Best launchers for Android


We use our phones for everything. From managing the office to organizing family schedules, making phone calls to making lists, keeping up with our friends and public figures, to recipe and academic research, many of us depend on our phones to get through the day with ease. And let’s face it, there’s nothing more grand than receiving that brand new device in the mail. But after using it all day, every day, the same standard look may eventually seem a little dull.

That’s exactly why today, we’ve compiled this list of launchers for you to take a look at. By downloading a launcher, you can either change the way your phone looks and works by a little, or by a lot, depending on your preference. Each of the following apps will change your setup in some way, and some more than others. Forget getting a new phone when you can just get a brand new launcher.

Nova Launcher


Nova Launcher is extremely customizable, setting you up for success with an amazingly organized home screen. With Nova Launcher, you’ll be able to customize everything uniquely to your liking. Pick from colors to icon themes, organize your apps in folders, and take advantage of infinite scroll, plus easy backup and restore.

With Nova Launcher Prime, the upgrade to the free launcher, it will display notifications for anything unopened, whether that be emails, messages, etc. You’ll also be able to hide apps that you don’t use, and even create a “secret handshake” of sorts to tap open your favorite apps.

Download it now: Google Play

Google Now Launcher


The Google Now Launcher was created by Google for all Google lovers. If you’re obsessed with everything Google, including Google Plus, Hangouts, Gmail, Drive, Maps, and all of their other awesome apps, then this launcher is perfect for you. It’s also a great option for those of us who can’t seem to go even a couple of hours without Googling something.

So what is so special about the Google Now Launcher? Of course it has all of the apps, but you’ll also have access to “Ok Google,” Google Now cards, app suggestions, and more. And for the stock Android lovers, that’s the type of user interface you’re getting here: a clean-looking version of Android.

Download it now: Google Play

Arrow Launcher


Arrow Launcher is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing launchers on this list. Not only are the wallpapers and UI fantastic looking, but Arrow Launcher has a clean, simple look to it. If you spend a lot of time going through your phone looking for past notes or something you saw, Arrow Launcher eliminates the clutter entirely. Who needs more clutter in their life? Not me.

Arrow is also very customizable, and it keeps your recent apps close by in case you need them. But one of the best features of the Arrow Launcher is the Wunderlist integration. With just a few taps of the screen, you can easily set yourself reminders, add something (or cross something off) of the grocery list, and even keep your employees on task.

Download it now: Google Play

Apex Launcher


The Apex Launcher is sleek and professional, a great option for the go-getter. Not only that, but the customizable features are endless. With the Apex Launcher, you have the option for up to 9 homescreens, icon packs and skins, different options for drawer sorting, elastic scrolling, and so much more. The neat thing about all of these launchers is that any time you decide you want to change thing up, it’s super easy to do.

With the Apex Launcher, you also have the option for an upgraded version. Our recommendation would be to always check out the free version before purchasing, but with Apex Launcher Pro, you’ll get access to some awesome things, including themes, and advanced options. Whether you decide to purchase or stick with the free version, there’s just no going wrong with the Apex Launcher.

Download it now: Google Play

Smart Launcher 3


Smart Launcher 3 is a fantastic launcher with a different kind of look. Your most used apps will appear in a circle, each in a bubble on your home screen. Smart Launcher 3 also changes the way you search for your apps—you can easily look them up by category, such as games, messaging, photos, and so on.

The search bar also comes in handy. If you’re in a hurry and need to make a phone call, just type a letter in your contact’s name for them to pop up as a suggestion. And the themes? The designs are unique and not something you typically see for phones. Eye-catching, and super simple to use.

Download it now: Google Play

Hola Launcher


If you’re in need of some positive change, Hola Launcher will not disappoint. The way you do things with the Hola Launcher are completely different than what you’d do with your standard Android/Google UI. From their signature corner swipe, to zooming out to view all of your home screens at once, Hola Launcher will definitely give you a new perspective.

Other key features of the Hola Launcher include things like free wallpaper and new fonts, but you can also choose from over 10,000 new icons, and the best part? There’s no need to be cluttered if that’s not your thing. The launcher itself is extremely small, so you don’t even have to worry about your phone’s response-time changing.

Download it now: Google Play

Action Launcher 3


Last, but definitely not least, Action Launcher. Action Launcher may just be the most unique launcher on this list, and it’s actually extremely similar to the Google Now Launcher, but with pops of color and some amazing design structure, built for the creative at heart (or for someone who just wants to change up their regular phone completely).

With the Action Launcher, your wallpaper determines the color scheme of all your apps and widgets. Upon using the launcher, all of your apps will be resized, and the launcher will actually make recommendations on new icon packs for you to utilize. On top of that, there’s no more need to have all your apps lined up in a neat row. Get creative and make a design with them!

Download it now: Google Play


Each of these launchers have similar features as well as unique ones, and we hope we were able to help you in your search for a new launcher. Have you tried any of these, or even one not listed? Let us know in the comments section!

About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.

  • Paul

    I use nova launcher. Great. It works like cyanogenMod.

  • Keith Bird

    Instead of the Google Now launcher, I recommend the KKM launcher. It has all the advantages of the GN, and you can actually remove the Google search bar at the top of the home screen. MUCH more configurable.

  • Isaac Rockett

    AL3’s covers and side app drawer are what keep me coming back.

    I can’t believe no one else has covers. They’re the most useful feature I’ve ever had. They save me dozens of taps per day. Without covers in would be opening a folder and picking my default messaging app instead of just tapping it, and only hunting through the folder when I need something less normal.

  • Pablo Pastore

    Nova FTW!

  • AZ Weekly

    Anyone notice that these are always on the list? You guys got to up your lists.