Best Android Launcher

best launchers

by Alex Gustman

Updated: July 16, 2021

Design is an important part of any operating system since the user looks at the graphics most of the time. In Android, an app called the launcher is responsible for the design. Such applications contain separate image files and scripts, which allows you to change the design or position of individual interface elements, which is impossible to do in most stock shells.

In this collection, we will look at the best launchers for Android. Let’s find out what third-party shells are capable of, as well as what are the advantages and disadvantages. If you have already chosen the best launcher for yourself and think that such a shell should definitely enter the top, write about it in the comments at the bottom of the article.

Nova Launcher

The shell has existed since the formation of Android. Even at the start, the launcher stood out with extensive parameters, where each element of the interface was fine-tuned. And in total, with the regular support of developers, the user received up-to-date functions that are available only in custom or the latest firmware.

main screen

The current version of the launcher allows you to change the font style and color, the size of icons in the application menu and on the desktop, set a light or dark design. And also customize the appearance of icons, which is one of the main innovations of Android 8. It also supports changing the design of application icons.

The basic version of the program is available for free download and does not contain ads. The full version costs 3.74 USD, where additional functions are available: gesture control, the indication of missed notifications on the icon, hiding applications, adding custom icons when scrolling, additional scrolling effects.

main settings

Final score

Nova Launcher is the best option when you want to try out new features and features that are available only on custom firmware or the latest version of Android. The shell is pleasantly pleased with the number of settings, the absence of advertising and moderate RAM consumption, which will allow you to use the program normally on low-power devices. Some functions are allocated to the paid version, but the purchase of the application is justified since the developers release updates at intervals of 1-3 times a month.

Download Nova Launcher from Google Play

Apex Launcher

The shell initially competed with Nova Launcher. With a comparable number of settings and the ability to change the design, Apex Launcher has become a good alternative to Nova Launcher. Developers regularly update the application and maintain the functionality, but the thirst for money and lack of optimization negates all efforts.

home screen

Apex Launcher is a creation of Chinese developers that push the user to sign up for a paid subscription with all their might. So the Skip and unsubscribe button is colored grey, as inactive, and the subscription button, on the contrary, is highlighted in bright blue. The developers give 3 days for familiarization, after which you will have to pay 4.09 USD for a year of using the premium version. A subscription for 3 months will cost 2.05 USD, and purchase on a permanent basis will cost 6.88 USD.

The volume of configurable parameters is inferior to Nova Launcher. Also, some of the functions are not available in the basic version of the program. At the same time, the existing installations are sufficient for various experiments. In addition, it supports changing the design icons of installed applications. Moreover, the shell has a built-in store for downloading new packages and background images.

basic program settings

Final score

Apex Launcher is a functional shell with a sufficient number of settings. The impression is spoiled by intrusive advertising and the imposition of a paid subscription by developers. Also, taking into account regular updates, the optimization level leaves much to be desired.

Download Apex Launcher from Google Play

POCO Launcher

The launcher is developed by Xiaomi, so the application is downloaded for free, and does not yet contain advertising and internal purchases.

application start screen

The shell contains a minimum of necessary settings. Supports color scheme adjustment and change of design. If the icon pack is not installed, the program will offer to download the appropriate packages from Google Play. And for all installed programs, sorting by categories is provided in the application menu.

During operation, the RAM consumption did not exceed 140 MB, so the shell will come down for low-power devices. And the lack of an abundance of settings will appeal to novice users. In addition, the shell has a built-in widget for cleaning applications running in the background and freeing up RAM.

launcher settings

Final score

POCO Launcher is an optimal shell without an abundance of settings, which will appeal to novice users. The shell also does not contain ads and in-app purchases. And the consumption of resources allows you to install the program on a low-power device. There is doubt about the user agreement, where the company describes in detail for what purposes user data will be used.

Download POCO Launcher from Google Play

LINE (formerly Dodol)

The shell contains a lot of parameters for fine-tuning the application and visual design. Packages with icon sets and personal themes are supported. The latter is downloaded from the built-in store, where there are also applications and wallpapers. Stickers are also used as decorations, in fact, pictures with a transparent background. It is allowed to link a shortcut or an application to each image with a click launch. It also supports changing the font and design of a specific application or widget on the desktop.

The shell also has a built-in battery monitoring widget, a RAM cleaner, a search widget and a clock. Moreover, for the clock widget, there is a choice of 20 styles in any color. There is also a widget for accessing quick settings.

As for more subtle customization of the appearance, the settings provide for adding or disabling shadows, label signatures, setting the grid and margins, icon size, etc.

Final score

The LINE shell is the best option for customization experiments. Only here there are a lot of tools for fine-tuning the appearance. At the same time, some icon packages are installed incorrectly, there is a lack of localization, and RAM consumption reaches up to 200 MB. Therefore, it is desirable to install the shell on devices with two gigabytes of RAM.

Download LINE from Google Play

Conclusion

Here we have collected current, legendary and interesting android launchers. Each shell is distinguished by unique settings and features, which allows you to improve the convenience of using a mobile device or change the boring design. When choosing, you should take into account the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the consumption of RAM if the device is low-power.

Have you already chosen a suitable shell? Describe your version in the comments. If your launcher is not in the presented top, but the program deserves it, write the name under the article and a couple of words why the shell deserves to enter the top.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman


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