Third-Party Launchers Bring A More Familiar Android Feel To The Nokia X


Nokia announced its first Android-powered smartphones at Mobile World Congress earlier this week, but at first glance, you might not think they were running Google’s platform. In fact, they actually look more like Windows Phone devices. That’s because Nokia’s version of Android, like Amazon’s, has been heavily modified for its own devices.

But for those who want to combine the Nokia X’s colorful design with a more traditional Android feel, it’s as easy as installing a third-party launcher.

Nokia confirmed at MWC that the Nokia X, Nokia X+, and the Nokia XL will all run Nokia’s own Android marketplace — not Google Play. However, the Finnish firm will allow users to install other Android applications manually by side-loading the APK files.

So, if you grab an APK for a third-party launcher — such as Nova or Apex — you can sidestep Nokia’s Android user interface and enjoy a more traditional Android one instead. The video below demonstrates how Nova works on the entry-level Nokia X (please excuse the background music).

Unfortunately, side-loading a third-party launcher doesn’t make up for the Nokia X’s lack of Google Play and other Google services — you’ll still be forced to use Nokia’s and Microsoft’s instead. But it might be a nice workaround for those who were looking to bag a Nokia X for €89 but were put off by its own user interface.