The notification bar is arguably one of the most useful features in Android, to the point where the competition has copied its functionality and it has become a sort of standard in mobile OS’s. However, while the notification bar is very useful and always there, you kind of have a hard time making it your own: apps place their icons and notifications there without your input, and it all just sort of works without your input. Well, what if you could make the notification panel your own thing? We’ll show you how to do that by adding your very own apps to it with Bar Launcher!
Bar Launcher is a free, simple to use app that you can find by clicking this link. What it does is pretty nifty: it installs a permanent bar on your notification panel that you can customize and edit at will. You can then set your favorite or essential apps in there, and launch them from the notification bar anytime you want. This ends up being very useful when you need to do something quick, like launching the calculator, and you can do it without ever exiting an app to begin with: just slide the notification bar and your apps will always be there! Here’s how to set it up:
Once you install the app, you should launch it. You should see the following screen:
As you can tell, thing look pretty barren around here. But we’re about to change that! First, let’s add our apps by tapping the “+” icon at the bottom. Doing that will open the following screen:
As you can see, all of your apps will be on that list, and all you have to do in order to add them into the bar is to tap on them. Once you add an app, the list will disappear and the app will show up on the app’s main screen. Repeat the process to add more apps. You can have up to eight apps at once:
If you add a wrong app on accident, you can tap over it to replace it with another once, or swipe it away to remove it from the list:
Once you have your list all set up, you can also set the order the apps appear in. Currently, the app at the top will be the first icon shown and the one at the bottom will be the last, but you can tap and hold over one of the items, and then drag, to change its position:
Once you’re done, just tap the toggle at the top to enable the app:
And you’ll be able to see your very own bar with your very own apps every time you slide the notification bar:
The app allows you to add multiple rows of apps, though: if you want to add over eight apps at once, or simply organize your apps into sections, you can press the menu button on the top right and select “Add row” to add a new section and just add new apps like before. You can see all current rows by sliding from the left:
Of course, in order to launch an app, all you have to do is tap its icon from the bar. Simple and easy. You might also see some arrows on the bar: these are used to switch between rows, in case you have more than one. However, there’s some things you might want to set up as well in the app settings, so go back to the Launch Bar app and press the top menu button to bring up the Settings:
Some of the options you might want to change around in here are the icon toggle and the priority. The icon option allows you to show or hide the app’s icon on the notification bar when it’s enabled. If the little icon annoys you, you can disable it here. The priority option, on the other hand, prevents situations like shown below, where the app bar can be dragged down and lost by more recent notifications:
In order to avoid this, choose “Maximum Priority” to make sure the bar will always stay on top of the notification panel. The “Arrow color” option allows you to change the color of the arrows on the bar used to switch rows.
And that’s about it for this app! As we said, very easy and simple to use, absolutely free, and very useful. The app itself is also very pretty and seems like it has received a lot of care from the developer, so it’s worth checking out and giving it a spin if you’re interested in its functionality at all. Any comments or doubts? Fell free to let us know in the comment section below!