The 10 Best Android Launchers of 2019One of Android’s most popular features, and undoubtedly a primary reason for its dominance of the smartphone market, is the operating system’s (OS) limitless customization options. Personalization possibilities abound, at both the default OS level or by installing one of the hundreds of launchers (just under 300 at Google Play Store as I wrote this).

You can find launchers that cause your phone to emulate other devices, such as iOS (iPhone) smartphones, or to help integrate your phone into your home- or business-office ecosystem, or even to make your Android device behave more like another Android device. There are a few launchers, for example, designed to give your smartphone a look and feel of the popular (yet costly) Google Pixel.

All Android smartphones come with their own, or a default, launcher, which is usually the result of the joint effort between the phone manufacturer and the cellular service provider. As you probably know from cruising around in the Settings menus, your Android’s default launcher comes with a lot of its own customization options – so much so that the myriad of choices can be daunting.

If for no other reason than simplicity, often, letting a launcher do the bulk of modifications for you is preferable to trying to customize the phone yourself.

What follows is a list of the 10 “best” Android launchers available. Again, Google Play Store lists over 275 of them. Some are free; some cost a few bucks; all are easy to download and install and just as easy to either deselect and then switch back to your previous launcher or uninstall altogether.

Even so, to settle on these top ten launchers, I did not download, install, and evaluate them all. Instead, I narrowed them down to the top 20 by choosing those with the highest user ratings and the most downloads, then I installed and evaluated the results.

Note: The following list of the 10 best Android launchers, then, is derivative of a combination of user popularity, product circulation, and my experience with each app. Note also that the stats accompanying each launcher is solely Google Play Store data and therefore does not reflect all available info from all the various download outlets; also, install numbers reflect the current version of the app, not its entire history.

Read the entire review at OnLineTechTips.com



Review of the Brother MFC-J6945DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Low running costs. Good print quality. Prints, scans, copies, and faxes tabloid-size pages. Single-pass duplexing ADF. Three paper input sources.

  • CONS

    Super-tabloid support would provide greater value.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a wide-format color inkjet all-in-one printer that prints well and is feature-packed and inexpensive to use, making it an exceptional value for small offices.


The Brother MFC-J6945DW ($349.99) is a light- to medium-duty wide-format all-in-one inkjet printer designed for small-office use. Like its predecessor, the Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-J6935DW, it can not only print, but also copy, scan, and fax tabloid-size pages and comes with a generous paper-input capacity. The cherry on top is that it prints quite well and at a very reasonable cost per page. All of these perks add up to an easy Editors’ Choice for the MFC-J6945DW.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Brother MFC-L3710CW at PCMagPROS

Good text and photo quality. Large ADF. Decent mobile device support.

CONS

High running costs. Lacks auto-duplex printing and scanning. No Ethernet.

BOTTOM LINE

The Brother MFC-L3710CW is a solid color laser-class all-in-one printer for budget-conscious small offices.


The Brother MFC-L3710CW ($349.99) is an entry-level all-in-one color laser-class printer designed for small offices and workgroups. It costs $50 less than the Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-L3770CDW, but that price difference means sacrificing a few key features, including automatic two-sided printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, along with Ethernet support and the ability to print from and scan to thumb drives. Both machines, however, share the same high running costs—a common drawback to entry-level laser-class machines like these. The MFC-L3710CW offers some strong perks, including good text and photo quality and a sizable automatic document feeder, but you’ll likely find the MFC-L3770CDW a better value if your budget can stretch a bit.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Microsoft Launcher Brings Windows Integration and a Lot More to AndroidAndroid smartphones are capable of many things that you just can’t do on Apple’s iOS (iPhone) devices. One of the slicker Android-only features is the ability to change how your device looks, feels, and behaves—a complete makeover—by simply installing a third-party launcher.

One of the more popular launchers is Microsoft Launcher (an upgrade of the Microsoft Garage project Arrow Launcher).

Designed primarily to help your Android integrate into the Microsoft ecosystem, Microsoft Launcher will not make your device look and behave like Windows 10.

Instead, in addition to providing a highly customizable user interface (UI), it helps ease your Android smartphone’s assimilation in to your Microsoft workflow of apps and services, as well as your Windows laptop or desktop PC.

Read the entire review at OnlineTechTips.com



Currently a contributing editor at PCMag, William Harrel has been writing about computer technology for more than 30 years, since well before the advent of the internet and has authored or coauthored more than 20 books.

Review of the Brother HL-L3210CW at PCMag

  • PROS

    Good text and photo quality. Wi-Fi Direct mobile device support. Respectable paper capacity.

  • CONS

    No Ethernet connectivity or auto-duplexing. Lacks support for Web Connect printer apps. Graphics print quality below average.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Brother’s HL-L3210CW is a capable, if basic, color laser-class LED printer for small offices where tight budgets require some corner-cutting.


The Brother HL-L3210CW ($199.99) is a step down from its sibling, the Editors’ Choice HL-L3270CDW. Designed for small offices, both single-function color laser-class printers have the same paper capacity, volume ratings, running costs, and several other like features. What you give up for the $50 price difference, though, is significant, including an easy-to-use touch-screen control panel, plentiful connectivity options, and high-quality graphics output. In other words, it’s worth weighing feature set versus price when considering the HL-L3210CW over its more expensive sibling.

Read the entire article at PCMag



 

Review of the Lexmark C2325dw at PCMag

  • PROS

    Fast. Good print quality. High monthly volume ratings. Easy to use. Supports several operating systems and platforms.

  • CONS

    Expensive to use. Lacks Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. Rudimentary control panel.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Lexmark C2325dw single-function color laser printer is fast, prints well, and supports several operating systems and platforms, but high running costs make it best for low-volume offices.


The Lexmark C2325dw ($269) is a budget single-function color laser printer for light-duty use in small-to-medium-size offices. Like the Editors’ Choice Brother HL-L3270CDW, it prints well and at a respectable clip, and it takes up very little desk space. Unfortunately, the price of its consumables is higher than that Brother model, even in a category where bloated long-term costs are par for the course. Otherwise, the C2325dw is a fine low-volume color laser option.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Xerox DocuMate 6710 at PCMagPROS
Exceptional accuracy. Extremely fast. Feature-rich, easy-to-deploy software. High daily duty cycle. Parallel scanning feature deploys multiple machines on the same PC.

CONS
Expensive. Connectivity limited to USB 3.0.

BOTTOM LINE
The Xerox DocuMate 6710 is a super-speedy, highly accurate high-end scanner designed for enterprises that require the fastest throughput possible.


Like most other ultra-high-end sheet-feed document scanners, the Xerox DocuMate 6710 ($6,500) is super-fast and extremely accurate. What sets this model apart, though, is Xerox’s new “parallel scanning” feature, which offers the ability to connect up to 10 scanners to the same PC simultaneously, escalating workstation throughput by as much as tenfold. What that means in the real world is increasing a scanning station’s payload from 200 images per minute to 2,000. At $6,500 a pop, that’s an expensive proposition, but for enterprise-grade scenarios that require high-volume and high-speed scanning, it’s pretty impressive.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 at PCMagPROS
Accurate OCR. Strong software bundle with financial data support. Versatile connectivity options, including mobile. Easy to use.

CONS
Lacks Ethernet support.

BOTTOM LINE
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 is a well-built, accurate, and easy-to-use entry-level sheet-fed document scanner for home and small-office use.


The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 ($495) is a friendly little entry-level scanner for home or small-office use. Like its predecessor, the ScanSnap ix500, it’s fast, highly accurate, and comes with a comprehensive bundle of easy-to-configure-and-use software. While it doesn’t quite top the feature set or attractive price of the Editors’ Choice Brother ADS-2700W, it’s still an excellent pick for light-duty service.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Canon Pixma TS8220 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer at PCMagPROS
Excellent print quality. Smart home hands-free printing. Built-in arts and crafts features. Uses six inks. Two paper input trays. SD card support.

CONS
Lacks NFC or Wi-Fi Direct support. Somewhat slow document printing. Lacks automatic document feeder. High cost per page.

BOTTOM LINE
The Canon Pixma TS8220 combines the company’s superb six-ink photo and graphics output with new hands-free printing and several arts and crafts features, making it a great-value all-in-one-printer for low-volume offices.


The Canon Pixma TS8220 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One ($199.99) is, except for the addition of a handful of interesting arts and crafts and hands-free-printing features, essentially the same AIO as its predecessor, the Pixma TS8120. Like all the six-ink Pixmas we’ve tested over the years, the TS8220 prints exceptionally well, but, also like the rest of its kin, it costs a lot to use. In addition to above-par output, the TS8220’s support for popular scrapbooking and other crafting projects, as well as its new smart home features, make it a great-value home-and-family-oriented consumer-grade AIO printer for low-volume use.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Review of the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 Network Multifunction Color Printer at PCMagPROS
Competitive purchase price and running costs. Excellent print quality. Expandable paper capacity. Single-pass auto-duplexing ADF. Supports high-yield ink bags.

CONS
Lacks support for borderless output. Initial paper input capacity a bit low.

BOTTOM LINE

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 is an inkjet all-in-one printer that’s packed with features, prints well, and balances purchase price and running costs fairly, making it a strong color laser AIO competitor.


Few inkjets have been better positioned to encroach on the color laser all-in-one market than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 ($299.99). It’s relatively fast and churns out near-typesetter print quality across the board. It’s loaded with productivity, convenience, and mobile connectivity features that small- and medium-size offices will appreciate, and its high-volume replaceable ink packs deliver running costs about half that of comparable laser-based machines. The Epson WF-C5790 all but obliterates the line between color laser and inkjet machines, thereby easily elevating it to our Editors’ Choice among mid-volume color AIOs.

Read the entire article at PCMag