Unlike most other launchers you’ll use on Android, the Niagara Launcher “Spring Update” has been detailed with a number of changes and tighter integration with some system services.

Announced in a dedicated blog post on Medium, the team behind Niagara Launcher offered some tips for users while laying out some of the updated tools within the Spring Update. As this third-party launcher intends, this new update is based on changing your usage for the better in 2022 but with minor tweaking to existing features.

Most notably is the tighter integration and usage of Digital Wellbeing data to help you identify apps that might be the most distracting or you spend the most time within. The Niagara Launcher Spring Update includes a notification summary that should help reduce daily interruptions but still provides enough information so that you’re not fumbling to access these distracting applications. Further Digital Wellbeing features were also teased “later this year.”

The launcher is also able to identify which apps you have added to your Favorites section of the home screen that you’re rarely using or do not use. It will offer suggestions to hide these and remove them from the Favorites panel. Although not directly associated, Niagara Launcher is also able to identify recently installed apps, and with the Spring Update update will show these in a pop-up dialog box for quick access.

If your device is running Android 12 or higher, you’ll also now see the animated launch splash screens — where implemented. Niagara has also gained a new boot animation that is promised to be “cleaner” than before. There is also a brand-new wallpaper to celebrate the launch of the Spring Update plus enhanced haptics when using certain UI portions such as the app list. Of course, there are a number of other tweaks and bug fixes for this popular third-party launcher too. You can check out the full changelog below:

  • Smart Font Rescaling: Custom fonts are now getting automatically scaled up or down. Therefore, you can now use many of the fonts that previously resulted in uncomfortable sizing.
  • A12 Splash Screens: On Android 12+, apps show a splash screen with their icon when loading.
  • New Bootup Animation: Starting up Niagara Launcher looks a lot cleaner now!
  • Widget Freezing Bugfix: We could finally fix the complex widget freezing bug that plagued the launcher for years. It’s not reproducible with every widget and only happens rarely. When it happened, it froze your widgets.
  • Xiaomi Dark Mode Bugfix: We prevent MIUI from tampering with Niagara Launcher’s dark mode color palette.
  • Auto-Refreshing Material You Icon Packs: Niagara Launcher can now automatically update icon packs when the wallpaper color palette changes. The only icon pack known to us that depends on these colors is Pix Material You Icons, but if you’re an icon pack developer and have some kind of dynamic icon pack, please let us know.
  • Changelog Dialog: We now offer a quick summary of past updates. You can access the changelog from Niagara’s advanced settings.
  • Toggle for Notification Summary: Disabling Niagara Launcher’s notification summary is now straightforward. You don’t need to deselect all apps first.
  • A12 Media Apps Bugfix: We added a new explanation for the music apps feature to the home screen and now request the ‘nearby permission’ on Android 12+ to detect Bluetooth headphones and speakers.
  • More Calendar Events Supported: We fixed some calendar events not being shown in the launcher. This especially happened with privately shared events or events with a blank title.
  • Improved Back Gesture Behavior: When multiple dialogs are open, the back button now behaves as you would expect, and brings you back to the previous dialog.
  • Niagara Button Position Bugfix:When using a language with a right-to-left script, such as Arabic or Hebrew, the Niagara Button was occasionally placed on the wrong side after rotating the device. We fixed this, so now the button is always on the correct side.
  • New wallpaper: You can find our latest wallpaper themed around spring in our wallpaper collection in Niagara’s look settings.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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