App makers offer an incredibly diverse array of options to customize your Android phone, with launchers ranging from minimalist skins to those that put an explosive array of color on your smartphone. A good launcher can give your phone a total makeover, from changing the look and feel with different icons and themes, to adding new functionality such as smart folders and assistive search.
If you're ready to change things up, here are some of the most feature-packed and customizable Android launchers available right now.
Let's start with the default launcher, or at least the one that comes on your phone if you get a Pixel or Pixel XL. Pixel Launcher is clean and fast. It also might remind you a little bit of iOS with the new round icon design and translucent menu bar at the bottom. For now it’s only for Google’s phone, though with a little trickery you can sideload the APK yourself and give it a try.
BlackBerry may be all but out of the hardware game, but it’s still making a big push into Android software. The BlackBerry Launcher is built to work with the BlackBerry Hub+, which which consolidates all of your emails, text messages, and other notifications into a centralized spot for quick access and response. Get the launcher and hub together to try them out, even if you don’t have a BlackBerry-branded phone.
Evie Launcher gives you a clean, minimalist setup that feels very similar to stock Android. There’s also a clever slide-out bar on the left side that gives you quick access to all of your apps. Universal search lets you just start typing an app's name to find whichever one you need.
Another good example of a launcher that sticks pretty close to Android's stock look, Solo Launcher embraces Google's Material Design aesthetic. Features include a universal search feature, several themes, wallpapers and the promise of a light footprint on your system resources.
Fast, sleek and highly customizable, Nova Launcher is among the best modern Android launcher apps. Nova balances extensive appearance and utility customizations with a minimal performance impact, letting you set your home screen just right without slowing down performance. There are a lot of options to work through, from color themes to icon packs, scrollable docks to app drawer customizations, folder settings and infinite scrolling. Whether you're looking to optimize your home screen or just want to spice things up, Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers out there.
Apex Launcher lives up to its name and is another excellent Android launcher with a good balance of features and performance. Core features include the ability to customize the homescreen grid size, with up to nine screens, as well as a scrollable dock with up to five pages. Infinite scrolling, transition animations, numerous folder styles and multiple app drawer styles add even more customizability. The paid version unlocks even more options, such as more drawer options, additional gestures and theme support.