone can work on Android too, or the look of it, anyway.


Price: Free, but with in-app purchases.

Developed by one of the makers of the first Windows Phone launchers for Android, Launcher 8 is the sequel to the aptly named Launcher7, bringing the look of WP8 to Android phones. There are big icons, semi-live tiles, and the ability to pin any app you want to the main screen. If you had to choose a Windows Phone 8 launcher, we’d probably go with this one.

Launcher 8

Price: Free, with a paid version available for under $3

Not to be confused with “Launcher8,” Launcher 8 (with the space in its name) is a Windows Phone 8 launcher with a similar style to what Windows Phone 8 offers, a few settings, and some reasonably responsive tiles. It can slow down a bit, but could prove a good option for someone who really likes the look of WP8.

Metro 8 Launcher

Price: Free

More like a take of how Windows 8’s desktop and laptop interface could exist on a phone, Metro 8 is very different to Launcher8, and frankly, while it offers very large icons — which can be great for new users — we found plenty of slow downs on a top of the line smartphone (LG G3) when testing it.


Price: Free, with a paid version available for under $4.

If none of the aforementioned Windows-styled launchers do it for you, there’s always Home8. We’re not big fans of this one, mind you, as while it’s colourful, it also looks and feels very clunky, offering a Windows-esque experience. Ish. Very ish. Stress that ish.