The HTC One is an absolutely fantastic piece of kit, offering a stylish design, an incredible screen and plenty of raw processing power for those important everyday tasks -- like getting three stars on all the levels in Angry Birds. It does have one shortcoming, however: HTC Sense's BlinkFeed, which is set as the default homescreen on the phone. Whenever you fire the handset up or unlock it from its slumber, BlinkFeed is the first thing you see -- whether you like it or not.
Mercifully, there are ways of removing BlinkFeed from your life and they don't require anything quite so drastic as rooting your phone. The easiest choice is to change your phone's default homescreen so BlinkFeed is quietly pushed out of view (you can see how to do this -- along with plenty of other cool hints -- by consulting our 25 Tips for the HTC One feature).
The other option -- which is sort of a halfway house between hiding BlinkFeed and rooting your phone -- is to download and install another application launcher from the Google Play market. For the uninitiated, an app launcher replaces your homescreens and app drawers, and can drastically alter the way your phone feels and operates. We've listed the five best options below.
After installing any of these homescreen launchers and pressing the 'home' button, you'll be prompted by Android to select which one you'd like to use as your default. If you fancy having a play around before deciding once and for all, simply select the launcher and then tap 'Just once'. When you're sure you like the one you've picked, select 'Always' and it will be set as your default launcher.
Go Launcher EX
This ludicrously customisable launcher has been around for quite some time, and developer Go Team seems to add new features on an almost weekly basis. It boasts more than 5,000 different themes and works in conjunction with Go Team's other apps, which include a series of custom widgets. It even has its own store, called -- you've guessed it -- the 'Go Store', where you can download stuff like wallpapers and custom icons.
This is another launcher replacement which has been doing the rounds for what seems like forever. It's even compatible with Android 1.6, just in case you don't believe us. As well as the usual options for customising your homescreens and app drawers, you can select themes and even add an action bar, like the one seen in Android 3.0 Honeycomb. To cap it all off, ADW.Launcher is fast and responsive, and not quite as demanding on your phone's CPU as other options out there. A premium version, ADW.Launcher EX, offers even more content.
If you want to make all your iPhone-owning mates really jealous, try installing this launcher replacement. It transforms your dull and rather static homescreen into a room with 3D objects. To make a call, you tap the phone on the desk and to watch a video you select the massive TV screen pinned to the wall. You can add widgets to other walls of the room, and looking up out of the domed window above displays the weather forecast. It's somewhat gimmicky, but fun all the same. Your HTC One will handle it just fine, but if you're installing it on another Android phone, make sure you've got the recommended 1GB of RAM available.
LauncherPro was one of the first Android launcher options to hit the market, and got itself noticed by offering cool features and transitions that weren't available elsewhere. The competition has caught up in recent months and LauncherPro is now more concerned with offering the most stable experience possible. If you're looking to ditch BlinkFeed but don't want to feel like a test subject for app developers and their fancy new launchers, then this is the safe option.
Next Launcher 3D
Like 3D Home, Next Launcher 3D offers visual trickery that isn't available in many of its rivals. However, it stops short of giving you a virtual living room to inhabit, and instead applies its 3D skills to things such as menu transitions and navigation. Proudly marketed as the number one 3D launcher in the Google Play market, Next Launcher 3D is as slick as they come -- but like everything truly special in life, it comes with a hefty price tag of just over £6. Thankfully, there's a lite version for you to try before you splash your cash.