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Nokia’s Z Launcher now available as public beta on Google Play

Nokia’s Z Launcher, which offers users a new customised Android home screen, is now available via a public beta.

The news has emerged just as the Finnish company revealed its new tablet device, the Nokia N1, which will come preloaded with the launcher.

Read more: Nokia unveils Z Launcher, intelligent home screen for Android

The Z Launcher, which was previously only accessible as part of a private beta session, is now available to download free-of-charge from the Google Play Store.

The software’s main selling point is the contextualised experience it offers users, prioritising certain apps at different points in the day. For example, if you always check Facebook and other social networks first-thing in the morning, the Z Launcher will display these apps more prominently in the earlier part of the day. Similarly, if work-related applications are used more often later in the day, these will then take priority on the home screen.

The launcher also includes an always-on app searching feature called “Scribble” that lets users find software by writing the name of the app on the screen.

The reception it has received via the Play Store has largely been positive, holding an average rating of four stars out of five and receiving praise for its simplicity and innovation.

Read more: Nokia N1 launched: 7.9in Android tablet which undercuts iPad mini

According to Google Play, the launcher is compatible with devices running Android 4.1 to 4.4, but as the Nokia N1 operates Android Lollipop, it is safe to assume that the launcher will work with the latest version of Google’s OS too.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.