In recent times every other individual possesses a smartphone with an android OS. Android is one of the most powerful OS available in the market, with high potential. But until and unless you don’t withdraw every drop of essence from your smartphone you won’t be able to understand the greatness of an android phone. To attain maximum efficiency launcher apps or launcher for android are used.
What are Launcher Apps?
There is great dominance of android phones over other operating systems due the variety of customization opportunities which are provided to its users. These opportunities are generated by android customization applications or so called launcher apps.
Launcher for android have contributed in enhancing the android experience. Launcher apps provide the user with numerous options to choose from, which will result in an overall change in how their phone’s works. If a user doesn’t like the way their home screen looks like or doesn’t appreciate the orientation of applications, the user can just download a launcher for android and change all of that. The best android launchers provide a variety of customization options.
The best android launcher apps can give your device a complete makeover, it can change the home screen, provide new folders to arrange your apps or media files, provide new search assistants, change the theme, etc. These launcher apps serve as a path for the user to easy android customization and get a phone that works according to them.
Why use Third-Party Android Launcher Apps?
Every device comes with a pre-installed launcher, but most people use third-party launcher apps. As these launcher for android come with more packed features. With android 9 just in the market, Google Pixel 2 with pre-installed Pixel launcher, OnePlus supporting all types of launcher for android. Android customization has become easier. To save you from the trouble of browsing and finding the best android launcher, we have prepared a list for you:
1.Nova Launcher: Nova Launcher is one of the best android launcher available on the Google Play Store; it is considered an unofficial fan-favourite launcher app. The Nova Launcher is a smooth android launcher and gives the user access to effortless android customization. The application is fast, efficient and lightweight. It supports dock customizations, shows frequently used apps in top row in the app drawer (optional), has notification badges, customization of icons and folders and has a variety of gestures for shortcuts.
Some of its key features are:
- Dual functions for home screen icons: The icons present on your primary home screen act as shortcuts for you to access the application directly. With the use of Nova Launcher android, if you swipe up on icons it will perform specific tasks. Like for example if you have the ‘Google Maps’ app icon on your home screen (and you have set it in such a way) that if you swipe the icon it will directly start navigating you to your office. This feature will make accessibility easy and your device won’t have too many shortcuts.
To enable this feature you just have to long-press the icon and edit its ‘swipe menu’.
- Home Screen gestures: One of the best ways to customize your android device is to implement the use of gestures as shortcuts. With the Nova launcher android you can perform certain android customizations like, when a specific gesture is enacted on the home screen a specific action will take place.
- You can recreate the old Google Launch feature of where if you swipe up on the home screen the menu would be displayed. Some gestures like; swiping with two fingers to open gallery, drawing a circle to open the camera can be set up. Each action is divided into three categories: Nova, Apps, & shortcuts.
To set this up just follow these steps: Nova Settings>Gestures & inputs>Gestures.
- Night mode (Automatically): With the new practice of lying in bed at night and browsing your phone for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter etc. It can be harmful for your eyes if the brightness of your screen is high.
Night time browsing has become a trend and this launcher for android supports night mode. Your phone will ‘automatically’ go into night mode whenever it senses you’re in a dark place. The brightness of the screen, will be reduced to a bare minimum which are suitable for your eyes.
To set this up- Nova settings>night mode
You can specify when you want to enter night mode (follow system, always, custom, auto), and what all applications should enter night mode (configure each setting specially).
- A useful home button: This is one of the best android launchers as, this feature is a way to increase the use of your home button rather than just performing its ordinary functions. It applies to those phones that have a physical home button.
When you’re on your home screen and you press the home button a specific function is performed. This basically means from any application a double-tap on the home button will launch another app, perform a specific function etc.
You can access this feature on the Nova Launcher android by the following these steps; Settings>Gestures & inputs>Home button, and change the settings accordingly.
2.Action Launcher: Action launcher has been an all-time favourite launcher for android. The Action 3 launcher app has some resemblance with those of Pixel launcher and you can gain features that you thought were only available on a Google launcher or Google Pixel Launcher. Such features like:
- Dock tinting
- Circular folder style
- Full Screen all apps mode
- Date widgets
- Google Pill
The key features of action launcher for android are as follows:
- Quicktheme: Customize UI based on the color of your wallpaper.
- Quickbar: Customization of the Google search bar
- Quickedit: Customization of app icons, you can select accordingly from the choices
- Smartsize icons: Icons are resized automatically according to recommended icon side.
- Covers: This feature provides folders with covers, providing them different actions to different folders.
- Shutters: This feature is just the creation of shortcuts for an application via adding a widget to the home screen.
3.Evie Launcher: Is one of the best launcher for android available in the market, it is light and comes packed with enough features to keep you satisfied. Evie launcher android comes with a default setting of 4 application icons at the bottom and a permanent search bar; the search bar will let you search any application on your phone from one place.
Due to this default setting the dock feature of your android phone goes inactive, you will have to go to the settings and change the default. Evie is one of the best android launcher and, is renowned for its smoothness and multiple home screen features.
The key features of Evie launcher app are as follows:
- Adjustable grid size: While many launchers come with a default grid size being 4×4, the Evie launcher for android lets you adjust the grid size and the size of the icons. This can range from 3×4 to 12×12.
This is one of the best features as it lets you decide how many applications you want to see on your home screen and set their size according to your own perception. This feature is important as the new upcoming phones in the market have large screens so the proper utilization of that much area is guaranteed with Evie launcher app.
- One of the unchangeable features of this launcher for android, is the permanent search bar present on the home screen of your device. Just by swiping down it lets you search anything you want to.
- As by downloading Evie launcher app it automatically deactivates dock and few other features; you can reactivate dock, the android O dots, and unread badges. Evie launcher for android is light user friendly & speed-oriented launcher that gives you more customization options then most of the best android launchers.
4.ADW launcher 2: This launcher app has been available in the market since 2011. It is one of the most popular launchers for android being fast, efficient and easily customizable. After a few years it lost its limelight due to the competition from “best android launchers”.
Now ADW is back with ADW launcher version 2 with a whole new look, a new variety of android customization options and material design enhancements. This launcher app enables you to create custom widgets within the app; you can use it for different plug-ins. There are numerous changes in the 2 version; we bring to you a brief of what are the new features:
- Option to change top panel/widget.
- Option to change content type of bottom panel given.
- Provides a visual mode to change the arrangement of desktop, change folder/icon appearance, and more drawer options.
- Provides new wrap folder mode; swipe up shows content, and lets you launch app in the folder just by tap.
- Custom widgets; you can make/add your own widgets from the widget list, import them, share them etc. Also added new extensions for widgets.
- You can fast scroll app drawer style.
- Provides new section to change icon badges.
- Option in advanced settings to maintain backup via backup manager.
This launcher for android is available for free on the Google Play store, but for the premium version some amount of money has to be paid (approx. RS200+). It is one of the best android launchers in the market.
5.Apex Launcher: Another iconic launcher for android that has made its name in the android market. If you want a launcher android that supports easy android customization, is fast, and won’t make you learn how to use your phone again, then Apex launcher app is one of the best android launchers for this purpose.
This launcher app will give your phone a complete makeover and still run effortlessly. It allows you to change the arrangement of your app drawer and even gives the option to hide applications that aren’t required by you. This launcher app also works on tablets. Some more of its features are given below:
- Custom home screen gestures: Gestures made on the home screen can make the device perform different functions like open the torch, open another application etc. You can specify which action preformed on the home screen will lead to what function.
Like you can change the settings such that when you ‘swipe up’ it directly opens ‘Google Search Bar’ or when you ‘pinch’ on the screen, Facebook will open automatically.
- You can configure the home screen grid.
- With this android launcher you can add up to nine home screen pages.
- Easily customizable icons and labels for folders and shortcuts.
- Multiple drawer designs, can sort drawer apps.
- Manage backup/restore settings and data.
- Scrollable dock, elastic scrolling for home screen and app drawer.
- Create shortcuts with Apex actions.
- In this launcher android you have numerous themes to choose from.
The Apex launcher app has a ‘Pro version’, in which it has even more features than the regular version. Some of them are given below:
- Additional theme options and translational effects
- Add widgets to dock, more dock swipe actions.
- More ways to customize you app drawer.
The Apex launcher app is free and available on the Google Play store.
6.EverythingMe: EverythingMe launcher for android shut down in 2015, but made a comeback in the January of 2017.
This launcher app is a very smart one indeed; it has smart folders that will categorize your apps accordingly. It gives your phone an automatic organized look. This launcher for android has a vast set of features; you can allocate everything you care about in one place.
This launcher for android comes with a motive to simplify your android experience and provide the users with the best features with minimum setup. It is because of its simplicity and advanced customization it is considered one of the best android launchers.
Once the launcher app is installed it will automatically set up you your home screen, app drawer, widgets etc. On the basis of the usage of the apps and which is more important. After which you can tinker with the settings according to your preference, just in case if you didn’t like what had been set up.
This launcher android comes packed with many features:
- Customizable gestures: Gestures made on the home screen can make the device perform different functions like open the browser, open another application etc. You can specify which action preformed on the home screen will lead to what function.
- The prediction bar: It anticipates the next application you might need while you are using your phone.
- Context feed: You can access your missed calls, calendar, photos and more with just one tap on your home screen.
- Universal Search: This launcher app has one the fastest android search bars to help you boost your search. With just by typing a single letter you will able to get the app, information and more that you want.
- Contacts panel: You can swipe left to call/message your top contacts with the help of this launcher android.
- You can drag and drop any app, widget, folder onto your home screen.
7.Buzz Launcher: The Buzz launcher is the incarnation of android customization and personalization. It is a swift launcher app which will customize your device within a few minutes. It is said to have been “recognized as the best personalization App for the Best App Ever Awards and the Best of Best Brand Identity for the Red Dot Awards” (Source: Google Play store).
Some of its features are given below:
- It holds an upper hand in android customization and personalization because the Buzz launcher app possesses a feature known as “Homepack Buzz”. This feature enables users to access the thousands of customized home screens that have been uploaded by other users. This in turn provides them with a vast variety of home screen formats to choose from.
- This launcher for android consists to an in-built app locker for ensuring that your data, media and more are secured. It also has a RAM-cleaner so no need to download one externally.
- This launcher app has gesture customization to increase efficiency, speed, and performance of your device. These gestures act as shortcuts and save the users time.
- Has the “Screen effect” feature; in this the launcher android will over lay a wallpaper that is already on your screen with some external effects, like it will show as if it is snowing, raining, the leaves are falling. It basically acts as a live animation.
- You can create your own widgets and also choose from a variety of widgets within the application.
8. Microsoft launcher: Microsoft launcher app also known as the arrow launcher, is an agile and efficient launcher for android, which is preferred by many users. People gave a positive response on its release and the launcher for android came to be a success with more than over 10 million downloads.
It provides numerous android customization options for the home screen and app drawer. This launcher app has the feature which allocates all the apps you consider important to one place, so you can view them quickly. (Like news, events, calendar, contacts and more.) This is one the best android launchers which have a motive to give your device the look you want, from changing the wallpaper to customizing your app icons it does it all.
Some of its features are as followed:
- Pin contacts/people to your home screen, dock or in folders.
- Has the option to enable creating folders in app drawers.
- Has the “universal bar”, meaning you can search the web and your phone from one place. You’ll get the app, folder or information you are looking from just by searching them. You can also browse the internet from the search bar.
- This launcher app also has the option for gesture customization; gestures act as shortcuts and save the users time. A specific pre-defined gesture when made on the home screen will make the device perform a specific function.
- One of the reasons Microsoft launcher is considered one of the ‘best android launcher’ is because, it has the option to link your phone to your PC.
- Make a Microsoft account, this in turn will let you access documents, recent activities in your personalized feed. (Same concept as that of Google linking).
9. WP Launcher (Windows Phone): WP Launcher app is a unique launcher android as it does not have the same android look rather it gives more of a windows look, deceiving you phone as a windows phone. This change doesn’t alter efficiency, rather it is just the same android features but in the format of a windows layout. Your phone doesn’t required to be rooted for this launcher app to work, it will work on top of your android interface.
Some of its features are:
- Ads will be blocked so your experience isn’t hindered.
- There is a variety of themes that can be downloaded online and then applied to your phone. The launcher will also on its own backup and restore the theme.
- This launcher app supports rich and dynamic wallpapers, also lets you access to different lock screens that will be available online. The lock screen is easily customizable with style and password settings.
- Has a search bar, which will let you search within the device and also on the web.
- You can customize tiles according to your wish; you can configure the size, colour, and even the icons of the tiles.
- In this launcher for android you can create and manage folders in new tabs. You can even lock, secure, and hide folders.
- Gives notifications for different applications separately. You will have to manually operate the notification feature.
10.Pixel Launcher: Pixel launcher is a default Google launcher that is available on the Google Pixel 2. It is one of the best android launchers that are available for android devices. It might have some resemblance with iOS operating system due to the translucent menu bar and round icon designs.
This launcher app is compatible with only a few devices, and supports only Google devices but if you want to download it and use it for your phone try putting its APK File. This launcher for android provides a dock search bar, notification dots and more features as mentioned below:
- The presence of ‘Google Search’ on your primary home screen for a quick and direct access.
- Weather appears in the top right corner, right beside your location. (But for this you’re going to have to enable your devices location on)
- One of the reasons this google launcher is deemed as one of the ‘best android launcher’ is because, of the presence of Google cards on the page next to your home page, that will provide you news, personalized information quickly.
- The Google launcher app makes sure, applications are ordered alphabetically.
- Long-press apps and move them either to make them a shortcut or put them back in the menu, can be done with the help of this Google Launcher app.
Conclusion: These launchers are ranked according to our preference and not any type of valid marking. These are some of the best android launchers available in the market, according to us. There are more launchers for android, if you know any more do comment and let us know.