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. With rumblings about Google pulling the Now Launcher from the Play Store in the near future, dare we hope that the Pixel Launcher will open up to more phones?
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.
The original ADW Launcher was a ridiculously good and versatile launcher back in the day, though it eventually fell by the wayside as it languished without updates. Enter ADW Launcher 2, which brings the app back to the fore as a modern Android launcher. ADW Launcher 2 offers a wealth of features and customization options, such as a dynamically colored interface based on your wallpaper, an indexed app drawer, transitions, icon badges, app categorization and more. It also supports new Android features, including support for app shortcuts found in Android 7.1.
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.