Android’s king of customization, Buzz Launcher, is dead, sort of

If you’ve used Android long enough – say 5 or 6 years – then you have probably come across Buzz Launcher. Dubbed by many as the “king” of customization on the platform, Buzz Launcher was not only the go-to place for our customization fixes but, as the name insinuates, for a buzz with the vibrant community it managed to attract.

Buzz Launcher let users do things that were previously unheard of. You know, it’s not until the other day that companies like Samsung, Huawei and others have let users access themes on their devices as well as contribute actively to such development. Before all that happened, Buzz Launcher and its huge community of Android enthusiasts, tinkerers, modders and what have you was the place to be.

With the third-party launcher, you could transform your Android Ice Cream-sandwich powered smartphone into something closely resembling props from your favourite television show or movie complete with all the app icons and wallpapers to boot.  I mean, who didn’t fancy customizable widgets, replaceable app labels on their home screens, different themes on different screens and the craziest transition effects? Instead of one having to sweat through customizing their device why not just go and apply everything that some else is using on their device that they like? All without having to take the dreaded root and ROM route and risk voiding their warranty or ending up with a hard cold bricked device?

Buzz Launcher and Android’s customization notoriety were, simply put, a match made in heaven.

All that, unfortunately, has since been overtaken by events. Android has since matured and, to be honest, there’s little need for a lot of the things we used to obsess over 5-8 years ago (there’s also the bit that we are getting old and the young ones don’t want to break a sweat so we all end up on the same side). Also, with various Android device makers incorporating their own custom theme engines with their modified Android builds, the user is left with little motivation to venture out on their own and sample some of the recipes that the likes of Buzz Launcher became popular for.

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The end result has been a shrunken community and, as we are learning, the eventual death of not just the community but the platform it was built around as well. A quick look at the Google Play Store reveals that it’s 15 months since the launcher was updated and its community, or whatever is left of it, is nothing but a ghost town. There are no new themes and no updates and, going by the look of things, it doesn’t seem like there’ll be much to come, anyway. Whatever can be considered as the “latest” content is from way back in the day when members of Skrr skrr Twitter were still breastfeeding. Oh well.

 

Inline image source: DeviantArt

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com