One of Android’s greatest strengths is the ability to customize the experience in essentially any way you would like. One of the easiest, though, is with a custom launcher. A favorite for many over the past few years has been Google’s own Google Now Launcher, however, the company has recently revealed that the launcher won’t be around too much longer, leaving many fans with no immediate alternative.
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Of course, the Google Now Launcher won’t die immediately. You’ll still be able to have it on your device, and it will still be supported via the Google Search app. However, the launcher will no longer be available for download via Google Play.
So, what’s a fan to do? There are dozens of other great launchers available on Google Play, many of which can quickly become a viable replacement for the Google Now Launcher in each of its major strengths — simplicity, functionality, and ease of access to search.
Action Launcher 3
Over the past few years, Action Launcher 3 has become the favorite launcher of many Android users thanks to its unique capabilities and wide array of customization options. Not only does the launcher offer its own unique app drawer and ‘QuickPage,’ but it also offers a quick and easy way to make the launcher look a lot like Google’s Pixel Launcher. Along with those features, Action Launcher also has dozens of great little tools like the QuickBar and Shutters.
Nova Launcher is widely known as one of the most customizable launchers on Android today. It offers dozens of settings to change up your homescreen experience, and it just keeps getting better as time goes on. You can set gestures, set icon packs, use unread counts, and much more. The launcher is free to download and offers plenty of functionality at that tier, but you’ll want to fork over $4.99 for the full version to access everything.
Evie Launcher has also quickly become a favorite in the Android community. It offers a super clean experience that offers something a little different in terms of design and also search. A quick swipe down pulls up Evie’s search functionality, which quickly allows you to find information on nearby locations, entertainment info, and more. It works well, even if it isn’t quite the convenient and predictive Google Now we’ve all come to love. It’s also completely free to download.
Last but not least, a reborn classic ─ ADW Launcher. This option has been around since Android Wear first supported custom launchers, but last year it was finally revamped with a new UI and up to date features as well. ADW offers dozens of settings and tweaks to customize your experience, as well as a built-in widget maker. Many of the settings are unlocked with the free version, but you’ll need to pay $3.49 to unlock it all.