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Nova to Niagara: The top Android launchers to try out on your smartphone

Here are some of the best Android launchers currently available on the Google Play Store.

Android Launcher | Nova Launcher | Microsoft Launcher | Niagara LauncherUsers can customise their home screen on Android using various launchers.

Android is undoubtedly one of the most customisable mobile operating systems ever designed. From fonts to icons, users can modify almost every aspect of the system. However, the home screen is where users spend most of their time. Here, we will list some of the best Android launchers available in 2022.

Nova Launcher

Those looking to customise their home screen should look no further. For years, Nova Launcher has retained its position as one of the best launchers ever. From icon packs to search bar to widgets, Nova Launcher lets users customise every aspect of their device.

Nova Launcher lets users customise almost every aspect of their home screen.

Over the years, Nova Launcher has added several integrations like Seasame Shortcuts which lets you search for files, contacts and other things right from your home screen. It has a minimal footprint, meaning the launcher is fluid even on budget-friendly devices. While the free version should be more than enough for most people, if you want to customise everything on your home screen, the paid version should help you out.

The paid version lets users adjust the size of icons on the home screen and app drawer, enables users to categorise apps according in tabs, and also supports custom gestures on the home screen. It also enables notifications badges on app icons. You can also hide the entire notification bar, scroll endlessly between home screens and change the options shown when you long press an icon.

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Microsoft Launcher

If you are looking for a launcher that enhances your productivity, Microsoft Launcher is one of the best options available right now. The main screen is user-friendly and looks like any other third-party launcher.

Microsoft Launcher comes with a built-in news feed and widgets.

Swipe left and you will find a number of cards that take up the whole screen and show information like tasks, notes, calendar, recent activities, screen and to-do lists to name a few. The task list is synced with Windows To-do app and lets users add or remove tasks from the launcher itself.

Over time, the launcher will also show your frequently used apps in cards. If you happen to use OneDrive, the app lists documents as well.  Moreover, you can also see your recent activity. Microsoft Launcher also lets you read news you are interested in without having to leave your home screen.

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Ratio: Productivity Homescreen

Want to focus more on work and less on phone? Then Ratio might appeal to you. It is a minimal launcher that focuses on minimising distractions and maximising productivity.

Users can either categorise apps installed on the phone according to their preferences or let Ratio do the work for them. Similar to Digital Wellbeing, you can also limit the amount of time you spend using an app with the Time Tracker feature. It also comes with a built-in App Lock and App Hider functionality.

Ratio Launcher focuses on enhancing productivity and has a minimalistic interface.

The developers have also added custom widgets like weather, calculator, events, time and more that might help you with everyday tasks. Users can choose four modes to choose from, namely, Sun, Dark, Light and Focus. If you happen to have a rooted phone, Ratio will let you change the default search engine used on the home screen, customise the calendars shown among other things.

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What’s interesting is that the launcher even allows the Conversations tab to be protected using biometric authentication, which might come in handy in case anyone gets their hands on your phone.

Niagara Launcher

Niagara is a fairly new launcher in the Android world. Similar to Ratio, it is a minimalistic launcher but with a fresh look. Compared to traditional launchers that feature an icon dock and space for widgets and icons, Niagara shows your favourite apps in the middle of the screen and adapts according to user behaviour.

Niagara Launcher offers a minimalistic user interface.

You can also check all notifications from a single window and reply to some of them without having to leave the home screen. Niagara also supports custom icon packs, changing icon size and comes with an option to switch to dark mode.

While the launcher is free to use, some features like the weather widget require users to purchase Niagara Pro. Thankfully, the developers offer a free seven-day trial so you can use the launcher for yourself and see if it’s worth it or not.

Lawnchair 2

Designed for those who want a no-nonsense launcher, Lawnchair 2 is heavily inspired by the Pixel launcher and offers a clean and sleek user interface. While it may not have features like Nova, there are a couple of customisation options that allow users to use custom gestures, change the home screen layout and use the Google Feed panel with the Lawnfeed plugin.

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Lawnchair 2 looks similar to the Pixel launcher.

Users can also switch themes, change the dock layout, and customise the app drawer. The developers have also added support for Seasame Shortcuts and just like Nova Launcher, users can also set custom gesture actions.

You can also choose if you want to modify the icons according to your wallpaper. Compatible with all devices running on Android 9 and above, Lawnchair 2 is completely free to use and has a minimal performance impact.

First published on: 28-09-2022 at 09:08:48 am
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