Install a Windows 10 Launcher on Android Oreo

Edited by Jay, Maria

Although support and continued development of Windows Phone 8.1 was announced back in July of 2017, Windows 10 mobile will continue to receive security updates. The main reason behind Windows pulling the plug on their mobile line was simply sales being too low. In some countries, Microsoft had only a two percent market share, which by their admission, is negligible.

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Even though Microsoft didn't jump into the mobile market with the success they had envisioned, they still drew a small but and relatively loyal fan base. For example, If you visit any Windows, Microsoft, or mobile phone forum, you'll find that many people were pretty disappointed when the company announced their plans to discontinue production. That being said, plenty of users still want the feel of a Windows Phone. The most practical way to go about achieving this is to install a Windows-style launcher.

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There are several free and paid Windows Launchers available on the Play Store, but the app we went with for this article is called; SquareHome 2 - Launcher: Windows style. This particular launcher has an exception user rating, and also offers a free 14-day trial. This is long enough to decide whether the upgrade to the Pro version is worth it.

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For this tutorial, we used a Google Pixel running Android 8.1.0 (Oreo), but Squarehome 2 will work on version 4.0.3 and up.


SquareHome 2 Launcher Installation

  1. 1
    On the home screen, swipe up or tap the arrow to access your app tray.
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  2. 2
    From the app tray, tap the "Play Store" shortcut.
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  3. 3
    Once inside the Play Store, type "Squarehome 2" into the search box, then tap the first result.
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  4. 4
    On the SquareHome 2 app page, tap the green "INSTALL" button
    .
    Once the launcher has installed, tap "OPEN".
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  5. 5
    For the launcher to work correctly it requires permissions to various functions
    .
    Tap "OK" to continue.
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  6. 6
    When the first access request box appears, tap "OK"
    .
    Do the same for the remaining for requests.
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  7. 7
    Next is the Quick setup wizard
    .
    Tap "START" to begin.
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  8. 8
    The first option is "BACKGROUND EFFECT"
    .
    Choose between; Blurred, Transparent, Grayscale, or to disable it. Once you've made your selection, tap "NEXT".
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  9. 9
    The second option is TILE SIZE
    .
    Choose to have three or four columns. Once you've made your selection, tap "NEXT".
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  10. 10
    The third and final option in the quick setup wizard is for your APP TRAY
    .
    Select either "List type" or "Sort order". When you've selected, tap "NEXT".
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  11. 11
    Once you're satisfied with the options you've chosen, tap "DONE" to continue to the launcher
    .
    You change these options and anytime, as well as make additional customizations.
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  12. 12
    To continue past the Welcome screen, pinch in to view the menu.
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  13. 13
    Depending on your current launcher, you may see the following pop-up
    .
    Select "SquareHome 2", then tap "ALWAYS" to proceed. Please note that you can switch back to your original launcher at any time by visiting the app's info page, and making it the default.
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SquareHome 2 Customization and Settings

SquareHome 2 gives users an extensive list of options to customize. We're going to display some of the basic functions of the launcher, as well as how to use edit mode. Once the launcher is installed, and you've made it through the quick setup wizard, you'll be in edit mode. One way to make sure you're in edit mode is to look for the blank tile with the "+" sign in it.

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  1. 1
    To access a tiles options, tap + hold on the tile until you see icons surrounding it.
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  2. 2
    You can make a group edit by tapping the two green checkmark icon in the middle of the tile, then selecting additional tiles
    .
    They can be; Cut, Deleted, or have the Style/Color changed.
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  3. 3
    To delete the tile, tap the red trashcan icon in the top right corner.
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  4. 4
    To change the size of a tile, tap the two little arrow icons in the lower right corner.
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  5. 5
    You have control over what the tile does when it's tapped or long-pressed as well
    .
    Tap the Settings gear icon in the lower right corner, then select an option to edit from the menu. Please note that whatever you do to a tile won't function properly until you're out of edit mode.
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  6. 6
    Moving tiles around is done by the tap + hold gesture, then with your finger still on the tile, moving it to a new location.
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  7. 7
    By default, an image slideshow tile will be present on your home screen
    .
    To change the folder that the tile pulls images from, tap + hold to access options, then tap the Settings icon. Next, select "Image folder" from the menu.
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  8. 8
    To access the launcher's settings, tap + hold the tile with the "+" symbol, then select "Home options" from the menu.
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  9. 9
    Inside Home options several settings can be changed or accessed; Buy key, Behavior UI, Tile size & style, Icon style, App drawer, Contacts, Keys & Gestures, and the Quick setup wizard. Play around with the various settings until you get the launcher functioning the way you like
    .
    If you get stuck or mess something up, simply Reset the launcher from the main menu in step #8.
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  10. 10
    If at any time you'd like to exit Edit mode, tap + hold the tile with the "+" sign, then select "Edit off" from the main menu.
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  11. 11
    To go back into Edit mode, use the Pinch-in" gesture while on the home screen.
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  12. 12
    Once the home screen shrinks into the upper left corner, tap the menu shortcut in the bottom left corner, then select "Edit on" from the main menu.
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Change Back to Your Original Launcher

To switch back to the launcher you had before installing SquareHome 2, follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    Tap the "Applications" tile on your home screen
    .
    Once inside your app tray, tap the "Settings" icon. Make sure you're not in edit mode.
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  • 2
    On the main System Settings screen, tap "Apps & notifications".
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  • 3
    On the Apps info screen, select All Apps, then tap your original launcher app.
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  • 4
    On your launcher app's info screen, tap "Home app".
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  • 5
    On the Configure apps screen, tap "SquareHome 2".
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  • 6
    Finally, select your original launcher by tapping the radio button next to it.
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  • If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Software | Use Android Oreo | Use Google Pixel and Pixel XL

    Recent edits by: Jay

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