Third-party launchers are a unique perk of the Android platform, making it easy for users to have complete control over their homescreen without much work. There are several popular options, but one of the best, and likely the most popular, has been Nova Launcher. Today, Nova is 5 years old, and there’s a big update available to celebrate.
The best gifts for Android users
Nova Launcher version 5.0 (irony) packs several new features that users will undoubtedly appreciate. First and foremost, Nova has picked up features found in Google’s new Pixel Launcher ─ namely the “swipe to open” app drawer and the new dock, as well as the new Pixel-style search bar. This update also brings compatibility with Launcher Shortcuts from Android 7.1, as well as several new shortcuts and settings. The full changelog follows.
- Swipe to open drawer (a la Pixel Launcher)
- New Pixel style searchbar
- New search view, with tabs for Frequent, Recent and New/Updated apps
- New “Timeout” screen lock method
- New double-tap-swipe gestures
- Android 7.1 launcher shortcuts
- Dock backgrounds to draw under navbar
- Quick start to easily change major settings (Nova Settings > Backup > Quick start)
If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because Nova has been testing these features out with beta testers for several weeks now. Version 5.0 is currently rolling out via the Play Store, with an APK available directly from the developers.