Android is the king of the mobile OS when you want to customize, theming, modding, and tweaking your smartphone. The easiest way to change the look of your Android device is to download and use an Android Launcher app.
An Android Launcher is basically the Home screen and App Drawer component. Almost all OEMs have their own homebrew launchers, like Samsung’s Touchwiz UX, Sony Timescape UI, HTC Sense, etc. They come pre-installed on the manufacturer’s devices, but you can easily change them with a 3rd party launcher from Google Play Store according to your need.
Here, we are going through the best Launchers for Android, discussing their features, pros, and cons, device support, and price.
It is among the best Android launcher around, Nova basically renowned for its small size, customizability, light RAM usage, and cool 3D effects. Apart from that, Some of Nova’s distinguishing features are its unique gesture control, which allows you to launch apps, expand notifications, modify home screens via touch gestures.
Also, Nova has the unique ability to hide apps, launch app activities, make tabs in the app drawer, modify dock, and folder looks, and have several 3D transitional animations to boot.
Nova is practically based on the stock Android Launcher, hence it retains the Nexus-like look. But you can easily change the structure via numerous icon packs available in the Play Store. Nova Android Launcher is available in a feature-limited free version and a paid version you can choose as per your need.
Apex is another very popular launcher, similar to Nova, based on the stock Android launcher like Nova. Apex android launcher is distinguished by its flexible theming options. It can mix and match elements of various themes. Apex launcher also has a unique option to add 1×1 widgets in the dock, customizable icons, labels, and various transitional animations. Apex is quite light on resources, that is why it is very suitable for lower mid-range devices.
Apex is also available in a feature-limited free version and a paid version just like Nova.
Who doesn’t know Go Launcher? We can say that it is one of the most downloaded launchers in the Play Store, second only to Nova Launcher. Go Launcher is just about theming. Out of the box, it has themed icons for many apps and has over 10000 downloadable themes in its directory which is pretty impressive.
Just like any other launcher, It has an inbuilt task killer, app hider, app locker, and something called 3D Core, which allows for advanced transition effects. Go Android Launcher comes with its set of 15+ pre-loaded widgets, with options to download a lot more themed widgets which is a very unique feature.
Another unique thing about this best Android launcher is the support of the vast range of Android, right from the old 2.2 Froyo to the latest Jellybean.
ADW is another stock Android-based launcher that you can pick, except that it is not as stock in look and feel like Nova or Apex. Just like Nova, ADW’s distinguishing point is that it supports a vast range of Android versions, right from Android 1.6 Donut to Android Jellybean. ADW provides largely customizable, with thousands of icon packs, themes.
Another function of it allows you to mix and match several downloadable themes according to your liking. ADW also has a configurable desktop layout, widget resizing for unsupported widgets, customizable docks, changeable text color, animation, size, unread notifications counter, and many more things to your liking.
If you are considering buying a paid version, ADW also has a paid version, ADW Launcher EX, which has a lot more features, including 10 app drawer styles, lots of desktop animations, and backup and restore for your custom layout.
Action Launcher Pro is just like a different breed altogether. Action Launcher is distinguished by ‘Shutters’, a unique way to access widgets which makes it different from any other android launcher. You can simply make a shortcut on the home screen and swipe up on that to access the widget of that app in a small popup, pretty amazing. Another feature is that it covers, an innovative rethink of the traditional folders.
You create a folder and make it just like a cover. Then, when you tap on it, it opens the first app in the folder, but when you swipe up, it shows all the content of the folder that you want to see.
Action Android Launcher also has unique search capabilities, by which you can search for Apps, Contacts, Music, the Internet, etc directly from your home screen, hence minimizing effort.
Action Launcher is a paid app and does not have a free version, but considering its features, its price is justified.
6. Next Launcher 3D
Next Launcher 3D is relatively new in the market from the team behind Go Launcher. It is a premium, paid launcher, full of 3D dynamic effects, and lots of features. Next android Launcher provides lots of 3D effects, making your phone look futuristic and super cool. Just like any other Android launcher, It can easily be themed by downloading the several themes available at Google Play Store.
It also has a very good app management system with touch gestures, both in the home screen and app drawer. The development team loaded it with 3D Widgets, 3D Themes, and cool Live Wallpapers, especially for Next Launcher users.
Next Launcher 3D is a paid version, with a free trial available.
7. Smart Launcher
Smart Launcher is also the new android launcher on the scene. It’s a very simple, minimalistic launcher, light on the resources, and also small in size. Its home screen is extremely simple, with no pages, only a simple clock, and some shortcuts at the bottom with a minimalistic design. Smart Android Launcher’s app drawer features automatic categorization of installed apps into various categories like Games, Internet, Office, Media, etc.
You can re-arrange the apps manually too. Smart Launcher can be customized by icon packs as well as dedicated Smart Launcher themes. And just like any other launcher you can also hide installed apps from the menu, change app icons on a per-app basis. Smart Launcher also has quite an extensive Android version support, from v2.1 Éclair to Jellybean.
Smart Launcher also has a paid version plus a free version, which has the ability to add widgets to the home screen, more transitional animations, and color effects to modify your phone.
8. Buzz Launcher
Buzz Launcher is also a new entrant among the list of best Android Launcher scene. Buzz Android Launcher is unique for its ability to apply beautiful home screen themes created by freelancers around the world. You just need to browse through their gallery, select a theme, and all needed stuff will automatically be downloaded. You can even create your own look, and upload it to Buzz’s server with no prior knowledge.
As of now, over 85000 unique home screen themes are available for Buzz Android Launcher.
Buzz Launcher is completely free and you can freely use it.
9. MiHome Launcher
Among the category of best launchers, Not many people have heard about this great launcher, but most people who are using Android have heard about MIUI ROM. MiHome android Launcher is basically the MIUI Stock launcher, only thing is that it is available for all Android devices. MiHome Launcher doesn’t feature an app drawer, instead, it is a more iOS-like approach, with all app icons on the home screen.
MiHome Android Launcher also comes with a few inbuilt widgets, like a clock widget, a task killer widget. It also comes with an inbuilt lock screen app, again, the same one as in MIUI ROM. But the coolest thing in MiHome is its theming capabilities. There are 150000+ themes for the MiHome Launcher and lock screen, available through an included Themes app in the launcher.
MiHome is completely free of cost and supports all phones.
10. 360 Launcher
In our list, 360 Launcher is a powerful, highly customizable launcher. Just like others, It includes personalized icons, wallpapers, lock screen, folders, widgets, and an online theme directory. 360 Android Launcher has very cool theme effects, a nice RAM cleaner. 360 Launcher loaded with a cool app heart feature, essentially a widget, which allows you to stack quite a number of shortcuts for quick access.
Another thing is that360 Launcher also has a small button, which allows you to change the total theme of the launcher at a single touch, making it very user-friendly.
As always, there are some negative aspects. Just Like others, 360 Launcher has its weaknesses like made by a Chinese company, and not translated very well, so you can see places where the text is still in Chinese. 360 Android Launcher is a fully free launcher.
So there goes the list of the best Android Launcher available in the market. We are pretty sure that one is bound to like at least one of these launchers; one which fits his/her needs, both in the speed and usability. Feel free to check our other contents. Hope you liked it.