Sometimes your Android home screen can be boring. You may not like TouchWiz, Sense, Motoblur, or even stock Android. You may not want to root your device to fix that either. Thankfully there’s a different way to give your Android device a bit more oomph. We’ve gone into the Google Play Store in search of some of the best launchers for Android, and we’ve come back with a few impressive ones! As usual, if you’d rather watch the video, just head on down to the bottom of the article.
First up is 91 Launcher. This is a fun and simple launcher that offers a very smooth experience, even if it seems pretty simple. While you can get into deep customization with this particular launcher, 91 Launcher sticks with the basics: good widgets, wallpapers, and themes.
Don’t let its simplicity fool you though. 91 Launcher has a lot of themeing and customization options, such as transition animations. It’s not going to take you a lot of time to come up with a customization that you’re happy with. So if you’re looking for a great launcher that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles, 91 Launcher is worth checking out.
The Apex Launcher may ring a few bells to you, as its been around for quite awhile and has garnered a good amount of popularity. Unlike 91 Launcher, Apex is filled to the brim with features and customization options. We’re not kidding either — you can do a lot of customization, such as the app drawer, home screens, themes, icon packs, and cool transition effects. It really is one of the more customizable launchers out there that doesn’t get too hectic.
After customizing your smartphone, you may want to set up the same customization options on your tablet. Like most of these apps, Apex Launcher does have tablet support, so that’s entirely doable. It’s an overall positive experience, and despite all of the customization options, it’s very slick in the performance department. The only downside is that all of the cool features are in the paid version, but that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
GO Launcher is the most downloaded launcher on our list, which probably has something to do with it being a freemium offering. It’s packed full of features, and you can even further customization options by downloading a seemingly endless supply of add ons.
The performance of GO Launcher is pretty good, but GO Launcher can’t be fully appreciated until it’s entirely set up. This is where things get painfully annoying. Getting the launcher set up to your tastes can take hours, as there are a plethora of themes, customizations, features, and add ons. If you like fiddling around with a truck load of options, GO Launcher may just be up your alley. However, out of the rest of these launchers, some might find GO Launcher to be one of the more chaotic launchers out there.
One of the most dependable and well-received launchers is NOVA Launcher. Like most of the options on this list, there are a plethora of features, themes, and customizations, though, not nearly as many as GO Launcher. So if you like eye candy, NOVA Launcher has a good amount of it.
Perhaps one of its best features has to deal with widgets. You can put any 1 by 1 widget in the dock and even overlap your widgets to conserve that precious home screen space. Furthermore, you can even create widget collages. Aside from that, NOVA Launcher runs smooth. It’s just an all around good launcher.
Last up on our list is Smart Launcher Pro, and it’s different from the rest of the launchers on our list. Instead of keeping the general Android aesthetics, Smart Launcher Pro offers its own thing. However, this particular launcher seems to do it right, as unlike a lot of launchers that try this, people have responded positively with what Smart Launcher offers.
Here’s how it works. You start with a single home screen with shortcuts arranged in a circle. These shortcuts can be programmed to open whatever app you want, so you can get to your frequently used apps quickly and efficiently. From there you can access a modified app drawer and a 3 home screen lay for all of your widget needs.
If you take a look at our leaderboard (image above) you can see how these apps compete against each other. The ratings are based on Google Play Store ratings and downloads, so there’s no bias on our part.
Launchers are interesting, as each one does something unique. So we have a few honorary mentions. These include ADW Launcher, Launcher 7, Launcher 8, Next Launcher, EZ Launcher, Chameleon Launcher, and Big Launcher.
If there’s a good launcher that we should have mentioned, be sure to tell everyone in the comments below!