Android’s dominance over other mobile operating systems is mainly due to the endless customization opportunities it provides to its user base. Mobile Launchers are one of the most customizable parts of Android.
What is an Android launcher?
Android smartphones are inoperable without a launcher, which comprises your home screen and the catalog of all the apps available on your device. That’s why every device comes with a default launcher pre-installed. For instance, a Google Pixel device comes pre-installed with the Pixel Launcher.
Why use third party launchers?
The answer to this question is pretty simple: Third-party launchers offer screen customization for users to suit their needs. To save you from the trouble of browsing through hundreds of launchers on the Play Store, here is a list of the best launchers for Android. The apps are described in detail along with their download links further down the article.
11 Best Android Launchers For 2020
- Nova Launcher
- Evie Launcher
- Launcher iOS 13
- Apex Launcher
- Niagra Launcher
- Smart Launcher 5
- Microsoft Launcher
- ADW Launcher 2
- Google Now Launcher
- Lawnchair Launcher
1. Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is truly one of the best Android launchers around on the Google Play Store. It is fast, efficient and lightweight. It supports dock customizations, notification badges, an option to show frequently used apps as a top row in the app drawer, folder and icon customizations, dozens of gestures and many other cool features.
It also has support for app shortcuts found in Android Nougat. Not only can you customize app icons, but also edit icon labels. To get a minimastic feel, users can remove labels entirely. The prime version unlocks more useful features and is definitely worth a try.
Now, it also encompasses a dark theme as well. If you are a frequent user of Nova Launcher like me, make sure to check out our compilation of the best Nova launcher themes and Icon packs.
Price – Free/ Premium $4.99
2. Evie Launcher
The Evie launcher is designed for performance and is one of the fastest Android launchers. Many users who switched to this launcher vouch for its smoothness and ridiculous speed.
Its Universal Search feature lets you search within apps from one place. It offers a wide range of home screen shortcuts and customizations such as changing layouts, icon size, app icons, etc.
The launcher app supports Bing and Duck Duck Go search engines, other than Google. One downside is that you won’t find many gestures in this app. Also, the Evie launcher might not get any more updates.
Price – Free
3. Launcher iOS 13
As the name indicates, the launcher app for Android brings the iPhone experience on the Android phone. Not only do you get the proprietary icons, you will also see improvement in performance while navigation.
It’s unbelievable how close the launcher is to the real iPhone experience. Long pressing an icon brings up an iOS-like menu of options to rearrange and remove an app. The launcher also provides the iPhone’s homescreen-like widget section.
Users can also get the iOS control panel and assistive touch, upon downloading the respective apps from the developer. The only problem is that the iOS 13 launcher app is filled with obtrusive ads which makes it difficult to tweak settings.
Price – Free
4. Apex Launcher
Apex Launcher is one of the visually stunning launcher app with thousands of themes and icon packs that you can download from the Play Store. It is a lightweight launcher for Android optimized for both smartphones and tablets, which you won’t find in several other launchers
You can add up to 9 customizable home screens and hide apps in your app drawer that you don’t need. The launcher sorts apps in the app drawer according to the title, installation date or how frequently you use them.
Purchasing the pro version will unlock more gesture options, powerful app drawer customizations, and many additional features.
Price – Free/ Premium $3.99
5. Niagara Launcher
Niagra is for Android users who are looking for a minimalistic launcher with less clutter of apps and options. Similar to Evie, Niagra is not bundled with many unneeded options and settings owing to which it is one the fastest Android launchers on Google Play Store.
Since the launcher app is focused on de-cluttering your Android space, the app comes clean with no bloatware or sponsored ads. With its lower size, the launcher app works smoothly on the lower-end devices as well.
If you are looking for hundreds of customization options, this app might not be suited for you. But given its stunning design, I would suggest you to at least try it.
Price – Free
6. Smart Launcher 5
Smart Launcher 5 is another lightweight and fast Android launcher app for 2020 that has been developed, keeping users in mind. The app drawer consists of a sidebar that divides the apps according to a category.
Within the initial setup process, it asks you for the default apps that you use, so you won’t be annoyed later by default app pop-ups.
The Android launcher has an ultra-immersive mode where you can hide the navigation bar to get more space on the screen. Also, the ambient theme of the launcher app changes the theme color based on the wallpaper.
Although gesture support is present, it is limited and more gestures unlock when you purchase the pro version. One downside is that intrusive ads show up in the app drawer in the free version.
Price – Free/ Premium $4.49
7. Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher (formerly Arrow Launcher) is an elegant and fast Android launcher app with a lot of customizations from Microsoft.
You can update new wallpapers from Bing every day. The home screen is decorated with the Microsoft Timeline feature resembling “Google Cards.” Also, the Recent panel shows the recently opened media or recently used contact.
The best part about the Microsoft Launcher app is that it gets synced to the entire Microsoft account. In other words, you can get personalized feed, see your search results and much more.
The only drawback of using Microsoft launcher is that it doesn’t allow much customization as in the other best launchers for Android here.
Price – Free
8. ADW Launcher 2
The launcher app is stable, fast, easy to use and offers hundreds of customizable options. The UI almost feels like a stock Android. It supports a unique feature to change the interface color according to your wallpaper dynamically.
Moreover, there are icon badges, app indexing on app drawers, launcher shortcuts, transition animations and tons of other useful features.
Its developers claim that the possibility that you will configure it to your likeness is approximately 3720 to 1. You can make and modify your widgets with your own colors. What more can you ask for? If you are looking to change the default Android launcher, this should be the first one you should try out.
Price – Free
9. Google Now Launcher
Google Now launcher is an in-house launcher app developed by Google itself. The Android app is targeted at non-pixel device users who don’t like their pre-installed launcher, and instead prefer a truer Android experience.
Unlike other contenders, the popular Android launcher adds Google Now cards just by swiping right on the home screen. The Google search bar design can also be customized, right from the home screen itself.
Combined with the smooth app drawer, app suggestions a the top also work efficiently. The only drawback is you there isn’t much customization you can do with Google Now Android launcher.
Price – Free
10. Lawnchair 2
Lawnchair launcher is the only Pixel-like launcher that comes ridiculously close to providing all the features of Google Pixel, such as Google Discover, “At a Glance” widget, etc.
Being a third party-launcher, it provides a great number of customization features such as variable grid, icon size, notification dots, etc., thus, coming out even better than the original Pixel launcher.
Other than that, there is dark theme support, integration of Sesame (universal search), and Pixel-like app actions now. The Lawnchair Launcher 2.0 also drawer categories (tabs and folders) in the app drawer.
Price – Free
BaldPhone is an open-source launcher that is specifically made for elderly people, people with motoric problems and people who need a visual aid.
The launcher has bigger icons and necessary functions right on the homescreen. However, users can customize the home screen based on your personal preference.
Since the Android launcher is open-source, there are no ads and developers claim, “it is purely a goodwill product.” While the app asks for a lot of permissions, one can assume that there will be no harm to their data, given the open-source nature.
Unlike other Android apps here, this launcher app is only available on the F-Droid store.
Which Android Launcher do you prefer?
Did you find this list of the best Android launchers to enhance the look and performance of your device in 2020? Share your reviews in the comments below.
Also read: Best Free Android Music Players