One of the best things about owning an Android smartphone is the factor that you can customize it the way you want and that too, without any issues. You can either root it, or just make minor customizations to the overall UI and the UX of your device, and the choice is entirely yours.
Obviously, things have changed a lot ever since developers started paying more attention to the overall demand and a lot of people predicted that Android launchers will become irrelevant. That is, however, not the case. These launchers are still just as relevant as they used to be, and are only getting better and better.
That has convinced us to do a roundup containing the 6 best Android launchers that are available for you to try right away. All these launchers are handpicked, so if you are looking for something solid, this is what you should be looking at.
1. Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is the most customizable launcher that you can find in the Play Store. It comes in free and paid versions, and it is one of the best launchers out there – if not the best. Nova is a fast and stable launcher, and it allows you to tweak the settings as you like to personalize the experience. Everything from the desktop grid, app drawer, icon size, and animations is easily customizable.
Nova Launcher is compatible with almost any icon pack and theme, so if you like changing things up, you can do that. Despite all the customization, this launcher provides a variety of features like gesture support, notification badges and customizable shortcuts, which can be really convenient for the advanced users.
It is also one of the few launchers that are receiving updates and features from the latest Android versions.
2. Evie Launcher
As a performance-focused launcher, Evie is one of the fastest and smoothest Android launchers available. Some launchers are known to introduce third-party ads to your device, but Evie does not. It simply provides an intuitive, easy-to-use launcher experience, with no advertisements or IAPs.
Like many launchers, Evie offers an expandable dock and changing of icon packs. It also has a built-in searcher, not only for your apps but for web searches as well. You can change the default search engine to Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. For users still on Android Nougat. One great thing about Evie Lanucher is that the developers are keeping it up to date with the latest changes that are happening in Android versions, making this launcher relevant as compared to some of the obscure launchers.
3. Google Now Launcher
If you are the kind of user that likes the stock vanilla look of the Google Android, then you should check the Google Now launcher. This app offers you a fast and clean experience identical to the one found on Google Nexus phones. The main benefit of this launcher is that you have quick access to Google Now cards with just one swipe.
The biggest weakness of this launcher is the customization. Google Now launcher does not allow icon pack or grid changes, or any other visual changes – though there are mods available for rooted devices, such as workarounds for applying icon packs to the Google Now launcher. So its still a good option, if you have a rooted device and don’t mind some third-party workarounds for customizing the launcher a bit beyond what it offers.
4. Apex Launcher
If you are looking for something that resembles Nova Launcher, and actually manages to imitate the stock launcher that Google ships with their phones at the same time, then opting to choose Apex Launcher is not really a bad decision. This is one of those launchers that started out about the same time as Nova Launcher did, and thanks to some healthy competition from not only Nova Launcher but the entire launcher landscape, kept on growing and becoming better and better.
The good thing about Apex Launcher is that it is available as a free version, too. So, if you are looking to try something without having to pay for it, you can try using the launcher and see if it fits your requirements. Do know that every bit of customization is supported by this launcher, which certainly is a good thing.
5. Niagara Launcher
One thing that I hear a lot of people talk about is how they are looking for a launcher that should be minimalistic, to begin with. There are so many launchers that completely do the opposite, by sending in loads of unnecessary features and UI elements to the user that completely overwhelm them.
The Niagara Launcher is one of the few launcher apps that aim to do things differently, and in the quest for doing things differently, it actually does succeed in a wonderful manner. If you are looking for something that is simple, elegant, and full of amazing features that you will actually use rather than forget about, then this launcher is made for you.
6. Microsoft Launcher
It may seem ironic, but one of the best launchers for Android was developed by Microsoft. It is blazingly fast, lightweight, and offers edge-to-edge widget placement, which only a tiny handful of launchers offer (Nova being one of them). Microsoft Launcher has a two-level dock, an optional “smart feed” that is fed by your Microsoft account, and an intuitive app drawer.
It’s not as small as Evie, but around there in terms of lightweightedness. While the speed and functionality of Microsoft Launcher are promising, its also highly beneficial for people with Microsoft / Outlook accounts, as it can easily synchronize those accounts to your Android phone.