Android Tips

Install Vertical Left or Right Sidebar App Launcher on Android Devices

There are plenty of android launchers available in the Google Play Store and each one of them has its own app drawer. They may have different style of app drawers but on the larger scale they are hard to be distinguished. Why we are talking about app drawers here is because we have discovered a new kind of app drawer recently, and in my understanding the concept of this new drawer is as innovative as you can think of.

Majority of the app drawers are accessed using the app drawer button present on the home screen but what if you could launch all the installed and pre-installed applications from a sidebar which can be triggered from each and every possible interface.

How to Open Applications From A Sidebar On Android

Step 1: You need to open Google Play Store and install an application called Swapps (available for free) from there. Once you have done so, it is time to configure the newly installed drawer so that you can use it to launch applications.


Step 2: Open Swapps from the default app drawer to configure it. As seen in the images above, check the very first option which says ‘Enable Swapps’. Now you should notice a colored strip appearing in the left side of the screen, which is actually the floating trigger, called ActiveSpot, for Swapps drawer. By default the strip will look similar to what you see in the first screenshot, but you do have the power to change the width, height, and location through the ActiveSpot settings, which are down the settings page. Further you can also check or uncheck the boxes for displaying recently used apps, and all apps. You can also change the number of Starred Apps to be displayed inside the app drawer, which you will come to know about in the next step.


Step 3: As you have configured Swapps for your device, close the same and move to the home screen to test it. Now move your finger to the left edge of the screen or the right one, if you have changed the location of the ActiveSpot. As soon as you hit the ActiveSpot, the screen will vibrate and at this moment you have to pull it towards the middle of the screen launch the Swapps drawer (Remember – You have to pull it in from the screen edge or else it will not show up). This drawer can be scrolled vertically and you will access to all the installed applications and recently used applications right from here.


Step 4: Now it is time to add Starred apps to the sidebar which will be the applications that you use most of the time. Previously mentioned in Step 2, Starred apps are three by default but the number could be changed from the settings page. To add your favorite app or apps to the Starred App section, tap on Add App and a pop up list of installed applications will appear on the screen(refer to the image above). You can select the app which you wish to place on the drawer.

Likewise you fill up the Starred Apps and your drawer is good enough to be used now.


Personally i have been using Swapps for a couple of days now on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus and to be honest, it works flawlessly. It launches on time, and does not have any negative effect over the functioning of the operating system. Neither does it slow down the device, nor offers laggy performance while launching applications.

If you are comfortable with the default app drawer there is no need to switch to Swapps. But if you want to switch to a more handy drawer that lets you open applications literally from any interface, Swapps is what you must look up to.

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