Google's Lens Launcher app changes the way you use Android

Over the weekend the winners of the 2016 Android Experiments event were announced, and one of them is a next-level launcher. This is the sort of app that replaces the way in which you interact with your apps up front of your phone – instead of just flat trays of apps, you'll have something completely different. This developer changed the way you see your apps, using a sort of "Graphical Fisheye Lens" to make seeking out apps easier in some cases, and far more entertaining in others.

The short video you're about to see will show you how this Lens Launcher works. While some launchers we've seen for Android in the past have made it their duty to get in your way as much as possible, this launcher seems to be entirely fanciful. Here you get to dance through your apps rather than having to drudge through them. Here your finger seeks the app instead of digging for it.

If this implementation of app seeking looks familiar to you, it should – Apple did something similar with their user interface for the Apple Watch. This launcher for Android uses this sort of seeking ability in two unique features:

• An Equispaced Grid that displays all of your apps, regardless of screen size or app count.

• A Graphical Fisheye Lens to quickly zoom, pan and launch apps using touch gestures.

You can see the code for this app in full on Github.

Like all Android Experiments, this app can be had for free on the Google Play app store for your Android device. There you'll find it developed by one Nick Rout.

According to the creator of this app, the "Graphical Fisheye Lens algorithm is derived from methods proposed by Manojit Sarkar and Marc H. Brown." You can have a peek at their original 1993 paper "Graphical Fisheye Views" here: Google Drive display.