Whether you’re tired of your stock home screen or just want a new and different way to interact with your Android device, you can probably find an Android launcher at Google Play that’s just right for you. Even so, some launchers are better than others, and today we’re going to check out some of my favorites for customization, speed, design, and features. Here’s a look at the best android launchers. This list is by no means complete, it will be continuously updated. The star rating next to the launcher name is how users have rated these launches on Google Playstore…
Go Launcher EX (4.5*, 100M+ Downloads)
Easily the most used launcher, Go Launcher EX’s claim to fame is how customizable it is. There are thousands of themes and icon packs you can download to customize Go Launcher EX, tons of widgets, lock screen tweaks, and more. Smooth, rounded corners, folder groups, good-looking animations, and an emphasis on clean, customizable layouts make this launcher popular, and it doesn’t hurt that it supports Android phones running 2.0 or higher. Combine this with the fact that the developers are constantly updating the launcher (which is actually a drawback for many users) and rolling out additional themes and Go-flavored apps and widgets that fit right in, and you have a wealth of tools to transform your Android experience. Plus, it’s completely free.
ADWLauncher (4.4*, 10M+ Downloads)
ADW.Launcher, is a highly flexible, customizable launcher that supports Android 1.6 and higher. ADW offers many free themes to choose from, customizable home screen layouts, multiple dock styles that fit up to five different shortcuts, customizable icon sets, switchable animations, a hidden dockbar with unlimited scrolling, and more. It’s incredibly tweakable for the advanced, but fast and user-friendly for beginners, and it supports a huge number of devices. The paid version EX ($4) adds more features
Nova Launcher (4.6*, 10M+ Downloads)
Nova Launcher is free, but only supports Ice Cream Sandwich devices (Android 4.0+). Once you have it installed on your ICS device though, you have the flexibility to install ADW icon themes if you want to use them, additional themes to change the layout and look of your launcher, a scrollable dock with up to 3 pages of 7 icons each, scroll effects and launch animations that you can toggle on or off, 1×1 widgets in your dockbar, and more.If you have $4 to spend, Nova Launcher Prime unlocks unread count badges for email, SMS, and voicemail, lets you permanently hide apps you never use but don’t want to uninstall, two-finger gestures for launcher actions, and folders in your dockbar.
Apex Launcher (4.3*, 10M+ Downloads)
Apex Launcher is free, but it’s another one in the roundup that only supports Ice Cream Sandwich devices. Even so, it’s fast and customizable, offers you up to 9 homescreens, 7 dockbars with 5 icons each, replacement icons for stock Android apps, and tons of beautiful transition and scroll effects. Best of all, if there’s any element of Apex Launcher that you don’t like, you can easily hide it. You can lock your homescreen so nothing changes, back it up in case you do make a change you want to revert, and tweak the app drawer’s appearance and the apps it displays. $4 will buy you Apex Launcher Pro, which adds multi-finger gestures to the ones already in the launcher, support for themes from other launchers (like ADW, Go Launcher, and Launcher Pro), 1×1 widgets in the dock, and unread count badges.
Launcher Pro (4.5*, 10M+ Downloads)
Launcher Pro is free, and is probably many people’s first non-stock launcher. It supports Android devices running 2.0 and higher, and while it’s not as frequently maintained as the others, it still offers buttery smooth transitions, customizable layouts, dock scrolling, and live home screen previews. Launcher Pro supports replacement icon packs, infinite scrolling, and more. It’s been a long time since its last update, but if you’re looking for a good, fast Launcher to get started with, Launcher Pro is a good pick.
I am using the Apex Launcher, works great, light and fast! Which one do you use? Let us know in the comments section below!