One of the most hyped-up Minimalistic Android launchers is the Ratio launcher by Blloc. All those who got access to the blloc ratio launcher want to know the Ratio launcher Tips and tricks to make their usage worth it.
Just like all the other Best Minimalist launchers that we have covered, Ratio Launcher’s Priority is distraction-free phone usage for its users. The Interface is fairly simple.
You get one black background and monochrome icons on the top with a simple 2-page interface and some simple yet useful widgets on the left-hand side. The simplistic nature of this launcher can be simple for some and confusing for others, so in this article, we will see some of the best blloc ratio launcher tips and tricks to make optimum use of blloc ratio launcher to get rid of smartphone addiction
Best Blloc Ratio launcher Tips and Tricks:
Let us go through the best Ratio Launcher Tips and Tricks one by one:
1. Add New Drawer
As soon as you open the Blloc’s Ratio Launcher, you will see an interface with all your apps stacked as tiles. This is where you will find all your apps stacked together in their respective folders called Drawers. During the initial setup, you will be asked if you want the Ratio launcher to automatically sort the app into Drawer as per their category. You can either go with that and let the Ratio launcher do its magic or do it manually.
To add a new drawer in the Ratio launcher, press and hold the ‘Ratio‘ button and select ‘New Drawer‘. Now your keyboard will pop up, asking you to name your new drawer. Give that drawer a name and then drag the apps that you want within that drawer. You can add multiple drawers to properly categorize your apps on your phone.
2. Themes – Sun Mode, Focus Mode, Dark Mode, Light Mode
As opposed to its initial release, Ratio 4 launcher now supports 4 different styles of themes to match the style. Sun Mode gives you a bright white interface, which makes it easy to navigate within the launcher under direct sunlight. Focus mode as the name say will remove all the possible distraction within the launcher giving you a clean dark interface. While the Dark mode and the Light mode follows the default system theming, you can change launcher behavior to match with the system theming. If you using the dark mode on your Android smartphone, the Ratio launcher will load its dark theme by default. (You can also configure it change manually irrespective of the system UI theme)
All the Ratio 4 themes can be accessed directly via the Ratio button. Press and hold the Ratio button and then choose the theme that you want on your launcher.
3. Pull Down to Expand or Collapse Apps
Unlike most of the launchers, where you have a separate app drawer with all your installed app. In Ratio launcher, your launcher’s home screen is your app drawer, where you have the option to categorize your apps within different drawers. All these app drawers can be collapsed as per the need to reduce the home screen clutter.
Want to see the app in a specific drawer? just tap on the drawer’s name once and it will expand the drawer. And to close it, tap on the drawer name again. However, to expand all the app drawers at once, just swipe your finger down on the tiles panel and you will be able to see all the apps inside their respective drawers. You can repeat the gesture to hide the apps again.
4. Measure Your App Usage
Due to its minimalist approach, the Blloc ratio launcher makes sure you use your phone less by removing all colorful app icons. It also lets you view your app usage stats on the home screen.
By default, you will see your combined app usage alongside the drawer name, letting you know the amount of time you are spending on all the apps within that app category. You can also check the detailed usage stats of an individual app. To check the usage, simply long-press on the desired app and it will open the app usage page and now you will be able to see your detailed app usage.
In case you are unable to check your app usage stats, go to Ratio Settings > Permission Manager and give it all the necessary permissions related to the app usage.
5. Expand Apps Icons to Widgets
I still remember loving widgets and using them regularly when I had my first android that ran on Android Gingerbread, but slowly the existence of widgets on android declined due to people not using it on regular basis. In Ratio launcher, however, you can expand an app to make it into a widget (sort of). Remember the good old Windows mobile and how you could expand an app icon to convert it into a widget? It’s almost the same on Ratio launcher. To Expand an app icon, just long-press on any icon inside the ratio launcher and scroll down. You will see an option called ‘Expand‘. Just tap on that once and tap on save changes.
Now the app will start showing you different commands which you can access directly from outside. Do note that, not every app supports such widgets.
6. Change the App tile Style
Ratio launcher by Blloc divides your apps into blocks which can sometimes be confusing to find out. In that case, you have an option to add a different style to your app tile. There are 4 different styles to choose from to make your app stands out inside the drawer.
You use can change the app style to make it easy to identify your favorite apps. Just long-press on any app and once the app usage page shows up, it will be on the default ‘Classic‘ style. Swipe up to shuffle between different app styles like Bright Highlight, Dark Highlight, and Marker.
I like Fluorescent color markers for important apps like Chrome, Youtube, and PUBG. Yeah PUBG is important (Sadly!). You also have some gradients as well to choose from. Fluorescent Marker style also looks good with apps with app lock enabled.
7. Lock apps And Drawers
This is by far of the best parts about owning a phone with a custom skin is the added feature that skin offers which is not present in the stock ROM. I love how MIUI implements its app lock and lets me unlock my phone app as well with my biometrics (face unlock/fingerprint scanner). The ratio is a robust launcher that has an app lock mechanism built-in. To Enable it, just long-press on any app, and the menu will open. Scroll down and find the Lock option. Tap on the lock option once and now the app will only unlock once you unlock it with the fingerprint scanner.
You can also lock the whole drawer by long pressing on the drawer and selecting the lock option. Isn’t this amazing?
8. Change App Icons
To keep things clean and aesthetically even, the Ratio launcher comes with a minimal looking icons pack which matches its minimalistic vibe perfectly. You can change the individual app icons on your Ratio launcher. Just long-press on the app tile, then tap on the Icons option and select the new icon and you are good to go. But do note that you can only choose from the icons from the current icon pack.
9. Set Per-App Brightness
After the App lock feature, this is my second best feature inside the Ratio launcher. You can Set the brightness of every app separately. Just long-press on any app and scroll down. You will see a brightness bar that should be greyed out. Just tap on the eye on the right-hand side of the brightness bar and per-app brightness will be enabled. Set your brightness and save.
Now whenever you open any app, the app will directly open with the set brightness. Do note that this feature didn’t work for me when I initially installed Ratio, but it started working after the 9th July update.
10. Change Grid size
The default grid size for the ratio launcher icons is 4 icons per column. 4 icons look cool but 5 icons look much cooler and much more, umm windows phone-ish. To change the App icons from 4 icons to 5 icons. Open Ratio Settings > Tiles and toggle on the ‘Use Small Tiles‘ toggle. Look how amazing the app grid looks now, you will now be able to fit more apps within your home screen.
11. Move Apps Between Drawer
If you want to relocate an app’s location within a drawer then you just have to long-press the app and drag it over the drawer where you want to move it. You can also move the apps between two drawers from app settings. Long press the app tile to open app settings and tap on the ‘Move‘ option at the very bottom. Now select the drawer where you want to move that app and hit close. Your app has been successfully moved to the new drawer.
12. Get Weather, News, and Much more inside the root
The Ratio Launcher has its own side page just like Google feed and it’s called the Root. Although I can’t say if I like it very much, there are a few things that it does right. First things first, you can use the search box on the Root panel to search for anything over the internet. Just type in the term and it will load up the results in form of a Root card, which you can further read within Root as well. By default, it uses Qwant a privacy-focused search engine, but you can always switch back to Google Search. Queries made with the Google Search, will either open in the Google App or the Browser of your choice.
Other than this, the Root panel also has a limited set of premade widgets like Currency Converter, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Timer, Weather, YouTube, etc., Once enabled, you can access all your information related to these widgets within the Root without opening a specific app to perform the specific task. You can also enable Spotify control by going to Ratio settings > Root > Enable Spotify button. Just give proper permissions and you can use Spotify controls directly from the root. For now, all I can say is that there is a lot of room for improvement in the Root area.
13. Pin Root Widgets on top
You can also pin certain widgets from the Root page on the top of the launcher. These pinned widgets will always be visible on top of both root and tiles pages, showing important info related to the widget. To pin a widget, tap on the left of the widget to access widget settings and tap on the pin icon. You’ll see your widget pinned on the top. You can simply swipe right on the pinned widget to unpin it.
Currently, only a few widgets like Notes, Spotify, and Weather can be pinned. We might see more usable widgets in future updates of Ratio Launcher.
14. Change default icon pack
Ratio launcher uses Line Icons pack by default, which does go well with the minimalistic theme of the launcher but has limited icons than it’s Playstore counterpart. With Ratio 4, you can install the Playstore version of Line or Line Pro Icon pack and enjoy their new updated icons. It also supports Whicons Icon pack another minimalistic icon pack popular among minimalists and Moonshine Icon pack for those who like to add a bit of color splash to this launcher.
To install these new icon pack, open the Tile settings by sliding up from the Ratio button. Inside Tiles Settings, click on Icon pack to see available icon packs, and then click on ‘Get on Play Store‘ alongside your desired Icon pack and install the icon pack from the Playstore. Now again open Tiles settings and click on the Icon pack option, you will now see the ‘Apply‘ button. Just hit ‘Apply‘ to change your current icon pack. It will take some time before you can see the new icon pack in action.
15. Rename apps inside the launcher
You can also rename apps within Ratio Launcher. You may ask why would someone need to rename an app, right? Well, in case you want to go in pro stealth mode. You can always change the name of the app with its icon so that only you can find the app within the launcher. So instead of adding a password and look suspicious, you can easily sneak in with this trick and stay under-cover.
To rename any app, simply long-press the app to enter the app usage page and tap on the app name on the top to edit it. Type your desired name in and click ‘Done‘.
16- Change Wallpaper
While the earlier versions of the Ratio launcher didn’t support wallpapers. With Ratio 4, you can now add wallpaper to your launcher’s background, adding a more personalized touch to curb your minimalism. You can add different wallpapers to different themes, say a light wallpaper for the light theme and a dark one for the dark theme. Blloc has also provided some really high-quality wallpaper following the minimalistic theme of the Ratio launcher. You can choose either from these or rather set your own wallpapers to your launcher’s background.
To change wallpapers; Go to Ratio Settings > General > Wallpaper, there you will see a combination of default Ratio Wallpapers with an option to ‘Use custom wallpapers‘ where you can add your own wallpapers. Either go with their collection or add your own, then hit the ‘Apply‘ button and tap on ‘Wallpaper & Lock Screen‘ to apply the chosen wallpaper as your launcher’s background and lock screen. Do note, you can only add wallpapers to Dark and Light mode, Sun mode and Focus mode will not show any wallpaper on the home screen.
17- Access shopping, to-do list, and notes directly on your lock screen
The hassle of unlocking your phone, just to open the notes app to look for the next item in your grocery list while you are in a supermarket is real. Ratio launcher solves this by giving you the access to see your shopping list, to-do list, and notes right on your lock screen. Just pull your phone out and look at the next item in your grocery list and put it back inside your pocket. Time saver, right?
For this to work you will have to use the Notes widget inside the Root Panel. Add a new note or a shopping list and then tap on the pin icon on the top right of the widget to pin it to the lock screen. Now every time you will lift your phone or press the lock button, you will see the content of your pinned note over your lock screen. Do note that there is no way you can interact with its content, say if you want to tick something off your shopping list you will have to do it from the Root panel.
A few custom Android skins like MIUI might not show your list at glance, in that case, check if you have given lock screen access to the Ratio Launcher inside the app settings inside the Settings app.
18- Pulldown to open the control center
Smartphone screens are getting bigger, while I can’t say the same for our hands. By default, to access the notification center/control center on Android you will have to stretch your finger all over to the top of the screen. With the Ratio launcher, you can pull down your control center by sliding down anywhere on the launcher’s home screen. However, with this enabled, you can no longer expand your drawers like before. Swiping down on the home screen will pull down your notification panel.
To enable this option, go to Ratio Settings > Tiles and toggle on the ‘Pull down to open control center‘. Now go back to the home screen try pulling down on the home screen to access the notification panel.
19- Double-tap tiles to lock screen
Give your lock button a rest and let the Ratio launcher take care of the task. With this feature enabled, you can simply double-tap on tiles to lock your phone’s screen. This feature could come in handy if want to increase the longevity of the hardware lock button.
To enable the double-tap tiles to lock screen, go to Ratio Settings > Tiles and toggle on the ‘Double-tap tiles on lock screen‘. Now every time you double-tap on your tiles’ home screen, it will lock your smartphone.
19 Best Ratio Launcher Tips and tricks: Wrapping Up
So these are some of the best Blloc’s Ratio launcher tips and tricks that you can try yourself. The best ones according to me is the ability to set the brightness on apps individually and the ability to lock apps within the launcher itself.
Overall Ratio Launcher has passed the test of what I wanted from a launcher for my personal use and I will be using it as my primary launcher. So what do you think, should we do a long term review of this launcher? Do let me know in the comments below.