Inspired by today’s news about Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7’s latest release, “Mango,” but can’t let go of your beloved Android device? Now you can at least simulate the experience of using Windows Phone thanks to a new Android app, over half a year in development, which brings a Windows Phone-like launcher to Android users.
The new app called WP7 Launcher Lite began as a project featured in – where else? – the XDA Developer forums. Created by forum member TheRedDrake, the goal was to produce something that would provide “the freedom of Android and the grace and elegance of Windows Phone 7.” Now a Lite (free) version of that application is available on the Android Market for you to try. And there are other plenty of other apps that bring you a similar experience, too. We’ve listed a few of these below.
Now Available: WP7 Launcher
The free version of WP7 Launcher, which was just released to the Android Market, allows you to get a taste of the Windows Phone user interface, so you can decide if you want to dive in and pay for the full experience. It also lets you to test the app in advance to make sure it works on your particular Android handset.
This Lite edition has several limitations, including a maximum of 6 Tiles which can be pinned to the homescreen, no ability to change Tile themes or customize fonts, only one “Live Folder” limited to just 3 Tiles, no integration between the Launcher and the Contacts app (a separate app from the developer called “WP7 Contacts”) and more.
The full version is just 3 Euros ($4.23 US) and is available only from the developer’s website. To get it, you’ll have to adjust the setting on your phone that allows you to install off-Market applications if you want to purchase the paid version.
Early reviews of the app on the Market aren’t as favorable as those on the XDA forums site, it should be noted. That’s probably because this app is still in development, and may be buggy. As always, when it comes to Android apps, your mileage may vary, depending on your device. This isn’t a blanket recommendation for the app and we won’t be held accountable if it just crashes and burns on you. (It didn’t for us, though.)
A Great Alternative: Launcher7
However, there’s an alternative to this new app, if you do run into trouble: Launcher7, which some claim is better. The app is available in both free and donate versions. The free version is ad-supported, but it lets you modify your Start screen by dragging the tiles around.
It is also a work in progress, with several more features still planned, including Facebook integration and more animated tiles, among other things.
A Windows Phone-Style Music Player
While you’re at it, there’s yet another app that can help you complete your Android to Windows Phone transformation: a Windows Phone 7 style music app, available in alpha, from Federico Carnales, the creator of the popular Android app, Launcher Pro. He tweeted the download link just the other day for those brave enough to try it.
Engadget tested it for you, and recorded video of that here.
There are many, many other Windows Phone transformation apps for Android, too, it should be noted, including WP7 ZPlayer, Metro UI Pro and Lite, Windows Phone Android Lite, aPhone7 3D, Windows Phone 7 GO Launcher EX, WP7Contact, and several more inspired by Zune, just to name a few. Do a search on the Android Market to discover them all.
Have you used any of these apps? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments so others can learn from your experiences!