A few days ago, I shared an article about why I haven’t been using the stock launcher that comes default on my devices for a long time. The reasoning essentially came down to the lack of customization and personalization options. Many users use third-party launchers to customize their experience when using their smartphones or tablets, and today, we’ll show you some of the best and most popular launchers you can find on the Google Play Store.
Nova Launcher is one of the best-known and most popular launchers on Android, and I’ve been using it on all of my devices for several years. The new Nova Launcher 8.0 (Beta) version comes with Material You theming integration, and several improvements to improve the user interface. The launcher comes with hundreds of customization options, and it lets users customize every aspect of their home screen, including groups, docks, widgets, icons, notification dots, gestures, and so much more.
If you’re looking for an excellent all-around launcher, Nova is the one that must be on your list. The launcher is completely free. While the Nova Prime key costs money, it unlocks gestures and other essential features that are well worth the money. Not much functionality is locked behind a paywall, making it one of the best and most comprehensive launchers on Android.
Nova Launcher is one of the best and most popular launchers on Android. It offers a comprehensive set of features, and it's used by millions of people every day on many different devices.
Action Launcher is the other most popular launcher on Android, and it comes with a ton of extra functionality. The launcher has been around for many years, and the development is still going strong, with the developer constantly adding new features. The launcher comes with excellent search functionalities, auto-sort features, and a dynamic theme that lets you choose the shade of the launcher based on the wallpaper’s colors.
The launcher is quick, has built-in gesture controls, excellent animations, and, as mentioned above, Quickthemes to match the overall layout based on the wallpaper’s colors. The launcher also has widget stacks, similar to what we had already seen on iOS 14 and 15 a few years ago, and it’s incredibly fast.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a stock Android experience, or a unique one. Action Launcher has you covered with a ton of features.
The Microsoft launcher might not be the first app you think about, but it’s received significant upgrades over the years, and it’s one of the best and most stable launchers on Android. There are an ever-growing number of features, and there are excellent enterprise-oriented integrations in place. If you heavily rely on the Microsoft ecosystem, then this launcher will fit right into the your workspace and environment.
The Microsoft launcher offers a clean and intelligent experience on your home screen. While the launcher itself is fast and smooth, there are many options that let you customize it the way you find it helpful. A dedicated feed can also show related information from your calendar, To Do list, Sticky Notes and more. It’s one of the best launchers if you use Windows for work and strongly rely on Microsoft’s services and applications.
If you’re a Microsoft fan or you strongly rely on the company’s products and services, you might want to consider this launcher. It has excellent integration with the Microsoft Suite.
The Niagara Launcher is a simple and lightweight app. It’s ridiculously fast, and it performs well on all devices. The Niagara launcher is fairly simple, and while it does support icons packs and there are great features to let users personalize it to themselves, this launcher is completely different from the ones shown on this list.
Niagara is essentially a quick list that provides all of your applications in alphabetical A-Z order. You can scroll down on the list using the alphabetical letters on the right (or left) side of the screen, and you can also set your favorites to show up on the top. There are gestures to trigger the search bar, which works well on all devices, regardless of screen size.
If you want to find apps quickly and efficiently, then Niagara Launcher is the one that should be on your list. It’s lightning-fast, and there are great options to customize a minimalist list to your needs.
Smart Launcher has been around for a long time and is a fast and efficient launcher. It can automatically categorize all of your favourite applications and offers an excellent search bar to help you get to the right place in just a few taps. There’s also a Discover shelf on the left side, showing the latest news and stories.
If you’re looking for a neatly organized and comprehensive launcher that gets most of the work done for you, then Smart Launcher is an excellent choice. The launcher supports most of the usual features offered by other third-party applications, and it lets users resize widgets, place apps anywhere on the screen, change the icon pack, and so much more. The app also features gestures, and double-tap shortcuts for applications placed in the dock.
Smart Launcher 6 is excellent if you want customization and organization. If you’re looking for an ultra-minimalistic setup, you must consider this.
Launcher iOS 16
Launcher iOS 16, as the name suggests, imitates the iOS home screen. It offers near-identical features, looks, and layout to what can be found on iPhones, and it even provides even more freedom when it gets to applying different icons, and moving widgets freely on the home screen. The launcher also has an iOS-style control center, assistive touch, and even the weather widget and application are nearly identical to the real deal.
If you’re a fan of iOS and want to replicate the same exact look on your Android phone, then this is an excellent pick. The only major downside is that this app is supported by ads, and during my testing, I saw at least 10 pop up. The good thing is that the launcher is completely free to use, but if you’re not a fan of the ads, and would rather pay to get pro features and remove ads, then it might not be for you.
Launcher iOS 16
If you’re a fan of iOS and iPhones, but prefer using Android, then Launcher iOS 16 is the launcher for you. It imitates the iOS launcher on Apple devices, and offers even more freedom to let you customize it to your unique self.