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5hfT
5hfT

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Make Your Own Custom Android Launcher using Flutter

Ubuntu Launcher

Have you ever thought of making your own stuffs and use them?

Like your Own

  • Operation System !
  • Programming Language !
  • Library !
  • Framework !
  • Apps !
  • Games !

I'm that kind of person who was always interested in making applications which are integrated to the system (literally Applications) not business or commercial applications and still i am :3

I have always dreamt about things of my own...

So once I thought to make my own Android Launcher as I'm using Android Phones.

At first I thought it's something very hard and I won't be able to make a launcher.Then I found it supper easy!

Today i am going to discuss about how to nake your Android Launcher !

Let's start!

I am using Flutter which is a Cross Platform Framework of Dart Made by Google.

There is a big community of Flutter to make cross platform applications such as Android,IOS,Desktop and Web applications.

If you haven't installed flutter yet then have a look at their doc which is very user friendly and well decorated.

Install Flutter

Note : I am using Visual Studio Code as a Editor or IDE and prefer terminal and command line activities.

Lets create a flutter application

  • Command in terminal :

flutter create -i objc -a java custom_launcher

Note : This command will create a application named custom_launcher and the native code for Android will be java

If you prefer Kotlin then just use -

flutter create custom_launcher

A flutter app will be created with similler file Structure:

files

We will code in main.dart file.

First We will need to edit some codes in the AndroidManifest.xml file. That will make our launcher different from normal Android Applications

Manifest file location :

xml

  • Add these lines in AndroidManifest.xml file under <intent-filter> section :
<category android:name="android.intent.category.HOME" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />

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Now If you run your app , it will appear as a Launcher.

Or Press Home button of your android phone and it will ask to set it as default launcher.

  • launcher
Congrats You have made your launcher :D

Yup Seriously ! It is that easy !

Now as a Flutter Application developer I hope you are able to do some of your own customizations.

I know you are concert about how can you show the installed applications in your custom Launcher.

Let's do it:

Interact with the Applications installed in Phone

To do so we will use a flutter plugin named device_apps which will give us a List<application> where all the necessary informations will be given.

  • First import device_apps into your dart file :
import 'package:device_apps/device_apps.dart';
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  • Get the list of apps available in your phone :

List<Application> apps = await DeviceApps.getInstalledApplications();

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  • You can send some parameters too :

List<Application> apps = await DeviceApps.getInstalledApplications
(
    includeAppIcons: true,
    includeSystemApps: true,
    onlyAppsWithLaunchIntent: true,
)

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This will return something like that :

20data

It provides :
App Name (String)
Apk File Path (String)
Package Name (String)
Version Name (String)
Version Code (int)
System App ? (bool)
Install Time (int)
Update Time (int)
Application Catagory (Catagory Type)
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It also provides icon as ApplicationIcon.
To access icon you have to use that Application type as ApplicationWithIcon and check that the app has a icon first.

Note : icon is a Uint8 List type.

Now You have your data so do what ever you want !

Let me show you how you can use them

  • Let's traverse all the apps we get before :

for (int i=0;i<apps.length;i++){
    Application app = apps[i];
}

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  • Extract the application name :

Text(app.appName)

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  • Use Icon :

app is ApplicationWithIcon ? CircleAvatar(
 backgroundImage:
     MemoryImage(
   app.icon,
 ),
)

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Note : If you are not able to access app.icon then use this -


ApplicationWithIcon icon app as ApplicationWithIcon;
icon = icon.icon;
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More things you will want to do :

  • Check if an application is installed :

bool isInstalled = await DeviceApps.isAppInstalled('packageName');

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  • Open an Application :

DeviceApps.openApp('packageName');

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Apps can be shown like this :

I have made an Android Launcher which is lightweight and Fast.You can have a look and If you like then give me a star :v

Source Code available : Ubuntu Launcher

Apk Release : Install

Happy Coding :D

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Discussion (6)

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hlee131 profile image
H Lee

Is this possible with Javascript using React Native?

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mh_shifat profile image
5hfT Author

I hope it's possible .
What extra you will need to do some native code to get the information about the apps installed in your mobile phone.
I don't know if there is any package available to show the app list in your mobile.

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theonlybeardedbeast profile image
TheOnlyBeardedBeast

Nice work, my plan is to rebuild the windows 10 phone UI

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mh_shifat profile image
5hfT Author

great

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mh_shifat profile image
5hfT Author

Check latest version here Ubuntu Launcher 2.1.0

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mh_shifat profile image
5hfT Author

here is the latest release apk Ubuntu Launcher 2.0.1