Apex Launcher offers a lot of options for a free Android launcher, plus some unique touches like individually scrolling docks. It has cool effects like infinite and elastic scrolling, home screen gestures, and fancy transitions; customizable themes, labels, and icons; backup; and much more. It's optimized for both phones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 and up. If you have a phone and a tablet, Apex Launcher lets you configure a similar home screen experience for both. A Pro upgrade adds more themes, gestures, and drawer customization options.
The most obvious difference between Apex Launcher and our previous launcher was Apex Launcher's slightly different layout, with a Google search bar and a pair of separately scrolling docks displaying, among other apps, the Apex Menu and Apex Settings. The menu entries give a feel for this app's capabilities, including Wallpaper, Themes, Manage screens, and Help, the latter in the form of Web-based FAQs. We opened the Apex Settings, but before we started customizing, we tapped the red-flagged Previous Launcher to clear data from previous launchers from our device's memory. The free app doesn't pack as many themes as the paid version, which is fine because we wanted to use our own images. But to give a taste of Apex Launcher's customizability, we could set more than two dozen drawer options alone, everything from icon size and number to animation, scrolling, and behavior.
Apex Launcher's free app has more options than our phone's native launcher and more than some paid launchers we've seen, too. It belongs on any shortlist of Android docks, launchers, and screen enhancements.