One of the attractions of using Android is the ability to customize. This can be everything from adjusting and tweaking the layout using your stock setup, which could include a TouchWiz or Sense experience and it can also include using third party launchers. The launcher category is big and it seems to be growing at a fairly regular pace. Without trying to name every single launcher available, just in recent history we have seen mentions of Apex Launcher and Chameleon as well as Everything.me and Facebook Home.
Personally I have tried quite a few, but have been a long time user of Nova Launcher. Despite using and really liking Nova, I had been been keeping an eye on Action Launcher and was recently wowed by the looks of Yandex.Shell. With that in mind, now seems like as good a time as any to check out some of the alternatives. The few that are being looked at today include Action Launcher, Yandex.Shell and Nova Launcher.
I should also admit that I am going into this with a bit of bias as I really like Nova. That said, Yandex.Shell looks really nice and Action Launcher has some cool sounding features and they both seem worthy of at least checking out. Yandex.Shell is free, but Action Launcher is $3.99 so if nothing else, maybe I can answer the question as to whether others should shell out the $4 or continue watching the app and seeing what future updates bring.
Nova Launcher can be free or paid. The free version is rather full featured, however the paid ‘Prime’ version does include some worthwhile extras such as folders in the app drawer, gestures, dock swipes and unread counts. Rather than focus on the Prime version, lets continue with the free version, which is what I had been using. With this version you can expect color themes, the ability to change the accent color, icon themes, a scrollable dock, infinite scroll and much more.
With Nova Launcher you can also bulk add apps to the desktop or a folder, you can overlap widgets and even add a 1×1 widget into the dock. Some of the smaller features that I enjoy is the ability to adjust the icon size and even add more than the standard amount of apps into a dock. It is also nice being able to have and scroll through multiple docks. Basically Nova Launcher provides lots of options for customization and it should be good for those looking to make things look a bit more to their liking.