Android: If you know someone who finds Android to be overwhelming or complicated, Necta Launcher might be just what they need. This free launcher comes with a simple UI and its own set of common apps.
Necta has a two-tone design of blue and white with big icons and a large font, making it more legible than default Android, especially for older users. It comes with custom apps for the phone dialler, SMS, camera and gallery, all of which are easy to use and streamlined.
Recognising that such a user is bound to call a few people more often than others, Necta also has three dedicated quick-dial shortcuts. These contacts will also be notified by the SOS app if the user has an emergency. The SOS app can be activated by tapping the icon or waving your hand over the screen three times. A quick wave didn’t do anything in our tests, but a slow and deliberate wave worked as advertised.
Necta also has a flashlight app to use your camera’s LED flash as a torch. There’s also a Location app with which users can send their current location (grabbed via Google Maps) to anyone else as a text message. You can add any other app as a shortcut to the main Necta Launcher screen.
There are other launchers to simplify Android, like a href=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/05/wiser-launcher-makes-android-phones-simpler/”>previously featured Wiser. Necta scores over Wiser with its apps, which are easier to use and have smart features like SOS. Where Wiser still scores over Necta is in the simplified notifications. Another popular choice for older users is BIG Launcher, but that costs $10 while Necta is free.
We gave Necta Launcher to an older person who currently uses Wiser. After four days, she decided to switch to Necta completely as she finds it easier to read and has started using the camera and gallery apps more. Wiser’s simplified notifications weren’t enough to make her stick with it, but that might not be the case for everyone.
Necta requires permissions for in-app purchases and the most recent Play Store review claims it doesn’t work without paying, but that hasn’t been our experience with it. The launcher is completely free and we have faced no restrictions so far.