Transform the look of your Android phone with a new launcher

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By Webdesk

One of the reasons for choosing an Android phone over an iPhone is the flexibility you get in terms of customization – and there really isn’t a better example of that than third-party Android launchers.

If you’ve never come across the term before, a launcher refreshes your Android phone’s home screen. We’re not just talking about a different wallpaper: launchers give you control over icons, colors, menus, and just about any screen controlled by the Android operating system. These tools let you manage everything from the number of home screen shortcuts to the way your notifications work; they also give you a lot more control over how your phone’s interface looks.

For example, say you want oversized icons in the app drawer or icons that are all tinted blue. Maybe you want a custom unread count badge on your default email app shortcut or want your apps as a list instead of a grid of icons. All these customizations and more are available through launchers. In fact, the tweaks they add are so useful that Google has started adding some of them to Android itself.

Launchers are easy to install and remove, and there are many excellent ones to choose from. I’ve included instructions on how to manage them below, as well as a selection of my favorites for you to try if you like.

Install and manage launchers

As mentioned, setting up a launcher is easy. I’ve included instructions for both Pixel and Samsung phones; Depending on the make and model of your Android phone, these screens and menu options may vary slightly, but should not vary too much.

  • Open to Pixels Institutions and choose Apps > Default apps. On Samsung Galaxy devices, yes Settings > Apps > Choose default apps.
  • Anyway, you’ll see one Home app input, which is the name Android uses for launchers. Tap the entry or look to the right for a gear icon, which you can tap to configure the launcher that is currently the default.

For example, when it comes to the launcher that comes standard on Pixel phones, you can enable or disable notification dots (badges on app icons), hide or show the At-a-glance widget, and get smart suggestions about which apps to launch next . These options change depending on the launcher you are using.

In Pixels, go to Default apps > Home app.

The Default launcher app page lists all of your launchers.

Tap to switch launchers Home app and choose another option: obviously, at least one alternate launcher must be installed for anything other than the built-in option to appear here. Once you switch, the home screens, lock screen, app drawer, and menus should look different.

If you’re using the default Pixel Home app, you have several options to choose from.

Third-party launchers have several options.

You can then customize your launcher to your liking. Some launchers have more options than others, but most come with a comprehensive set of instructions so you know what you’re changing and when. You should be able to access a launcher’s settings from its icon in the app drawer.

Don’t worry too much about making a lot of changes or breaking your Android phone interface in some way: if you’re not happy with the launcher you’ve chosen, you can simply uninstall it and use the built-in launcher. app from your phone will take over again, just as you left it.

Some Android launchers to try

There are many Android launchers out there, but here are some of my favorites.

Niagara Launcher offers a minimal look and some smart innovations.

More customizations and widgets are available with a Pro subscription.

If you’re a fan of the minimal look, give Niagara Launcher a try. It turns your home screen into a simple yet clean list of your favorite apps, with smart innovations like embedded notification previews and summaries, media playback controls, and more. It helps you focus on the apps that matter most and clears up some of the clutter on your smartphone.

Niagara is also adding customization controls – you can still change fonts, icon shapes, and many other elements of the interface, but that’s only part of it. More customizations and widgets are available with a Pro subscription, which costs $9.99 per year or $29.99 for life.

Nova Launcher offers a lot of customization options.

You can customize your homepage icons in several interesting ways.

Most lists of the best Android launchers include Nova Launcher, and for good reason: it’s absolutely packed with customization options, from transparent notification bars to icon styles to bespoke navigation gestures to a dark mode that automatically turns itself on at a certain time of day .

I like the ability to put frequently used apps at the top of the app drawer and the extensive tweaks available for icons: colors, shadows, shapes and more. Many of the tweaks are free to use, but to get the full set you’ll need to purchase the Prime version of the launcher, which will set you back $4.99.

AIO Launcher creates a whole new look for your home screen.

The app offers various options.

AIO Launcher is another launcher that tries to do something with the Android home screen other than tweaking the icon colors and app grid layout. It turns your home screen into a tightly packed array of widgets, so you can see everything from notifications to available storage on one screen. There are many widgets to choose from and they are all easy to customize.

The launcher lets you sort apps into categories and display them in different ways so you can get to your favorite apps faster, and there’s also an advanced search feature that can search everything from widgets to contacts. To access all of the settings AIO has to offer, you’ll need a premium subscription, which will cost you 99 cents a month or $9.99 a year.

Smart Launcher also offers a long list of options.

Smart Launcher’s “Icon View” page also offers a variety of shapes for your icons.

Smart Launcher offers just about everything you could want, from a launcher, from great-looking widgets to innovative home screen layouts to a host of customizations you can apply to icons, fonts, wallpapers, and more. It also has smart features such as a search function that spans the web, your apps, and your contacts.

The widgets in the launcher are really well done and you can customize your home screen, lock screen and notifications with a lot of control. Navigation gestures are supported, as are categories for your apps, which can be very useful. To unlock all features, you have to pay 99 cents per month or $21.99 for life.

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