From Nova to Niagara: the best Android launchers to try on your smartphone

Android is undoubtedly one of the most customizable mobile operating systems ever. From fonts to icons, users can modify almost every aspect of the system. However, the home screen is where users spend most of their time. Here we will list some of the best Android launchers available in 2022.

Nova Launcher

Those looking to personalize their home screen should look no further. For years, Nova Launcher has maintained its position as one of the best launchers of all time. From icon packs to search bar to widgets, Nova Launcher allows users to customize every aspect of their device.

Nova Launcher Nova Launcher allows users to customize almost every aspect of their home screen.

Over the years, Nova Launcher has added several integrations such as Seasame Shortcuts which lets you search for files, contacts, and other items right from your home screen. It has a minimal footprint which means the launcher is smooth even on budget devices. While the free version should be more than enough for most people, if you want to customize every aspect of your home screen, the paid version should help.

The paid version allows users to adjust the size of icons on the home screen and app drawer, allows users to categorize apps according to tabs, and also supports custom gestures on the screen of reception. It also enables notification badges on app icons. You can also hide the entire notification bar, endlessly scroll through home screens, and change the options shown when you long-press an icon.

Microsoft Launcher

If you are looking for a launcher that improves your productivity, Microsoft Launcher is one of the best options available today. The main screen is user friendly and looks like any other third party launcher.

Microsoft Launcher Microsoft Launcher comes with a newsfeed and built-in widgets.

Swipe left and you’ll find a number of cards that take up the entire screen and display information such as tasks, notes, calendar, recent activities, screen, and to-do lists to name only a few. The task list is synced with the Windows To Do app and allows users to add or remove tasks from the launcher itself.

Over time, the launcher will also show your frequently used apps in cards. If you use OneDrive, the app also lists documents. Moreover, you can also see your recent activity. Microsoft Launcher also lets you read the news that matters to you without having to leave your home screen.

Ratio: Productivity Home Screen

Want to focus more on work and less on the phone? Then Ratio might be for you. This is a minimal launcher that focuses on minimizing distractions and maximizing productivity.

Users can either categorize the apps installed on the phone according to their preferences or let Ratio do the work for them. Similar to Digital Wellbeing, you can also limit the time you spend using an app with the Time Tracker feature. It also comes with an inbuilt App Lock and App Hider feature.

ratio launcher Ratio Launcher focuses on improving productivity and has a minimalist interface.

The developers have also added custom widgets such as weather, calculator, events, time, etc. which could help you in your daily tasks. Users can choose from four modes, namely Sun, Dark, Light and Focus. If you happen to have a rooted phone, Ratio will allow you to change the default search engine used on the home screen, customize the calendars displayed and many more.

What’s interesting is that the launcher even allows the Conversations tab to be protected using biometric authentication, which could be useful in case someone gets their hands on your phone.

Niagara launcher

Niagara is a relatively new launcher in the Android world. Similar to Ratio, it’s a minimalist launcher but with a new look. Compared to traditional launchers that have an icon dock and space for widgets and icons, Niagara displays your favorite apps in the middle of the screen and adapts based on user behavior.

Niagara launcher Niagara Launcher offers a minimalist user interface.

You can also view all notifications from a single window and respond to some of them without having to leave the home screen. Niagara also supports custom icon packs, changing icon sizes, and has an option to switch to dark mode.

Although the launcher is free, some features such as the weather widget require users to purchase Niagara Pro. Luckily, the developers offer a seven-day free trial so you can use the launcher for yourself and see if it’s worth it or not.

Lounge chair 2

Designed for those who want a simple launcher, Lawnchair 2 is heavily inspired by the Pixel launcher and offers an elegant user interface. Although it doesn’t have features like Nova, there are a few customization options that allow users to use custom gestures, change the home screen layout, and use the Google Feed panel with the Lawnfeed plug-in.

Lounge chair 2 Lawnchair 2 looks like the Pixel Launcher.

Users can also change the theme, change the dock layout, and customize the app drawer. The developers have also added support for Seasame shortcuts and just like Nova Launcher, users can also set custom gesture actions.

You can also choose if you want to change the icons to match your wallpaper. Compatible with all devices running Android 9 and above, Lawnchair 2 is completely free and has minimal performance impact.