15 best Android launcher apps of 2016

by: Joe HindyAugust 15, 2016

Android launcher apps have long been an integral part of the Android experience. If you don’t like the way your home screens look or act, you can simply download an app to change all of it. There is no doubt that Android launcher apps have a far more diverse set of features than any other genre of application and you can really do some amazing things with these apps. Let’s take a look at the best ones! As of 2015, EverythingMe Launcher has closed its doors. We wish their team the best in their future endeavors!

Android launcher - Action LauncherAction Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Action Launcher has long been a favorite of our readers and it deserves a spot on this list. It comes with a stock Android kind of look but with several unique features baked in. Some of these include Quicktheme which uses your background to determine the theme accents, Covers which is a unique take on folders, Quickpage which is like a hidden home screen you can access almost anywhere, and plenty more. It has a long history of being stable with frequent updates. You can also follow developer Chris Lacy on Google+ by clicking here for news about updates.

Get it now on Google Play!

Apex Launcher android launcherApex Launcher

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Apex Launcher has been around for a very long time and remains one of the most iconic Android launcher apps ever. Like Action Launcher, it aims to give a stock Android look and feel with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. Among those include the ability to alter things like transition animations, scrolling habits, and there is even a scrolling dock where you can lay plenty of icons. Apex Launcher also includes a theme engine with many themes available on the Google Play Store and it also supports icon packs. It’s also quite stable on pretty much any device.
Android Launcher

Get it now on Google Play!

arrow launcher best android launcher appsArrow Launcher

[Price: Free]
Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher had mixed reviews when it was first released, but it seems to have grown into one a really good Android launcher. The idea with Arrow Launcher is that you get a home screen to put your apps and such. From there, you have a variety of pre-set home screens that will show you things like frequent contacts, reminders (powered by Wunderlist), recent documents, and your frequent apps. It takes a minute to set up, but anyone that’s ingrained into Microsoft’s ecosystem should definitely consider checking this one out.

Get it now on Google Play!

arrow launcher best android launcher apps

atom launcher best android launcher appsAtom Launcher

[Price: Free / $1.99]
Atom Launcher is another newer Android launcher app that seems to be moving in the right direction. It comes with a theme maker and you can find a variety of themes for it on the Google Play Store as well. It also comes with gesture controls, a hidden dock with extra settings, built-in widgets, icon pack support, and various other settings and customizations. It’s light and efficient, but has enough features to make it competitive. You can download it and use it for free to see if you like it enough to pay for the full version.

Get it now on Google Play!

GO Android launcherGO Launcher EX

[Price: Free with in app purchases / $5.99]
GO Launcher is among the most popular Android launchers out there with well over 100 million installs to date. This is likely thanks to its simplicity and extensive theming options. It comes with a fairly vanilla set of features that allow for slight customization but the biggest feature is the theming. There are a metric ton of GO Launcher themes and you can also use icon packs with this launcher. It’s easy to use and works rather well, even if some believe it to be a tad overrated.

Get it now on Google Play!

Google Now Launcher android launcherGoogle Now Launcher

[Price: Free]
Google Now Launcher is the the go-to launcher for fans of Google and Android. It is essentially the stock launcher experience with built-in Google Now. It features simplicity, “Okay, Google” hotword integration, translucent theming elements, and more. It’s not overly powerful or customizable, but it is slim, quick, and built-in Google Now is a must have for Google Now fans. It’s a great launcher that doesn’t use a lot of resources and this is what Nexus owners see when they turn on their devices for the first time.

Get it now on Google Play!

hola launcher best android launcher appsHola Launcher

[Price: Free]
Hola Launcher is an excellent Android launcher that seems to hit all the right buttons. It features some unique gesture controls, including a double-tap app drawer, and a quick launch swipe from the bottom corner that quickly accesses your frequently used apps and settings. You can also quickly and easily hide (and find) apps from your app drawer. It has tons of icons and themes to choose from, smart folders, and a built-in weather app if you want that. There is also a Boost feature is entirely useless, but you can easily ignore it. It’s also free.

Get it now on Google Play!

Android Launcher 8Launcher 8

[Price: Free]
Launcher 8 is a unique launcher because it looks nothing like Android. In fact, this launcher’s sole purpose of existing is to make your phone look like a Windows Phone. Using this, you can convert your widgets into Windows Phone style live tiles and create virtually the same experience you’d find on Windows Phone, but with Android instead. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app.

Get it now on Google Play!

best tablet games for AndroidSee also: 10 best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have42

Android launcher Lightning LauncherLightning Launcher

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Lightning Launcher isn’t the most popular on the list but it does have among the highest ratings. This Android launcher app has a very simple premise. It aims to use as few of your device’s resources as humanly possible. The features are a bit scant but do include some powerful ones including unlimited home screens, the ability to add and arrange icons anywhere you want, and its ability to run on almost nothing makes it a great launcher for older and lower end devices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something light and fast.

Get it now on Google Play!

Next Launcher Android launcherNext Launcher 3D Shell

[Price: Free / $16.99]
Next Launcher is among the most unique Android launcher apps on this list. It also happens to be developed by the GO Launcher developers so you know there’s some experience there. Next Launcher features a 3D style home screen layout that utilizes a scroll tab on the right side to quickly switch to any home screen you’ve created. It also features unique icon layouts, themes, a unique set of widgets (separate download), and those who pay for the app will get a lot more. You can also pick it up for cheaper than the list price if you buy it using the in-app purchases of the free version.

Get it now on Google Play!

Nova Launcher best android launcherNova Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since “the good old days” and remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customizable features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. It also gets updated at a fairly rapid pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone.

Get it now on Google Play!

nova launcher best android launcher apps

smart launcher android launcherSmart Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Smart Launcher 3 is another unique take on the Android home screen. This one has one single home screen with a number of shortcuts arranged in a flower-style pattern. The idea is to give access to apps quickly while using as little resources as possible to keep your device running quickly. It features notifications on the home screen, tons of available themes, security features like password-protected applications, and there are even plugins. It may be a bit simple for some, but it’s powerful and works very well.

Get it now on Google Play!

best Android Launcher Solo Launcher iconSolo Launcher

[Price: Free]
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY solution for those who like to have more control. It utilizes Material Design 2.0 which means you’ll have the latest options when it comes to design. There are a metric ton of customization options and you can make this launcher pretty much act and appear how you want. It also comes with theming, gesture controls, a clock/weather widget and more. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something small, fast, and customizable.

Get it now on Google Play!

Yahoo Aviate Android Launcher iconYahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo! bought it out a couple of years back. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them based on location and time of day. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout along with Smart Stream which is kind of like Google Now. It’s a powerful launcher and quickly becoming a go-to solution for a lot of people. It’s also totally free.

Get it now on Google Play!

Nokia Z Launcher best android launcher appsZ Launcher by Nokia

[Price: Free]
Z Launcher by Nokia is last on our list and this is one exceptionally minimal launcher. It features one home screen, an app drawer, and then an area where you can actually write out what you’re looking for. It’s a unique premise that’s great for those who enjoy something more minimal and slick and those who don’t need anything complex. It’s still in beta, but surprisingly stable and a worthy option. Check out our hands on video below to see exactly how it works!

Get it now on Google Play!

Related best lists:

Which is your favorite Android launcher? If we missed any launchers that you think should be in this list let us know about them in the comments below!
See all our best app lists.

  • Nathan Borup

    What about Buzz launcher?

  • drs6

    Action launcher should be here.

    • JosephHindy

      Both buzz and action launcher barely didn’t make the list. GO Launcher knocked them both off.

      • CoolCustomer

        Whoa how did Action Launcher get bumped by GO? Action Launcher while short on customization is like a Stock extension, it doesn’t bog you down with useless tweaks and actually brings innovations to launchers which we’ve rarely seen. With the exception of only being available on 4.0.1 or later “Shutters” and “Covers” are leaps and bounds over what other launchers are doing atm.

        • JosephHindy

          Because GO has like a million reviews and > 10 million downloads and still has a 4.5 in the Play Store. I think buzz had a 4.3 (too low) and Action had a 4.5, but only like 2500. 1000000 reviews and 4.5 beats 2500 reviews and 4.5.

          • Gotta love journalism that just relies on numbers.

          • CoolCustomer

            Ok, knowing you guys did it by numbers makes the list make sense but the title should be “Top Launchers” or “The Best of Android’s Most Popular Launchers”. I’ve really liked AA’s reboot thus far and frankly this is the only article I’ve ever had a negative view of. As a fan request could you guys do an in depth article on the new launchers out there or the most unique ones. I’m not sure about Lightning but I know Action Launcher is done by one guy and could really use a shout out from a megaphone like AA. It may even inspire the leaders of the category to take more risks and add experimental features like “Shutters” which would benefit the platform as a whole.

          • nishantsirohi123

            Go launcher has been there since i guess the HTC g1 was launched

          • Ivana Twinkle

            Sure, if you want to hand your privacy over to a Chinese company.

    • Homebrewman

      Tsf shell

      • chrisvoyce

        I have apex launcher on my s4 with the crumpled icon pack and the glass wallpaper looks fab and works brill

      • boffaencxoa

        ~Wow~ My
        friend Tina has just married to a handsome

        black man met through.. .Black White Húb.. C/o/M…… …It’s safe and worth a try. The convenient and safe way to
        date other cultures and races online. 1000s of black men, black women, white
        men and white women looking to date someone from another race online! So, if
        you want to look for people with which you can date, you are at the right
        place. With a brave heart to love. This is a paradise where love is color

    • Frederico Carnales

      ..and where’s LauncherPro!??!?!

      • Ernest Crus

        Outdated, thats why. Why is outdated? You know the answer.

      • Remcom00

        It was built for Android 2.x and not updated since so that’s probably why…

      • Donald Beatty

        What ever happened to the rewrite of launcher pro Frederico ? I us to love lp and was one of the first 100 to download to. Did you give up on the rewrite?

    • Sergio A. Guzmán

      Dodol launcher also should be in this list.

  • Mario

    No Action Launcher? The shutters feature is revolutionary tbh.

  • AndroidBrian

    Nova & Apex are pretty much the exact same launcher. But I agree they are the best two. Someone should break these down and decide which one is better. Your description for Apex and Nova launcher would have worked for either one of these.

    • player911

      Agreed both are similar. They both can do the same thing, but Apex has been getting slower. Nova feels completely fluid. Also Nova has a neat feature that lets Widgets overlap, so you can come up with some really cool page layouts. So Nova hands down… and I was an avid Apex fan.

      • AndroidBrian

        Yeah I use Nova now too. I used Apex for over a year and I tried out Nova again and it was a lot smoother than Apex.
        I don’t know what happened to Apex but your right it was lagging more and more after every update. Nova you can also change icons on the app drawer too, which is a cool feature.

    • Preben Nielsen

      I would argue that Nove is programmed a lot better than Apex. In Apex … when you change a simple setting (like sorting in app drawer) it seem to have to restart the whole launcher.

      Also, Nova handles icon packs much better and faster than Apex last I looked.

      • Guest123

        Yes!!! And my Apex seem to relaunch for no reason sometimes when i turn on my phone. I’m using Nova now, see if it’s much better but so far i’m loving it.

  • James

    Lightning Launcher should deserve a mention as well. They offer layered and unlimited size for widgets

  • JJ

    Action launcher is fairly new I suppose. But I have used every launcher out there and really like all the unique features it has added. It also runs buttery smooth but I am on a HTC one so if you are on a older phone your mileage could vary.

  • lala

    NOVA is the best, hands down. Apex is a bit more convenient but it lags on my S3 while Nova is totally fluid.

    • Doan

      No launcher is the best, hands down. Different launchers perform better on different devices, and each launcher provides its own set of unique features. The “best” launcher will depend on the user’s requirements for a launcher.

    • player911

      I’ve been a long time Apex fan but it just kept getting laggier and laggier on my newer devices. So bad that I went back to stock (same setup) and wow what a refresh. I eventually threw Nova on there and it is back to business. I use Nova on my Galaxy Nexus and Action Launcher on my Nexus 7. Both are good.

    • The Lion

      i found apex very glitchy

  • CiMO

    It takes me a couple of hours to set-up Go launcher each time I flash or get a new device, but at least my Android looks exactly as I want it.

  • Everything.me Launcher is the first “bells and whistles” launcher that I’ve stayed with since Netfront Life Screen. Sad to see it missing from the list.

  • LogicBomb

    after trying most of these launchers, GO makes my S3 run the smoothest

  • SeraZR™

    Lightning Launcher? -.-

  • Jurrud Potatotasty

    What about Dog Launcher pro and Firezon Launcher??? They are way better than #3-5!!!!!!!!

    • SirLoinMan

      Yeah Dog Launcher is the best!!!

  • Tombo Picko

    You could also mention off-market launchers like Xperia-Z Launcher, Touchwiz Launcher and such

    • Jurrud Potatotasty


  • Jurrud Potatotasty


    • Christof

      JURRUD, Please get off the internet, your poop suction is required.

    • Christof


  • nishantsirohi123

    The Launcher 7 and 8 are also amazing
    also launcher pro and holo launcher are equally good

    another is “simple home” made by LG it has no app drawer with apps pasted on the home screen

  • dandroid13
  • Kai Racho

    Where can we find Dog launcher and Firezon launcher? Any links?

  • AJ

    If you really miss the new Windows Mango (WIN 8) platform…Then you surely should get Launcher 8. Awsm Lumia experience.

  • Dragoon0030

    I am using homepack buzz launcher and one unique feature is that for each home screen u have, u can choose a different wallpaper. It is also very customisable with a site of what other people have made for ur downloading pleasure. If anyone is like me and looking to have more than one wallpaper, check it out

  • mrband

    SPB 3D Shell, SSLauncher, QQLauncher, 360Launcher, Hi Launcher, Regina 3D Launcher, TSF Shell, …


  • GO Launcher leaves so much trash on your phone when you remove it. Never again!

    • CoolCustomer

      +1, I’ve used GO once and will never touch anything from them again, I hate the “Everything and the kitchen sink” approach they use.

    • Preben Nielsen

      I used it for a long while but got tired of every update putting in irrelevant stuff to make me download even more of their stuff. Went on to Apex but finally ditched it for Nova, which is better IMO …. but still not perfect.

    • Xiaomi

      MIUI my friend. Ditch any need for a custom launcher and get with the future of smartphone technology.

  • Keith Richmond

    Next Launcher 3D is missing

    • DW Duck

      They changed it to shell from 3D it’s there

  • ollieg

    I’ve only used one launcher, so I won’t categorically proclaim it ‘best’, but I enjoy Unity Launcher. I only need to launch a few apps regularly. I like Unity Launcher’s accessibility from within any app and its subtle UI

  • Soonershooter

    Nova Prime on S4….

    • The Lion

      exactly my setup ,also have it on 2 other devices inc (believe it or not) a HP Touchpad which is still going strong a HTC Legend & i also have a Google edition HTC One which has the best launcher of them all :)

  • Joe

    Next 3d is much better than go apex nova and adw… I’ve tried all and settled on next 3d. Plus it’s made by the go launcher devs…

    • Mahesh

      i installed Next 3d today on my phone and may games started rebooting by itself.. i removed next and all good.


    Buzz Launcher should be here

  • nishantsirohi123

    it is windows 8 style with live tiles and widget tiles support
    extremely customizable and no ads

  • kat

    What would be that font on the Smart Launcher Pro display that says 3:54? It’s great.

  • Ahmer Madani

    how is solo launcher

    • Jayfeather787

      It’s okay. I experienced a bit of lag, but with a more powerful device, it should be fine.

  • Naren R Parashar

    NEXT Launcher is the best.
    All other launchers suck..

  • Jeff

    Question. Is it OK to delete the stock launcher on nexus 7 2 and replace it with nova?

    • Jayfeather787

      Maybe, but if you update Nova Launcher, the screen might go black, and maybe you will experience a couple force closes.

  • Mike

    Vire Launcher!

  • Q.

    I use Nova launcher on my GS2. I rarely suffer from lag and really like how you can expand the app grid!

  • oba55

    Where is Vire Launcher?

  • Groud Frank

    Aviate Launcher

  • Fotbollsgräs

    I’ve jumped boat from Nova to Aviate (and Themer).

  • Mahmood Faysal

    i’m wondering how you forgot to add buzz launcher it’s the best for me .
    i like Nova , Apex and Go Launcher nice choice
    if you want more good launchers i found a good article about Best Android Launchers 2014

  • Nova seems absolutely liquid. Also Nova has a nice function that allows Icons overlap, so you can come up with some really awesome web page templates. http://www.oleocomm.com/

  • The Launcher 7 and 8 are also amazing. http://ssc-result.org/

  • lonestar

    Next launcher 3d is the best for me

  • The Lion

    i prefer nova , the only glitch is when you first boot the device it freezes for a while i think something to do with loading in widgets , once it settles down it is great , does it on all my devices without fail.

  • Xceedia

    dodol launcher fo me :D

    • Pilot

      same here

  • fandroid

    91 launcher is now mobolive u shuld hav know this

    • JosephHindy

      This article was written like a year ago and it’s getting updated soon. Relax bud :)

      • Tor Schjølberg

        Well better test and throw in sslauncher here as well. :-)

  • Amrit Zoad

    Why the original Mi Launcher is not mentioned in this post? Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.miui.mihome2

    EDIT: The Google Play link won’t work for others, who never installed this app. If you want to install this app anyway, then get it here,
    Link: http://zhuomian.xiaomi.com/

  • Fabio Santo

    Hey guys, have a look at 2tap Launcher https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fabiosanto.home Thanks

  • Abd

    Apex all the way. Full of features and VERY battery friendly, something thats completely overlooked in this article

  • kaushik ray

    Yahooo Aviator all the way.Just loving the way it is..

  • Google now launcher is the best

  • boffaencxoa

    ~Wow~ My
    friend Tina has just married to a handsome

    black man met through.. .Black White Húb.. C/o/M…… …It’s safe and worth a try. The convenient and safe way to
    date other cultures and races online. 1000s of black men, black women, white
    men and white women looking to date someone from another race online! So, if
    you want to look for people with which you can date, you are at the right
    place. With a brave heart to love. This is a paradise where love is color

  • Arjit Mehra

    Instead of Mi home,use Mi Express.It’s like the official MIUI launcher,much better!!

  • Venky

    Buzz launcher gets a 9 rating ! Wtf !
    It’s bloated, themes are unpolished and childish compared to themer.
    These are the launchers I’ve used extensively.
    Action – 9
    Nova – 9
    Themer- 8 ( Consumes a bit more battery than other launchers)
    Aviate- 8 ( lack of customization)
    Google now- 7
    Buzz Launcher – 6

    • JosephHindy

      All of your cons against Buzz Launcher are based on opinion. Not everyone thinks or has the same tastes that you do. It has 500,000 themes and not all of them are childish.

      “bloated” is subjective.

  • Abd

    How could you give Apex a 7 and Buzz a 9?
    I tried them both and Apex wins No Contest. A major limitations in buzz is that you can have only one single Dock page! Furthermore, you cant even control Dock Margins. And cant edit home Page Indicator. And cant edit widgets margins. It has more limitations but this is what I remember now. Apex doesnt have any of these limitations. I would give Buzz a 6 and Apex a 9.

    • JosephHindy

      Different strokes for different folks and Apex still looks like it did back when ICS was a thing. Sorry man, it just seems “old” and “old” isn’t necessarily good even if it’s stable.

  • Jayfeather787

    Nova FTW

  • Sorin

    I’m gamer and I use Launcher 8 because I can set big tile for each my favorite game.
    My homescreen pretty much like PSP game browser now <3

  • trwb

    Great article! Thanks. Aviate is kind of cool.

  • Mihai Ardelean

    Atom launcher?

  • wezi427

    What happened to TSF Shell 3D launcher, was it abandoned in favor of Next Launcher?

    • JosephHindy

      No, Next is just a better 3D launcher in my opinion.

      • wezi427

        Thanks for the reply. I was concerned because I recently purchased the launcher. Obviously the TSF launchers are expensive and I didn’t want to feel like I wasted money. I really enjoy the Launcher especially on my Note 2.

        • JosephHindy

          TSF is a good launcher. Even above average. I just don’t have enough confidence in their product to put it on a list like this.

  • Eric Townsend

    Again… no TSF Launcher… Hum…

  • chico


    • Albin

      Agree. It’s been fast and bug free on my older LG. Plenty of configuration choices.

      • JosephHindy

        ADW hasn’t been updated in 13 months. That’s waaaaay too long.

        • B Standley

          I’ve used ADW with Android up until today at 4.4.4 and have zero issues. Their last update (yes a year ago) fixed any issues I’ve had in the past. If it ain’t broke…

          • JosephHindy

            Yeah if it ain’t broke don’t fix it but that also means the launcher will never get any new features. What if it doesn’t work well with Android L? You’re also but one person, what if there are others with different devices that are having issues?

            If he comes back and starts doing updates, I’ll gladly put him on the list but the fact is that I can’t (in good faith) put an app up there where my readers may have an issue and it falls on deaf ears. It’s the difficulty of appealing to such a large audience. The app works well for you but well over 150,000 people have read this piece (so far) and if any of them have issues, those issues will never be fixed.

            Also, I’m all about supporting developers and if that guy isn’t supporting his app, why should get to stand next to all these developers that do, right?

          • B Standley

            Makes sense. I’ll agree with that. Thanks for the well thought out reply!

          • JosephHindy

            You’re most welcome :) the other thing I meant to mention (and forgot) is that because I write for such a large audience, I have to be careful about what I recommend. If I did recommend it and there was some big issue that a lot of people had, now I’m the guy recommending broken apps and people wouldn’t listen to me anymore.

            I’ll freely admit, I have a reputation to protect :) and I don’t mind putting it on the line for devs who update their apps but I won’t for devs that do not.

          • B Standley

            Fair enough! I wouldn’t want you to recommend something less than stellar to me either. ;)

  • Martin Kaiser

    Missing the Sony launcher – best and fastest ever!

  • netanil

    Nova kicks ass. Add icon packs and it kicks and takes names.

  • Nathan Wersal

    What about Widget Locker?

  • Ivory

    What about TSF Launcher… I developed software for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best that I have ever experienced.

  • Brian

    Solo launcher

  • Gideon Salim

    How about Epic Launcher?

  • Silvia Rivera

    It was about time lightning launcher was added to this list!
    I know it’s not for the normal user, but it has more options than bacon!
    AND the dev’s G+ page is awesome! You can talk to the dev and get help from everyone in the community.

    (No, I have NOT been paid for my opinion. Although that would be nice, I am just a regular chick really into modding her S5.)

  • JPS

    360 launcher. You should try it out..

  • Denmark de Guzman

    i like buzz launcher

  • Apex paid edition may not be the best among the paid launchers. But hell, Apex free edition is the best among the free launchers.

  • Josh York

    Nova prime gets my vote. I enjoy using the unique lauchers, like action launcher. But inevitably, I always come back to using Nova. Fantastic in everything it does.

  • Jamie


  • Charles Humphries

    SSLauncher the Original. Also, Buzz Launcher has a huge set of advantages. It is seriously battery friendly and it has a free companion widget maker that simply works well. But I change launchers all time and have them set up for different styles and looks. I like the variety.

  • dhinged

    I can’t believe Blur wasn’t mentioned. I’m super-picky about launchers and that should definitely be in the top 5.

  • John Bailey

    Sick and tired of contextual launchers that don’t work,

  • Shujah

    ATOM LAUNCHER u forgot..

  • Nathaniel James

    Trebuchet Launcher from Cyanogen > Everything else

  • immortal_wanderer

    Based on these recommendations, it looks like I’ll either be trying Themer (again), Nova Launcher, or Launcher 8 in the near future.

  • Buka Android

    I love smart launcer :)
    Visit my blog Buka Android

  • Tried several, but I always fall back to Nova launcher. It has everything and works great.
    Smart Launcher is really nice, but too simple for me in the length. Great for maybe old people or others that aren’t that into technology.

    Aviate is great, but it does not have landscape support. I mostly play games and watch videos on my Nexus, so I hold it in landscape, so when I close to change apps, I have to turn my device. Slightly frustrating.

  • pol

    Flow Home; Listener Launcher; Crescendo.

  • Lilith_Black

    I go for Nova on my S3 and loved it for the speed and customisation options. (It’s much less laggy than Touchwiz: my S3 rarely, if ever, stuttered on Nova launcher.)

    I am sticking to stock on my LG G3 for now though: I see few incentives to switch (The icons don’t look ugly and the launcher is smooth so far)

  • KK Launcher (KitKat,L launcher) is better.

  • mario75

    Where’s UR launcher? It has cool 3d wallpapers

  • Redmond Rose

    At least Lightning finally made it, Lightning has javascripting support too y’know

  • R

    what about Apus launcher then???!?!?!?!?

  • Some2

    How about APUS Launcher?

  • kcw

    SSLAUNCHER is the BEST! period.

  • Grinspawn

    It should be noted (last I checked anyway) Buzz Launcher has no landscape orientation. That would be a con for tablets.

  • App Fetch

    Why not try out App Fetch – It is an easier and faster way to find, organize and launch your applications. It can be used with any of these launchers.

  • Jade Hollowell

    Whaaaa?! No Solo???? BLASPHEMY, I SAY!

  • Mafioso

    Nova Launcher FTW!

  • Jessse

    No offense but Buzz Launcher shouldn’t be added…it’s just too bulky and requires soo many add ons

  • Lucid666

    I have tried many of these and most happy with C M Launcher. Not listed

  • Linda Y

    Launcher 8 is extremely cool for me! Even there are small bugs, I still look forward to its updating for next version!

  • To add to the missing top cool android launchers==>http://www.iappnalysis.com/2015/04/best-android-theme-launcher-apk-apps.html

  • Krupal Ashok
  • Siddique Nagarkar


  • skyelm

    Hola Launcher…. Its great for me and very lightweight with many features. Own weather widget..quick access…search..automatic folders etc
    Try it…. Hola Launcher.

  • Paolo T.

    I bought Action Launcher 3 for my Note 3, and it’s too damn Crashtastic.

    Nova Launcher 10/10

  • Albin

    Since I’m still hanging with Jellybean, I’m still rocking ADW. It’s small, fast and stable. And then the learning curve – launchers take a while to figure out and I suspect many users time would be better spent diving in to get the best from any one of these than hopping and splashing around in the shallow end with a bunch of them.

  • HM8486

    for me LINE Launcher is the best

  • vinznsk

    How about APUS Launcher (apusapps.com)? You didn’t say anything about it

  • Tajwar

    Nova for the win

  • Tajwar

    This article of Android authority is sponsored by… ios8 launcher and icons!!!

  • Daggett Beaver

    The Smart Launcher video doesn’t do it justice. It’s the perfect launcher for me, because there’s nothing I hate more than having to create a bunch of folders and organize my apps in them.

  • Shawn Hamm

    Why is arrow launcher not on this list? It’s a solid launcher by Microsoft!

    • SyCoREAPER

      Arrow is still fairly new. Is it established enough?

      • raffr

        I love it, runs great on my Galaxy S5.


    Action Launcher 3 is the best of the list

  • rahul wason

    HI Team,
    You have missed the most complete launcher of all ” Apus Launcher”. I have used all the above launchers but some seem to incomplete in their features or slow down the device performance overall. Apus Launcher is one of the most easy to use and complete launcher. Please evaluate the Apus Launcher and I assure you, you will change your opinion about it.

  • Great Dude

    Just saying, Launcher 8 has also a paid version and not just free version.

  • trapchan

    The title should be all kind of Android Launcher you might want to try (or not).

  • Nerdologist Jon

    what about LMT Launcher????? Is that still a relevant launcher these days?

  • GloMouse

    Biggest problem with launcher 8 is its a huge batter drainer. When I first got this phone I left it sitting for 3 days with out touching it while waiting for it to be unlocked. Went from %100 to %73 in that time. After installing launcher 8/w8 launcher my battery went from %100 to %68 over night while sleeping for 8hrs.

  • Visit: http://www.andropps.com – An Alternative App Store for Android

  • CC kk

    I used everythingme launcher. It’s cool. but after it close down, i used APUS launcher, which works well too.

  • rurushx

    Lightning Launcher is just SPECTACULAR, I use it on my OnePlus One, and a friend on his Samsung S4, and when you see both the phones you couldn’t say it’s the same launcher since you can do whatever you want to customize your phone, the only negative point is that it takes some time to be used to it

  • john

    I like the Cube Launcher by siprdev.

  • JJ

    Hola Launcher is also a good contender in this list. I feel you have missed it out.

  • Deepak

    Zen launcher by Asus – Currently using it. Its pretty good and performs well. Looks cool too. Good inbuilt features. You may try too.

  • raffr

    I’ve used action launcher but switched to MS Arrow launcher a couple of months ago, and I love it. When (yes when) MS does make an android phone I expect it to use Arrow and run on cyanogen. Looking forward to that phone!

    • AlexFirth91

      I hope so I would sell my Galaxy for one of those.

    • Arrow is a great launcher, but I would like to use live wallpapers though.

  • schmolch

    The features of Lightning Launcher are a bit scant? Are you out of your mind? LL Launcher has more features then all other Launchers combined. Can you put at least a little bit of effort into your “reviews”?

  • Daggett Beaver

    Smart Launcher has other options for the home screen than the flower arrangement. I use the grid layout, personally. My wife uses the flower layout. IMO, it is the best launcher available, simply because it does the best job of saving you the trouble of creating folders and organizing your apps. Other launchers organize apps for you, but just not as well as Smart Launcher does.

    The one thing I wish Smart Launcher had was the feature where you draw a letter on screen to get to an app. I forget which launcher has that feature, but I thought it was quite cool.

    • Rob

      Smart Launcher Pro is my default launcher, has been for ages. I try lots of launchers and always end up back on Smart. There’s also features in it that never seem to get mentioned. I think reviewers always just install and have a look without exploring options properly. The flower layout of the icons for homepage is default but I always switch to grid. I especially like the ability to set a secondary function to homescreen icons. It can be a shortcut, secondary app to open or even a popup widget. You can also replace the built in clock widget with another clock widget of your choice. I use the Xperia clock widget. Youi can also install google app and enable the search widget for homescreen and voice activated google search functions properly. It just works! Another plus is that it will re-orient to landscape and reset the homescreen layout to suit. Very good and it even works this way on older Android versions than Lollipop. There’s also a varied choice of theming in Google Play.
      Check it out properly, not just a five minute try. I challenge you to say you don’t like it if you give it a fair go.
      And no, I have nothing to do with the Dev in any way, just a long time happy customer :-)

  • Daggett Beaver

    By the way, I recommend Nano Launcher for people who want a launcher that requires the least amount of effort. It’s ridiculously tiny and fast, yet is even more flexible than Google Now Launcher. The only thing I don’t like about it is the wonky widgets page.

  • Nicholas Lie

    Line Launcher.

  • Arian Gomez

    I want to throw my vote for the Arrow Launcher. I installed it a couple days ago and it had definitely been perfected since it was in BETA. Very pretty nice design and very simplistic. I like that you pick your 15 favorite apps and the apps are on the home screen. It’s a brilliant launcher.

  • Izzy

    Hi, I’m looking for a launcher that has a folder in folder capabilities, is there one? Currently I’m using the nova launcher together with folder organizer quit a heavy combination.
    Any suggestion? Izzy

  • Hamyd Ansari

    Strange that I don’t see SwiftKey Hexa Launcher in this list. A Green room project

    • JosephHindy

      It’s new, we’ll see how it turns out over the next year :)

  • AnshulKumar

    I tested Themer but it has very few themes which works properly other themes are just for show off. Sometimes music is not playing, keep tapping to make it play. Google Now & Nova are the best. Clean & simple.

  • Awesome Bryner

    Do you know which ones have no ads because I tried a few of those mentioned and they got ads all over and asking you to download other stuff?

  • pandicul

    everything me launcher ?
    edit : it was in vid but not in list

    • JosephHindy

      EverythingMe Launcher has shut its doors and no longer exists.

  • Isgak

    Aviate for me. Its clean, and everything is place where it should be. You can still add widgets, but for me its just a clean look.

  • Anjan Oleti

    Total Launcher (earlier ssLauncher) has been my all-time favourite

  • I have tried most of the launchers on this list, however it seems like there’s usually one thing missing from all of them. I return to Nova which always has that one thing I was looking for.

  • I try new launchers and keep coming back to Nova. Nova just works and does what I need it to do.

  • jarif

    None of those has (apparently) what I need. I need a way to start 1) an app, or 2) bunch of apps in one touch. Z-Launcher is very good on 1), but then… Consider this: usually when I go into my car, I want to launch onboard camera for traffic, and tomtom speed camera app for GPS-speed and overspeed warnings, and of course Google Maps to help me in navigation. I want a launcher that knows what to launch when it connects to car bluetooth, or provide me a button for launching all those at once. Surely there must be such somewhere… (or do I need to write my own ;))

  • Reasfdasd

    How the hell Themer is added in a 2016 article about lanchers? Themer is dead for 6 months already. No more updates since 2015, theme servers are dead. Its dead app.

  • Alexander Hardy

    Give DecentHome a try. It turned my 6 inch brick of a phone to something usable again.

  • J.j. Evans

    CM Launcher is nice, but only their newer CM Launcher 3D remains…and it’s nowhere nearly as nice. Perhaps that should be replaced with Hola Launcher, which also is small and has a boatload of theme options. Another cool launcher that oughta be here is Holo Launcher HD (I think they renamed it Holo Launcher for Jellybean, and the original got renamed Holo Launcher for ICS).

  • Daggett Beaver |dBz|

    Your Smart Launcher description is badly out of date. It has multiple ways to display icons on the home screen, and its most distinctive feature is that it automatically categorizes your apps for you into sub-drawers. You can even add categories and it will automatically detect which apps belong in the new category and move them there. It sometimes makes mistakes, but you can easily move them from one drawer to another. Finally, it has the best (IMO) options for searching for apps.

  • Gideon Salim

    SquareHome 2, anyone?

  • ertmuirm

    great to see it on your list, but your description of Lightning Launcher is not correct

    it actually has the most features of all the launchers on this list (and can replicate the features of any of these launchers), only that the process for doing so is not straightforward (e.g. knowledge of scripting). it offers the most customization options and is probably best characterized as the “android nerd’s” or “pro” launcher

    case in point: Action Launcher has a “covers” feature for home screen icons/folders, but Lightning Launcher offers full gesture customization for icons (allowing different shortcuts/apps to be launched for taps in different locations of the icon, swipes in different directions, etc.)

  • Hanak

    Evie is also a very good launcher

  • r wesley edwards

    I was a little surprised I didn’t see C launcher as Google Play showed it w high ratings. I’ll look at these. I really just want a semi-transparent Google bar.

  • Stormwatch

    Smart Launcher is my favorite, I love the way it organizes the apps automatically.

  • Mehmet Kozal

    Asap Launcher too can be easily added to this list IMO.

  • Thelip95032

    I’m new to Android and was wondering why launchers need so much access to what I consider private data.
    I went to install the Next 3D launcher ( lite version) and it wanted accces to contacts,sms,phone ,etc
    Why does a launcher need access to my contacts ?

  • MIUI Operating System

    omg after using MIUI for a year all of these launchers are just cringeworthy!