On June 19th of this year, Nokia was reborn. The company that had been known for years as a cell phone pioneer had sold off its devices business, and the world was waiting to see what new paths Nokia might take. There are a few, as it turns out, but one of them saw the company release a surprisingly innovative new Android app this past summer, and it just got a big update that users will love.

Earlier this week, Nokia announced on its Z Launcher blog that the like-named app, which is the first stand-alone Android software Nokia has ever released, has been improved in several key areas. For those who did not see the original news, Nokia’s Z Launcher app is a nifty Android launcher that makes accessing the contacts you correspond with most frequently and your most commonly used apps a breeze.

Here are the full details of Nokia’s new Z Launcher update, as noted in the company’s blog post:

  • Performance improvements
    • Speed improvements across the board!
    • Faster startup
    • Faster loading of apps, contacts, and websites on the homescreen
    • Faster first-run performance, especially on lower-end devices
  • Design enhancements
  • New animations
    • Going to homescreen, launching apps (we are still working on these, please let us know what you think in feedback)
  • Improved contacts search and listing in Z Launcher, more consistency in preserving your preferences across Z Launcher updates
  • Improved web search results
  • Improvements to “Call…” and “Text…” actions
    • Collapsing contacts so one person won’t take up two spots on your Home screen (so you won’t see “Call John” and “Text John” at the same time)
    • More reliable creation of “Call” and “Text” for the people you connect with the most
  • Reducing accidental app launch if you scribble too quickly
  • And many more bug fixes to improve the reliability of Z Launcher

Z Launcher is currently in closed beta but those interested in trying it out as soon as possible can sign up here.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.