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This Android launcher with a cult following now supports Android 11

lawnchair launcher 2021
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unless you've got an ear to the ground in the Android enthusiast community, you'd be forgiven for not knowing what Lawnchair is. It's a custom third-party launcher that mimics the minimalistic Pixel launcher, but with some added tweaks and features. It sits among many others, notably the Nova and Action Launchers.

But Lawnchair likes to go dark for periods of time, and it's come back completely rebuilt for Android 11. It's in an alpha form right now, so tread carefully if you install it. Be especially careful if you try to sideload the app onto a device running a version of Android prior to 11.

Though it's not our favorite launcher, a lot of people like Lawnchair because it offers a Pixel-like experience. It's a lot simpler than, say, Nova (which has every option you could want out of a launcher). There's a new development team at the helm now, and they've been pushing hard to get Lawnchair up to snuff for the modern age. Android 12 isn't too far off, after all.

Note that the alpha is meant for Android 11 only. If you try to sideload onto a device with an earlier version, you'll likely find that it only crashes rather constantly. I haven't tested it on one of my devices, but others have reported just that. The new team has promised that support for Android 10 and earlier will come, just not at this moment. 

Old staples like Lawnfeed (Google Discover) and the At a Glance widget are still here, and the dev team has promised new features like background blur and individual shortcut customization. Again, the point of Lawnchair is sticking to Google's launcher as closely as possible, all while adding tweaks to improve the experience. It's not a complete overhaul like Nova or Niagara, but it's better than something like Samsung's One UI launcher.

You'll have to sideload the alpha for now, which is a fairly simple process. Lawnchair 11 will eventually hit the Play Store, likely under a new ID, so if you can be patient, you can wait until then. For now, you can grab the apk file from APK Mirror, which is a trustworthy site that hosts many app files.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter: @jccpalmer — his Instagram feed is mostly photos of his cat.