If you are new to the concept of Android launchers, wondering what they are, how to use them, and the best launchers out there, then look no further. This article is tailor-made for you. Launcher geeks can directly jump to the well-researched list of 9 best android launchers for your home screens as discussed below without further ado.
Our Android phones usually come with a default launcher or home screen. It is nothing but the look-and-feel of your smartphone software. This default arrangement may not always be as per our taste and may sometimes feel clustered with extra additions. Here is where the Android launchers or home screen replacements made by 3rd parties come into play. You don’t have to feel stuck with your Android smartphone home screen like iPhone users. You can use launchers made by third parties and personalize your Android user experience according to your needs.
No, these launchers do not make any permanent changes to your phone. It is easy to download from the play store, and equally easy to get back to default home screen. Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into the list of best android launchers out there.
9 Best Android Launchers For Your Home screens
Nova Launcher (Google Play Store Rating – 4.5)
The most significant feature of the Nova launcher is high-level of customization. Beginning with the dock, you can decide the number of apps you want to be placed there. Also, you can keep the most used apps on the dock for easy access. You can increase the size of the grids, icons, search bar, widgets according to your needs. It even lets you adjust the animation speed to make the phone faster or look flashy. It is compatible with most icon packs and is also fast and reliable.
The advanced search bar feature lets you do a Google search, look up the Play Store and even perform quick calculations. There are numerous shortcuts for app actions too. Gestures are one of the main features of the Nova launcher. For example, a swipe up gesture can call a particular contact or open Google Maps to your office route.
Both free and prime versions of the Nova launcher are available. The free version is more than enough for the newbies, but only prime will benefit the advanced users.
Lawnchair (Google Play Store Rating — 4.3)
Lawnchair uses the same open-source base (launcher3) used for making Pixel launcher to give a pixel-like experience. More customization options are available in Lawnchair to make it better than the Pixel Launcher. If you are not into the Pixel launcher feature, no problem. You can customize it the way you want, although not as much as you can do with the Nova launcher.
Features available include making variations in different shapes and sizes for grids and icons. You can also hide the app label for a minimalistic look. You also get Icon pack support.
Niagara Launcher (Google Play store Rating – 4.4)
Niagara launcher stands out due to the minimal experience and the vertical layout display design for the icons. You can display the most frequently used app icons on the home screen. Plus, you can also check a little preview of the notifications. You can read messages by swiping it to the right, and take action on it from the home screen.
An app drawer is opened by clicking on a button or an icon or through a gesture.
In Niagara launcher, the app you want to use can be selected using an alphabet arranged vertically on the side of the home screen by dragging your finger up and down.
Notifications can be read with a simple swipe down gesture on your home screen without having to reach the top to swipe down. Even the lower end model users can use it as it is a lightweight launcher.
There are no sponsored ads even in the free version. You can unlock certain in-app features such as Niagara calendar, weather widget, Quick lock gestures and others with premium version.
Microsoft Launcher (Google Play store Rating – 4.7)
It is a highly customizable free launcher to spice up your Android smartphone, which can be synced with Microsoft account. The feed option under this launcher enables three views: Glance, News, and Timeline. You can see sticky notes from Windows 10, upcoming tasks, events, and more under the glance option.
An inbuilt version of the Microsoft news app is displayed with a click on the news tab that can be customised with your topics of interest. The Timeline tab is handy as it shows your activity across any device linked to your Microsoft account.
A fully integrated Cortona for accomplishing the basic tasks and a customisable dock that lets you have a second row of dock space, are some of the best features of this launcher.
Poco Launcher 2.0 (Google Play store Rating – 4.6)
Customising your smartphone with Poco launcher 2.0 is great as it is one of the fastest launchers for Android. This launcher comes pre-installed in Poco phones by Xiaomi.
If you swipe up for the app drawer, you will get different categories of the apps mentioned on top of the screen. This feature gives you an organised app drawer that is very useful.
Our apps can also be sorted according to their icon colours, a cool option not present in other launchers. App icons can be hidden, and with a double-tap gesture on the home screen, you can lock the phone. Poco launcher 2.0 is reliable and easy to use but still has more room for improvement.
Smart Launcher 5 (Google Play store Rating – 4.4)
The best feature of Smart Launcher is the customisation it enables you to do to the icons, smart search and widgets. Smart Launcher, unlike other launchers, does not allow you to place app shortcuts in any open grid space on the home screen. Instead, it automatically sets your icons in any of the four icon layouts you choose from that it already has.
The smart search option present on the home screen can be accessed with a swipe up gesture. You can use any search sources you want for the smart search. You can even display the text of the Smart search bar to match your theme if you are a Smart Launcher 5 Pro user. As it does not use the traditional grid system for widgets, the size and the number of widgets you can have is up to your imagination.
Smart Launcher 5 automatically sorts app drawers categorically and chooses an ambient color that matches your wallpaper. One downside is that only the pro version lets you know it’s true potential, and the pop-up ads in the free version are intrusive and annoying.
Ratio Launcher (Google Play store Rating – 4.3)
The Ratio launcher being a perfect, minimal launcher with an attractive UI and a monochromatic theme, might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you are looking for a minimalistic people who want to declutter their home screen as much as possible.
It has three home screen options with three different arrangement themes. It needs access to most of your data to function effectively. The data is not shared and is encrypted to stay on your phone. It is undoubtedly one of the best launchers to try out in 2022.
BaldPhone (Google Play store Rating – 4.4)
BaldPhone is an interesting open-source launcher made out of pure goodwill to help the elderly and others uncomfortable using a standard interface. Icons are bigger for better accessibility. Navigation using large narrows with an option to decide how long they can hold their fingers on it is an excellent option for those who can not use their fingers for swiping. A built-in medicine manager to help remember medical needs and a video tutorial easy to follow to navigate the launcher are great additions.
Apex Launcher (Google Play store Rating – 4.3)
Apex launcher is compatible with phones and tablets. You can simply customize your smartphone with many themes and icon packs available on the Play Store. The app lock feature is great to protect your data and privacy. You can also hide apps that are not needed.
Apex Launcher Pro is a paid version that unlocks many features such as additional transition effects, unread count notifications, advanced widget options and more.
Have fun experimenting and customising with the above-mentioned Android launchers to increase your productivity or just for the kick of it! These 9 Android Launchers for your home screens are available on Google Play Store.