The 10 best Android launchers to test
One of the features that allowed Android to dominate the world of mobile operating systems is surely its infinite opportunity to be personalized.
Launchers are one of the most customizable parts of Android.
For those who do not know the launcher is the software part that makes Android functional, and that includes the home screen and the catalog of the app available on our device.
For this reason every Android device has a default launcher installed. For example, Samsung devices have the Samsung Experience, those Huawei the EMUI and so on.
At this point you are wondering why I should use another launcher if my device already has one?
The answer is quite simple, and is the ability to customize our device in ways that the manufacturer does not allow and therefore makes the use experience as close as possible to our needs.
In the Play Store there are thousands of launchers, but not to let you go crazy to test them all (seen as I love you), let's see those that after my tests I consider the best.
Note: The list below is not in order of preference.
1 Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers available on the Google Play Store.
It is fast, efficient and very light. It supports the personalization of the dock, the notification badges, an option that allows you to see the most used apps in the top row of the drawer, the personalization of folders and icons and also a good number of gestures.
Price - Free / Premium 4.50 €
2 Evie Launcher
Evie Launcher is designed for performance and is one of the fastest Android launchers. Many people use this launcher precisely because of its performance.
Its universal search functionality allows you to perform a search on all the apps in our device from a single place. It has a wide range of shortcuts and customizations. It is also possible to customize the app drawer and the folder grid.
One of the reasons why I put Evie among the 10 best launchers for Android and that allows you to choose a search engine from Google. The only negative point is that there are not many gesture available. Apart from this small lack, however, it is a launcher that guarantees speed and simplicity.
Price - Free
3 Buzz Launcher
Buzz Launcher is the quintessence of personalization. The feature that makes it unique is "Homepack Buzz". "Homepack Buzz" is a service that allows you to customize our home screen with over 700,000 templates created by other users.
It has an integrated system to block the apps that we consider important and that we want to remain private and a system to clean the RAM. It also has a good number of gesture available.
Another feature is called Screen Effects which is similar to live wallpaper, but it does not replace our background but uses animation, like snow or autumn leaves over the background we use.
Among the shortcomings I can point out the fact that it does not integrate well with the icon pack and themes available on the Play Store and that it happened that some updates brought some problems of visualization.
Price - Free
Apex is one of the most beautiful launchers with hundreds of themes and icon packs available on the Play Store. It is very light and is optimized, unlike many others, both for smartphones and tablets.
It allows you to add up to 9 custom home screens and also allows you to hide apps that we do not need.
Apex also allows us to choose the order in which to display the app in the app drawer, we can then decide to display them by title, installation date or based on which we use more frequently.
By purchasing the pro version you will unlock several interesting options, such as a larger number of gestures and a greater level of customization.
Along with Evie is one of the fastest Android launchers.
Price - Free / Premium 4.19 €
5 Niagara Launcher
Niagara is dedicated to Android users who like to have a minimalist launcher and with the essential options. Since Niagara does not integrate any options or settings, it is one of the fastest Android launchers available on the Google Play Store.
Since this launcher is focused on minimalism it does not have any kind of bloatware and advertising.
These features allow it to be fast even on devices that do not have great technical characteristics.
If you are looking for a fast and minimal launcher then this is the right choice. If you want a lot of customization options and settings, you have to try some other launcher among those on this list.
But given the beautiful visual impact of this launcher, I suggest you try it anyway.
Price - Free
6 Smart Launcher 5
Smart Launcher 5 is another lightweight and fast Android launcher that is developed with an eye to the needs of users. The app drawer consists of a sidebar that divides apps into categories.
During the initial setup phase, the launcher will ask us what are the predefined apps that we want to use so that we do not have to bother then with the various pop-ups later.
Smart Launcher 5 has an ultra-immersive mode that allows us to hide the navigation bar in order to have more screen space. Furthermore, the launcher theme changes according to the colors of the image we use as a background.
The gestures are present, even if they are limited in the free version. But I have to criticize the fact that advertising in the free version sometimes seems a bit too intrusive.
Price - Free / Premium 3.99 €
7 Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher (known first as Arrow Launcher) and a fast and elegant Android launcher with many customizations and developed by Microsoft (yes, the same Microsoft that develops Windows).
Among the interesting features of this launcher is the possibility to have a new background automatically every day.
By swiping to the left of the main home screen, we can access additional functions, such as a panel showing the media that we have recently opened, the most used apps or the most-called contacts.
We can customize this side section according to our needs.
The best part of Microsoft Launcher is that through a Microsoft account we can synchronize all settings, information and more between our smartphone and our computer with Windows 10 on board.
Even if there is still some flaw this possibility of synchronizing the activities and information between the smartphone and the PC is really very useful and is the function that puts this launcher on another level compared to the others on the list.
The only critical points of this launcher are the level of customization slightly lower than other systems on this list and the fact that synchronization is not always instantaneous.
But it is small things that a giant like Microsoft can improve with a few updates.
Price - Free
8 ADW Launcher 2
ADW is a stable, fast and easy-to-use launcher with hundreds of options to customize.
The graphical interface is very similar to the stock of Android, but unlike the latter, for example, we can dynamically change the color of the interface based on the background we use or we can change the icon badge, the animations of the transitions between screens and there is still another ton of options available.
According to the developers the possibility that through this launcher you can configure your device according to your specific needs and 3720 to 1.
If you like the Android stock launcher but want to have more control over customizations, this is the launcher for you.
Price - Free
9 Google Now Launcher
Google Now Launcher (in Italian it's called Launch applications Now) is a launcher developed by Google itself.
This app targets users of devices other than Pixels produced by Google, but who prefer to have an experience similar to that of devices developed by the Mountain View house.
Unlike other contenders, this launcher automatically integrates Google Now cards, which are accessible with a simple swipe right on the home screen.
In addition, the search bar can be customized at the design level.
Needless to deny this launcher is fast and thanks to the suggestions on the app to be used at certain times or while performing certain operations, they also make it very efficient.
The real negative point in this case is due to the fact that the level of customization is really minimal, but if you want a more Google centric experience possible, this is the Android launcher that's right for you.
Price - Free
10 Rootless Launcher
Rootless launcher is an open source project that aims to bring the features of the Google Pixel launcher to all other Android smartphones.
So if you want to try, for example, the new features of the Android Pie launcher, this launcher is worth trying.
Even if it is not customizable like the other launchers on this list, it still has all the features we can find on a Google Pixel smartphone.
It has no major shortcomings if you think about the target to which it is addressed, and that is a user who wants the experience of a standard Pixel device, otherwise if you are looking for a greater level of customization it is good to focus on something else.
Price - Free
As we have seen in this list, the possibilities to customize our smartphone or Android tablet are many and above all we can make these customizations without having great technical knowledge but simply going to install an app.