Don’t feel like waiting until Android 2.3 is available for your phone? We’ve already looked at how you can get the new keyboard to work with Android 2.2 — assuming you’ve rooted your phone. Now you can also get the new Launcher app, which replaces the home screen and pp drawer. And you don’t even need root access to do it. Just download “Gingerbread Launcher” from the Android Market.

The app comes courtesy of Paul O’Brien from MoDaCo, who ported the Gingerbread Launcher to Android 2.2 Froyo.

That said… the new launcher isn’t really very different from the one you get with Froyo. Here are the only real differences:

  • The buttons at the bottom of the Home Screen for phone and web now have a green tint.
  • The border around those buttons has sharp edges instead of rounded corners.
  • When you press the center button to pull up the app drawer, the transitional effect is a fade instead of a zoom.
  • There’s a new “Manage apps” tab in the Home Screen menu options. It just saves you a few clicks by taking you to Settings\Applications\Manage applications.

Gingerbread Launcher doesn’t overwrite your Froyo launcher, so you’ll need to press the Home button on your phone and select the app you want to use. You can also check the box that says you’d like to use the new launcher as your default Launcher app if you like. But honestly, the app just takes up storage space without really providing any new features. It’s kind of cool to be able to install it, but there’s no much reason.

That said, it looks like Paul O’Brien might release a version of the Gingerbread keyboard in the Android Market, which would mean you’d be able to install it without rooting your phone or overwriting your existing keyboard. Now that would be cool.

Gingerbread Launcher is available as a free download from the Android Market.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...