The best Android launchers on Android give you more power over your home screen.
To make your phone yours, the best Android launchers are essential. In helping you configure items, they play a critical role. With launchers ranging from minimalist skins to those that put an explosive array of colors on your smartphone, you’ll find an incredibly diverse range of options for putting your stamp on the best Android phones.
From adjusting the look and feel with various icons and themes, to introducing new features such as smart folders and search assistants, the best Android launchers will give your phone a full makeover. With the introduction of both Android 11 and the Pixel 5, the look of Android may be changing, but there is more than one launcher for your phone.
Here is the best Android Launcher that we find in the Google Play store and elsewhere.
The best launchers for Android that you can download today
It is a matter of personal taste to find the right Android launcher for your smartphone, but we would suggest Nova Launcher. With customization, it does a good job balancing characteristics, and it’s a top option for anyone looking to put their personal spin on their devices. With customization, Nova Launcher also does a nice job balancing features, and it is a top option for anyone trying to put their personal spin on their devices.
For just about anyone in the Google Play Store, there’s a launcher.
If you’re running an older version of Android, the latest update does not support Android 10, we’d like to put in a good word for Lawnchair 2 as this launcher will give your phone a stock Android look reminiscent of Google’s own Pixel phones.
Without considering the Nova Launcher, you can’t talk about the best Android launchers. Quick, stylish, and highly customizable, with a minimal performance effect, Nova Launcher combines extensive appearance and utility customizations, enabling you to set your home screen just right without slowing down performance.
From color schemes to icon packs, scrollable docks to app drawer customizations, folder settings, and endless scrolling, there are several choices to work through. The Nova team is never satisfied to rest on its laurels, introducing new features such as Sesame Shortcuts, animations, and updates to Oreo on an ongoing basis.
Smart Launcher has long been a favorite with its basic “flower” favorite grid and sorted app folder for the best Android launcher. Smart Launcher 5, the newest edition, adds a lot of features and refinements.
The flower grid of Smart Launcher is still available, but it is joined by a range of other well-thought-out layouts designed to keep one hand within easy reach of your favorite apps, while smart search and a smartly organized and customizable app drawer make it easy to find anything you need, whether on your phone or the web. The kit is rounded out by adaptive icons and colors, completely resizable widgets, and more customizations, making for a perfect upgrade to a classic launcher.
Niagara is a slim Android launcher built to keep your alerts front and center while minimizing other distractions. Notifications are shown right on your home screen, with automatically filtered out spam and continuous notifications. The app drawer surfaces your favorite applications automatically while offering convenient alphabetical shortcuts as well.
That said, the intense minimalism of Niagara means that any uncommon visual frills and choices you might expect from other third-party launchers should not be expected. It is constantly updated and it shows great promise.
AIO Launcher is all about cramming as much information as possible on your screen in a relatively spartan format where other launchers could give up decluttering visual customizations.
The app displays your frequently used apps, as well as system information, recently received calls, messages, and email, as well as upcoming calendar events and more.
Although AIO Launcher is free, in-app purchases unblock other features in the home screen stream, such as widget support, app icons, and Android notifications. It’s not the friendliest GUI among the best Android launchers out there, if information density isn’t a turn-off for you, it’s still an interesting option.
Hyperion Launcher is a Pixel-like launcher from the team behind the famous Substratum theme engine, a highly customizable Android launcher software that enables you to tweak a vast array of settings.
Users can customize a number of theme settings, directories, transparencies, animations, icon packs, and adaptive icons in addition to standard wallpapers and widgets. Hyperion offers a lot of its features for free, but some are unlocked with an in-app purchase for the Pro version, such as launcher-level font changes and custom gestures. Users can customize a number of theme settings, directories, transparencies, animations, icon packs, and adaptive icons in addition to standard wallpapers and widgets. Hyperion offers a lot of its features for free, but some are unlocked with an in-app purchase for the Pro version, such as launcher-level font changes and custom gestures.
Even if you don’t have a Pixel phone, you can still use the free and open-source Lawnchair project to view some Google-style features.
With app notification points, support for adaptive icons, an automatic dark mode and other notable Android goodies, Lawnchair offers a largely stock experience mirroring the Pixel launcher. But support for app icon packs, configurable icon and grid sizes, dock customizations and more are also included in this best Android launcher. If you want it, Google Now support is also supported by the Lawnfeed add-on.
The new edition, Lawnchair 2, works on Android 9 Pie, but Android 10 or Android 11 are not officially supported.
Customized Pixel Launcher (CPL), a free app building off the Rootless Launcher project, is another excellent launcher arising from the efforts to introduce the Pixel Launcher functionality to the Android masses.
On the surface, with rounded corners, notification dots and badges, CPL hews closely to the look of the stock Pixel launcher, while also throwing support for themes, icon packs, adaptive icons, gesture controls and font customization.
The Google feed and the At A Glance widget and Assistant features are also enabled by CPL, but you’ll need to install an external GitHub app to enable the feed to function on CPL.
With a strong balance of features and results, Apex Launcher lives up to its name as another excellent Android launcher.
Core features include the ability to adjust the size of the home screen grid, with up to nine windows, as well as a five-page scrollable dock. Much greater customization is added through endless scrolling, transition animations, various folder styles and multiple app drawer styles.
Apex Launcher’s paid version opens up more options, such as more drawer options, extra gestures and theme support.
Xiaomi’s phones, including the latest Xiaomi Mi 11, may not be widely available in the US, but via the Google Play Store, you can get a taste of the Poco Launcher. The Poco Launcher deviates from the normal design sensibilities of Xiaomi, providing an app drawer complete with smart category tabs that organize apps into categories such as Communication and Photography automatically.
A customizable screen layout, transition effects, icon pack support, and notification badges are provided by the launcher. It does not deliver as many deep customizations as competing launchers, but it looks good and is meant to be on the simplified end of things. And recent updates include support for dark mode and the ability to tap the screen to lock your phone.
Microsoft rebranded its excellent Arrow Launcher into the Microsoft Launcher, while also working to enhance the interplay between your Android phone and Windows PC, retaining Arrow’s lightweight, context-sensitive app pages and customizable feeds.
Users can easily snap images from their phone and view them on their desktop; they can also open mobile-to-Edge web links on their PC, or they can start editing Office 365 documents from their PC and continue using their mobile phone on the go.
All this is in addition to the universal search bar, customizable themes, and configurable gesture controls from Microsoft.
Lightning Launcher is an old-school, deeply customizable Android launcher app designed to give you maximum customizability, with the option for gridded or pixel-perfect-assigned app icons on the home screen.
As you tweak the settings and choices of the app, Lightning does come with a visible learning curve, but it is a rich premium launcher experience that is perfect for users looking to get their home screen just right.
A ridiculously successful and powerful launcher back in the day was the original ADW Launcher, but it ultimately dropped by the wayside as it languished without updates. Enter ADW Launcher 2, which, as a modern app, brings one of the best Android launchers back to the fore.
ADW Launcher 2 includes a wealth of functionality and customization choices, such as a wallpaper-based dynamically colored GUI, an indexed app drawer, transitions, icon badges, categorization of users, and more. It also supports newer features for Android, including shortcuts for users.
Another app that focuses on having a tidy, no-nonsense interface is ASAP Launcher, so you can get back to what you really should be doing as soon as possible.
When using slide up app drawers and settings drawers to easily put your favored apps and system settings within easy reach, ASAP sticks to a clean material design aesthetic.
ASAP is not aiming for personalization, unlike other best Android launchers, but the launcher features a range of themes, as well as icon packs support.
Even on incompatible Android phones, Lean Launcher is an open source launcher built to replicate the official Pixel Launcher, though providing a few more choices than the root-free Pixel Launcher it was based on.
Lean Launcher’s streamlined look also provides options for hiding the search bar and personalizing the screen grid. As well as adaptive icons, you get a lockable home screen and support for icon packs.
The Big Launcher is designed to take into account seniors, children and visually disabled people. To quickly access popular phone functions like calls, texting, favorite contacts, and applications, it uses big, simplified interface buttons.
Above all, the launcher is designed to be easy to use and basic, so don’t expect a lot of fancy interface features, but it’s a nice launcher to set up for friends and relatives who might have trouble with a more traditional phone interface.
Action Launcher Pixel Edition was one of the first major third-party launchers to give itself a makeover in the Pixel format, merging its extreme customizability with the Pixel Launcher’s new interface features and designs.
An interactive app bar, the pill-shaped Google search bar, and Oreo-style app shortcuts are part of Action Launcher (backward compatible to Android 5). A slide-out app drawer offers easy access to an app library and widgets for users. For speedy entry, special movements such as “covers” and “shutters” allow.
In your wallpaper, the Action Launcher automatically selects dominant colors and changes the app drawer, folder backgrounds and search box to fit.