Android homescreen replacements are a dime a dozen these days, and many of them offer similar looks and capabilities with only minor differences here and there. In this article, however, we will take a look at seven launchers that offer a completely unique experience on your Android device.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is one of the oldest and most renowned Android launchers of all time. It adds more functionality to your homescreen and app drawer by allowing you to organize it any way you want to. You can customize just about anything with this launcher such as animations, custom icon packs, folders, widgets and more. You can even hide apps you do not want other people to see, although it remains searchable within the app drawer. It also provides several gestures and allows you to customise the action for each one.
Price: Free / $4.99
2. Smart Launcher 3
Smart Launcher 3 is a very lightweight and fast launcher that brings a unique user interface to your Android homescreen. On installation, it adds six rings (bubbles) to your homescreen which gives you quick access to your most used apps, and you can add more if you like. You also get a search bar and clock widget on the homescreen.
Swiping from the left side of the homescreen will show you all your applications which are sorted automatically for you into six major categories. It also supports custom themes and icon packs if you want some more customization. If you get the pro version you also get widget support and more gestures.
Price: Free / $2.90
3. WP Launcher
If you like the interface of Windows Phone 8 and you want your Android device to mimic that look, then WP Launcher is definitely for you. The app gets rid of the standard Android user interface and adds that metro look to your device while giving you the option to customise the size and position of live tiles as well as theme colours to your taste. Special live tiles are included for photos and contacts while widgets can be added to the tiles also. Swiping across the homescreen also brings the windows-style app drawer which is basically a vertical list of your apps and a search bar that helps you search for apps or contacts.
4. Arrow Launcher
Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher makes it easier and faster to find your most used apps and settings as well as contacts. You can easily swipe up the dock to bring up frequently used settings such as bluetooth, WiFi, screen brightness and more. It also provides a “Recent” screen that shows you your recently taken photos as well as apps or contacts without having to dig through several menus. Just like most other launchers, you can rearrange the homescreen pages, add widgets, change icon packs or even hide apps.
5. Hola Launcher
Hola Launcher brings its own unique interface to your Android homescreen. Although it looks familiar with the standard Android UI, there are key features which sets it apart. The chief of them is the way it organises all your apps into folders and allows you to scroll across each folder. If you want to see all your apps, you can easily do so by opening the app drawer which sorts your apps alphabetically into a vertical list.
6. Nano Launcher
Nano Launcher is one of the smallest apps on this list with the apk file weighing only 2.5MB in size. By default, the homescreen includes a clock widget that shows weather information, some apps and a search bar at the bottom. The next screen to the right gives you quick access to your most used applications as well as settings like WiFi and bluetooth. Swiping to the right again shows you a simple app drawer with all your apps sorted into a vertical list. The app also sorts all your widgets into one vertical list which makes it easier to find something quickly instead of moving from page to page.
7. Yahoo Aviate Launcher
Aviate Launcher attempts to adapt your Android device depending on your location and usage. It gives you four homescreens and no app drawer. The main homescreen is left empty with only some of your most used apps at the bottom dock. You can add other apps and widgets here if you wish to. Swiping to the next screen on the right shows you a collection of your apps sorted into at least five folders. You can scroll to the right again to view all your apps sorted into a vertical list. Aviate Launcher also provides a “Smart Screen” which functions a bit like Google Now but is powered by Yahoo. It is a vertical list of scrolling cards which basically shows you predictive information based on your activity and location such as news, weather or upcoming calender events.
Don’t forget to drop a comment if you’ve had experiences with any one of these launchers or if you want to suggest another launcher we could add to the list.