Foneclay – home screen launcher app to completely transform your Android with fun themes you can edit!
Aug 28, 2012 8:14 AM –
Foneclay is a launcher app that’s quite different. While many launchers feature various themes, Foneclay allows you to create your own, modify various templates or simply try some of the dozens of designs available. It melds live wallpaper with customisable launcher functionality and lets you create something unique to you. There’s nothing quite like it in the Google Play Store, so read on for more of an explanation!
Tested on: HTC One X
Pros & Cons:
- Lots of designs to check out!
- Easy to use and customisable!
- Create your own fone with online flash tool!
- Cuts homescreen functionality right down to a few shortcuts- no widgets.
- Noticeably slower to launch apps than other homescreen replacement apps.
Foneclay is an ambitious, but conceptually extremely cool, homescreen replacement application. It essentially puts the design of your homescreen into your hands. Providing loads of skins (called ‘fones’) and even the ability to design your own in a simple online tool, it goes beyond just a normal launcher. However, for practical reasons, let’s start with the normal launching features and build on from there…
So, you download Foneclay, download some extra fones via the in-app ‘market’ and select your favourite. This basic set of actions will give you a heavily themed homescreen with various shortcuts to things like your dialler, contacts, camera, app draw and messaging. If you long press on these, or any other interactive icons (there’s usually a couple spare on each design) you can add whatever shortcut you like to it. You’ll find the homescreen, lockscreen, the dialler and the accompanying app draw are also themed, although other elements are just your usual apps. This all creates a quirky and fun new interface that’s unique, different and miles away from what you’re used to. However, customisation doesn’t stop there…
If you go to the Foneclay website and log in, you get a full dashboard of extra information, videos, tutorials and designs to try out online. Then there is the studio which lets you customise existing templates to your very own fone. It also lets you share it with others and invite friends into the service. There’s even functionality for sending and receiving messages. It’s all nice, friendly, easy to use and very polished throughout.
If then, you’re an Android user that values that level of aesthetic customisation, Foneclay is very cool indeed. However, I know for many users this isn’t going to be enough. You can’t add widgets to the fones, so forget about finding out the weather on opening your device, or checking scrolling stock prices, news headlines, etc. While you can create links to all these apps, besides minor inactivity animations, not much is happening. Plus, the shortcuts aren’t as snappy and responsive as normal icon links and that little delay is going to put users off. The themes are fun, cute, interactive and quirky but certainly not professional, responsive or slick. I found Foneclay to be fun to play with, but for me personally it’s never going to replace my normal launcher.
Watch on Mobile
Foneclay – Magic Hat 1
Foneclay – Magic Hat 2
Foneclay – Horrorfone homescreen; links to contacts, apps, messages, dialler and more
Foneclay – Horrorfone
Foneclay – Horrorfone dialler
Foneclay – Horrorfone downloading
Foneclay – Dracular theme
Foneclay – Downloading
Foneclay – Create new shortcut
Foneclay – Themed app draw
Foneclay – Themes view
Foneclay – Set as default for permanent foneclay
For giving your Android device a remarkably fresh feel, or to really put your own design into your launcher like never before, Foneclay is a handy and user-friendly application. However, in exchange for all this control, you’ll have to leave the comfort of normal launcher functionality behind. You can’t add widgets, space is quite limited and you can’t add additional pages.
Ease of Use:
Foneclay is incredibly easy to use and lots of fun. There are loads of fones to try out and play with. Many have cool animations and look great.
If you use the app all the time, it’ll be something you use every time you use your Android device.
The interface is very much down to the user. You can create your own design or use one of many available online. Each, however, while looking very unique, lacks the functionality that you probably take for granted right now. It allows for rich creativity, but seemingly within a very small box.
The other thing is that, as you move to different un-themed apps, the process feels very strange indeed. Some parts become themed- like the dialler for example, but if you’re on Ice Cream Sandwich and have a load a Google or other slickly-designed apps, they really show Foneclay up. It looks nice from the outside but it’s that little bit sluggish in comparison.
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