While the market shares between Android and Apple are split fairly evenly, Android has recently been attracting converts. Android fans old and new prefer the operating system for the many more options than iOS it provides, but especially for its customizability. Unlike iOS, Android allows its users to change things such as default applications and even the icons for apps.
But perhaps the biggest customization feature that Android has is its ability to have different launchers. The launcher is basically what your home screen looks like, with your favorite apps and app drawer. Many people don’t know that they can completely change how this looks and operates by installing a new launcher. Thankfully, there are some very good launchers that you can get from the Google Play Store. This article is written with the help of techaio.com
Google Now Launcher – Free
This launcher is the same that comes automatically installed on Motorola’s phones, as well as Google’s Nexus line of phones. Other OEMs such as Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony come preloaded with bloated, unattractive launchers that are unintuitive and slow. The Google Launcher is, in contrast, quick and minimal. It also allows users to swipe to the left to read their personalized Google Now cards. If you’re looking for something light and close to stock Android, this is your launcher.
Nova Launcher – Free
While the Google Now Launcher is no-frills, Nova Launcher is on the other end of the spectrum. With almost every visual and functional aspect of this app, this is the launcher with the most customizability. Nova Launcher lets users change the size of their apps, how their app drawer looks, the animations between different pages on the home screen, and much, much more. Nova even allows for customizability gestures, so, for instance, you could open an app just by swiping up on the home screen. There is a free version of Nova Launcher, but the premium option with all features costs $4.99.
GO Launcher – Free
If you want the set-it-and-forget-it easiness of the Google Now Launcher, but you also want the customizability of Nova Launcher, GO Launcher might be the one for you. Rather than focus on letting you make the design for your launcher (although you can), GO Launcher lets you visit its store to download user-made themes for your phone, which is something neither Google nor Nova can offer. So, if you want a good-looking phone experience, rather than do all the hard work yourself, you can just flip through the Go Launcher store.
Yahoo Aviate Launcher – Free
The Aviate launcher does something different. While most launchers have you set your preferences and leave them to stay that way, Aviate changes its design based on what it thinks you’ll need it for. For example, before you leave for work, the launcher will give you the weather, traffic, and news updates. But once you’re at work, the launcher will change to show your agenda and nearby locations. While Aviate doesn’t offer the customizability of other launchers, it may just be the smartest one out of them all.