Harnessing the power of Android’s customization, Android launcher apps have transformed the smartphone user experience.
The ability to personalize your device from the home screen to the app drawer is a unique feature that makes Android stand out. Plenty of launchers are available in the Google Play store; choosing the right one could be daunting. This comprehensive review and comparison of the best Android launchers will help you make an informed choice.
What is an Android Launcher?
An Android Launcher acts as a gatekeeper to your Android device. The tool allows you to interact with your device, manage your apps, and customize your home screen.
The beauty of Android lies in its flexibility, which extends to the choice of launchers. From the most sophisticated smartphones to the most basic budget phones, every Android device comes with a built-in launcher.
However, with an array of third-party launchers available, you can choose one that suits your needs and preferences.
Why Choose a Third-Party Android Launcher?
While the default launchers on Android devices offer a basic level of customization, third-party launchers offer more advanced customization options. They can change everything from the layout of your home screen to the icons and widgets.
Whether you’re looking for a minimalist design, explosive color options, or extra functionality, there’s an Android launcher out there for you.
In this section, we’ll take a detailed look at the top 10 best Android launchers. Each launcher has its own unique features and advantages. We’ll highlight the key features of each, making it easier for you to choose the one that best suits your preferences.
1. Nova Launcher
Standing at the helm of Android launchers since its launch in 2012, Nova Launcher is a fine blend of extensive customization and superior performance. With its sleek design and lightning-fast speed, Nova Launcher lets you set your home screen just right without slowing down your device’s performance.
- Highly customizable, with options to change color themes, icon packs, scrollable docks, and more.
- Offers infinite scrolling and folder settings.
- Regular updates with new features.
- Nova Launcher Prime, a premium version, offers more powerful features.
Download Nova Launcher: Play Store
2. Niagara Launcher
Famous for its minimalist design and user-friendly interface, Niagara Launcher puts your apps and notifications front and center while minimizing distractions. The launcher is particularly suitable for users who prefer simplicity and efficiency.
- Displays notifications right on your home screen with automatic filtering of spam and persistent notifications.
- The app drawer adapts to your usage patterns, surfacing your favorite apps and providing alphabetical shortcuts.
- Regular updates and promising new features.
Download Niagara Launcher: Play Store
3. Smart Launcher 5
Long favored for its simple and intuitive design, Smart Launcher has taken a significant leap with its latest version, Smart Launcher 5. The new version retains the simplicity of the previous versions while adding new and refined features.
- Offers a variety of layouts designed for one-hand operation.
- Smart search and an intelligently sorted and customizable app drawer.
- Adaptive icons and colors, fully resizable widgets, and more customizations.
- The Pro version offers more features, including pop-up widgets and expanded gesture controls.
Download Smart Launcher 5: Play Store
4. AIO Launcher
AIO Launcher stands out in the crowd with its unique approach to customization. Unlike other launchers focusing on decluttering and visual customizations, AIO Launcher is designed to provide as much information as possible on your screen in a relatively spartan format.
- Displays frequently used apps, system information, recent calls, messages, and more.
- In-app purchases unlock additional features like widget support and Android notifications in the home screen stream.
Download AIO Launcher: Play Store
5. Hyperion Launcher
Hyperion Launcher, developed by the team behind the popular Substratum theming engine, is a highly customizable Android launcher app. It offers many settings you can tweak to create a personalized user experience.
- Offers standard wallpapers and widgets.
- Customizable settings for themes, folders, transparencies, animations, and more.
- Offers launcher-level font changes and custom gestures in the Pro version.
Download Hyperion Launcher: Play Store
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6. Action Launcher
Action Launcher is one of the first third-party launchers to adopt the Pixel-style makeover. It offers many customization options, new interface features, and styles introduced with the Pixel Launcher.
- Includes an adaptive app bar, the pill-shaped Google search bar, and Oreo-style app shortcuts.
- Automatic color adaptation based on wallpaper, adjusting the app drawer, folder backgrounds, and search box to match.
- Special gestures such as “covers” and “shutters” allow for quick access.
Download Action Launcher: Play Store
7. Customized Pixel Launcher
Customized Pixel Launcher (CPL) is an excellent attempt to bring features of the Pixel Launcher to the Android masses. The launcher closely resembles the look of the stock Pixel launcher while offering additional features like theming, icon packs, adaptive icons, and more.
- Support for theming, icon packs, adaptive icons, gesture controls, and font customization.
- Supports the Google feed, At A Glance widget, and Assistant features.
Download Customized Pixel Launcher: Play Store ( Removed from PlayStore)
8. Apex Launcher
Apex Launcher is a highly customizable launcher that balances features and performance. It offers various customization options to transform your device’s appearance and functionality.
- Offers customizable home screen grid size, with up to nine screens, and a scrollable dock with up to five pages.
- Infinite scrolling, transition animations, numerous folder styles, and multiple app drawer styles add to its customization capabilities.
- The paid version unlocks more options, such as more drawer options, additional gestures, and theme support.
9. POCO Launcher
Developed by Xiaomi, POCO Launcher is a fast and lightweight launcher that deviates from Xiaomi’s usual design sensibilities. It offers an app drawer with smart category tabs that automatically sort apps into groups like Communication and Photography.
- Offers a customizable screen layout, transition effects, icon pack support, and notification badges.
- Recent additions include dark mode support and the ability to lock your phone by tapping the screen.
Download Poco Launcher: Play Store
10. Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher offers a blend of great features and integration with Microsoft’s ecosystem. It packs all the expected features, including custom icons, custom wallpapers, and a dark theme.
- Allows you to sign in with a Microsoft account to access tasks, calendar events, and other services.
- Offers a universal search bar, customizable themes, and configurable gesture controls.
Download Microsoft Launcher: Play Store
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11. Pie Launcher version 2023
The Pie Launcher app provides a smooth and intuitive interface with customizable features, making it a delightful choice for Android users.”
- Customization: Personalize your home screen with various themes, icon packs, and widgets to suit your style.
- Smooth Performance: Enjoy a seamless experience with fast and efficient performance, enhancing your overall Android usage.
- Download Microsoft Launcher: Pie Launcher version 2023
How We Selected the Best Android Launchers
Our list of the top Android launchers is determined by a number of factors. We conducted thorough testing on each launcher to assess its features, performance, and user-friendliness. While choosing a launcher is a matter of personal preference, we prioritize those that provide extensive functionality and customization options. Ultimately, we recommend trying out several launchers to determine which one suits you best.
Feature Comparison: Android Launcher Applications
Android launchers offer a unique way to customize your smartphone experience. Each launcher comes with its unique features that set it apart from the rest.
|Smart Launcher 5
|Adaptive icons, ambient theme, automatic app sorting
|Clean and intuitive
|Free, with in-app purchases
|Icon themes, subgrid positioning, backup & restore
|Smooth and highly customizable
|Free, with a premium version
|Google Now integration, adaptive icon packs, automatic dark mode
|Minimalist and clean
|Quicktheme, shutters, quickbar
|Dynamic and intuitive
|Free, with premium features
|Minimalist design, adaptive list, integrated music player
|Streamlined and simple
|Free, with a pro version
|Google Discover feed, at-a-glance widget, suggestion features
|Simple and easy to use
|Microsoft integration, timeline feature, continue on PC
|Modern and clean
Each of these launchers offers a unique set of features and levels of customizability. However, your choice would depend on your specific needs, personal preference, and how much you want your launcher to reflect your personality. Whether you prefer a minimalist design like the Niagara Launcher or a highly customizable one like the Nova Launcher, there’s something out there for everyone.
What is an Android Launcher?
An Android Launcher is an app that controls the home screen display and the catalog of all the apps on your device. It allows you to customize the interface, change the icons, layouts, and more.
How to Change an Android Launcher?
To change an Android launcher, you need to download a launcher app from the Google Play Store. Once installed, tap the home button. You’ll be prompted to choose a default launcher.
Are Android Launchers Safe?
Most Android launchers are safe to use. However, as with any app, it’s important to download launchers from trusted developers and reliable sources like the Google Play Store.
Do Android Launchers Affect Battery Life?
Certain Android launchers can affect battery life, depending on their features and functionalities. Launchers with heavy graphics or those that run frequent background processes may consume more battery.
Can Android Launchers Improve Performance?
Yes, some Android launchers can improve device performance by optimizing screen transitions, reducing resource consumption, and managing apps more efficiently.
Can I use multiple launcher apps simultaneously?
Only one launcher app can be active at a time. But some launchers, such as Nova Launcher, allow you to create multiple launcher profiles, each with its own unique settings and home screen layout.
Android launcher apps serve as gateways to a world of customization and personalization, giving you the ability to shape your device according to your individuality. Whether you prefer a minimalist look, enhanced productivity, or unmatched customization options, the Android launcher app ecosystem has something for everyone. Embrace the transformative power of these apps and unlock the full potential of your Android device.