The developers behind the popular CyanogenMod version of Google Android have been including a custom version of the ADW Launcher app with their software for the past few years. But CyanogenMod 9 will be the first version of the team’s software to include a new launcher called Trebuchet.

An early version is now available for download. You can install it on any phone or tablet running Android 4.0.3 and up, but you’ll need to have root access since the app needs to be installed in the /system partition of your device.

An Android launcher is the software that powers the home screen and list of applications. Trebuchet is based on the default launcher included with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but the CyanogenMod team is tweaking the launcher to offer a number of optimizations, including:

  • You can set a custom number of home screens.
  • Users can enable or disable the search bar at the top of the home screen.
  • Automatic screen rotation can be enabled or disabled.
  • You can sort apps in the app drawer by name or install date.
  • Any widget can be resized.

Upcoming features will include a dock, transition effects, and the ability to backup and restore your settings.

While the app launcher will be included in future versions of CyanogenMod, anyone with a rooted Android 4.0.3 device can install it now using the download links from the xda-developers forum.

Brad Linder

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