The launcher is probably the most important app on an Android device. It is the first thing you see after you unlock it and it's where you usually start from when wanting to do anything. The launcher influences the way your phone works and looks and has a great impact on its speed and fluidity.
Manufacturers equip their devices with different custom launchers. While some of them are good, others are heavily bloated and significantly slow the device down. If your device is suffering from this issue, you may want to replace it with one of many great alternatives available in the Google Play Store.
To help you with that, we've compiled a list of the best and the most unique launchers for Android. Our suggestions include apps that deliver great user experience and features, or just look different.
Note: Apps are in no particular order
Action Launcher is one of the best launchers available on the platform. Just like the others, it allows you to put icons and widgets on the home screen, but its functionality doesn’t end there. Action Launcher combines gorgeous visuals with a gesture-based user interface. Instead of a traditional drawer, there’s a list of all installed applications that slides out from the left side of the screen. If you swipe from right to left, a Quickpage appears. It is basically an additional page of the home screen, which remains conveniently hidden. You can place there your most favourite widgets or app shortcuts.
As if that was not enough, Action Launcher is equipped with other unique feature that gives you the ability to use widgets without putting them on the home screen as well as create folders from app icons.
Being one of the highest rated and most popular launchers, Nova has set the bar very high for the competition. It is fast, stable, and very powerful. Nova Launcher offers extensive personalization features that allow you to configure almost any aspect of your home screen, and app drawer. With this handy app, you can download and use various icon packs, change the animation displayed when switching between opened apps, swap the font, and many others. Nova Launcher comes with a handful of built-in scrolling effects, too. All that is wrapped in a polished interface inspired by stock Android.
Paid version of the app can display badges with a number of unread messages of missed calls, use gestures to open applications or trigger actions and organize icons in the app drawer into folders.
Go Launcher was downloaded more than 50 000 000 times. Its popularity comes from the wide array of features and customization options it offers. With this launcher, you can apply one of over 10 000 available themes, enjoy beautiful transitions when scrolling through home screen pages, use gestures to launch apps, and install various plugins that significantly enhance functionality. Those can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and are usually good-looking widgets, themes and utility tools.
Go Launcher will change the way your phone or tablet looks and works so much, that you’ll think it’s a brand new device.
Are you one of those people who have always thought that interfaces of the future will be three dimensional? If so, check out Next Launcher 3D. It features an impressive interface packed with beautiful animations and dynamic 3D effects. It may be too chaotic for daily usage, but definitely delivers a truly unique visual experience.
As for features, Next Launcher 3D supports themes, icon packs, dedicated widgets, extensions, and gestures.
Android’s UI is okay, but if you’re bored of it and you’ve a thing for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, you definitely should install Launcher 8. It’s a feature-packed launcher featuring an interface inspired by Windows Phone. It offers advanced customization options that allow you to change almost everything, from colour of the tiles, through their size, to icons, and style of the notification bar.
Additionally, Launcher 8 is equipped with widget-like live tiles, which display information in real-time. For example, people tile is an animated mosaic of photos from your address book and the calendar tile shows current day and upcoming appointments.
Mi Launcher is the official launcher extracted from the beautiful MIUI custom ROM and available for every one for download in the Play Store. Like the ROM itself, the application sports gorgeous visuals filled with polished animations and colorful icons. Mi Launcher comes with an access to thousands of home screen and lock screen themes created by professional designers.
As for the interface, it resembles iOS a lot. There is no app drawer and the home screen is a grid of icons and widgets with a dock and page indicators at the bottom. Similarly to iOS, it’s is very fast, smooth, and stable.
We have discovered Mini Launcher by accident, while looking for a completely different app, but we’re glad we have. Mini Launcher turned out to be a wonderful little home screen replacement app that brings to the table much more than it seems. Apart from the traditional home screen with a grid of icons, the app includes a slide-out drawer offering quick access to the most used system toggles, missed calls and unread messages, recently used programs, and weather.
The interface is very simple and easy to customize. Mini Launcher was updated to mimic Android 4.4 design style, so when you download it, you'll get a taste of the vanilla-falvoured stock Android the way Google wanted it to be.
If you recommend any other launchers, be sure to leave them in the comments below and we may add them to the post.