best android launcher apps for android
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! Google Now Launcher is shutting its doors in 2017. That is why it no longer makes an appearance on this list. That makes us very sad.


Action Launcher

Price: Free / $4.99+
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Action Launcher has long been a favorite Android launcher of our readers. It comes with a stock Android feel. However, there are some extra features over top that add some uniqueness. Quicktheme lets you customize the colors of your UI based on your wallpaper. Shutters lets you check out an app's widget without actually setting one on the home screen. It even has theming and customization elements to make your phone feel more like Android Oreo. There is also icon pack support, frequent updates, and a lot more. There's a lot to like about this one. Even the app drawer is configurable.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

ADW Launcher 2

Price: Free / $3.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
ADW Launcher used to be on this list until the developer stopped supporting. However, with the launch of ADW Launcher 2, it was an obvious choice to add it back to the list. This one includes an updated UI that fits in line better with stock Android. Additionally, there are launcher shortcuts, many customization options, extensions, and tons of other modern features. It also has one of the best make-your-own-widget features that we've seen. It has retaken its rightful place among the Android launcher elite. You can download it for free or pick up the pro version as an in-app purchase for $3.49.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Apex Launcher

Price: Free / $3.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
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. The developer is in the middle of improving the launcher a lot. Those trying it out can expect big changes in 2017.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Apex Launcher

Arrow Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher had its ups and downs. Now, it seems to have grown into 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. Microsoft also updates the launcher frequently with new features. The features also generally integrate with other Microsoft products. That makes it good for people who use Microsoft products.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Arrow Launcher

Atom Launcher

Price: Free / $1.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Atom Launcher is another newer Android launcher app that is 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. That way you can see if you like it before pitching for the pro version.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY


EverythingMe Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
EverythingMe Launcher shut down and left the Play Store back in 2015. They returned to the Play Store in January 2017. That's great news because this is a very decent Android launcher. It boasts a lot of smart features. There are smart folders that automatically categorize your apps. It also has a contextual feed of things like notifications, missed calls, calendar events and more. The app takes a bit to learn your habits. The thing is that it works very well once it does. You can use the launcher for free.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
EverythingMe Launcher

Evie Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Evie Launcher is one of our picks for the best Android apps of 2016. It's a lightweight, fast Android launcher with some unique features. It uses the Pixel Launcher-style app drawer that you can slide up from the bottom of the screen. It also comes with support for icon packs, a no-dock mode, and you can change things like the grid size on the home screen. Evie Launcher even has things like unread badges, widget customization, and more. It's totally free to download with no in-app purchases.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Evie Launcher

Launcher 8

Price: Free / $1.99+
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
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. Except, you know, with a functioning YouTube app. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app. The launcher is free to download.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Lightning Launcher

Price: $4.99 / $1.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Lightning Launcher used to be a fairly decent, minimal Android launcher. It has since grown into one of the most customizable Android launchers ever made. It's still super lightweight too. It gives you the ability to change virtually anything on the home screen. You can even have multiple sets of home screens for multiple occasions. Perhaps its most unique feature is its scripting support. You can use JavaScript to make Lightning do all kinds of stuff. There are also additional plugins, language packs, and more available for download. The feature list isn't all that long comparatively, but it seems to tick all the right boxes. The app also has a learning curve, but it's worth learning.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Next Launcher 3D Shell

Price: Free / $16.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Next Launcher 3D Shell is by GO Dev. Those are the same people who do GO Launcher. It features 3D animations, a variety of transition effects. and some unique customization options. It also includes a scroll bar that lets you spin your home screens around and find the one you're looking for. Admittedly, it's one of the most expensive Android launcher apps out there. We wouldn't blame you if the price of entry was too high. However, you can try out the app for free. Additionally, you can get the app cheaper if you buy it as an in-app purchase from the trial instead of the standalone app.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY


Nova Launcher

Price: Free / $4.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since the good old days. It remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customization features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. The app also gets updated at a breakneck pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly and new features are added consistently. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone. It's the one we'd recommend you try first.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Nova Launcher

Smart Launcher 3

Price: Free / $4.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Smart Launcher 3 has been around for a while. It's also been updated quite a bit. Its biggest claim to fame is the various ways that you can have your icons displayed. There's the classic flower shape, various other grids, and more. Additionally, you can have notifications on your home screen, a contextual search, lots of themes, plugin support, and more. You can even hide apps behind a password lock if you want to. It has a good list of features. However, it does a great job to not feel bloated. You can download the app for free to try it out.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Smart Launcher 3

Solo Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY Android launcher. It puts a lot of emphasis on giving users the ability to do stuff their way. The app itself has Material Design, gestures, themes, wallpapers, and more. By most standards, that's a fairly basic set of features. However, it's enough to give you a lot to do. On the negative side, it does include useless things like cache cleaning, speed boosting, and memory wiping. Those things are little more than fads because they don't actually work. It's easy enough to ignore it, at least for most people. If not, then skip this one and try one of the others.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

TSF Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
TSF Launcher is one of the unique launcher apps. It features a variety of customizations, including full gesture support. It can do a lot of things that look really cool. However, it doesn't bring all that much to the table that other launchers don't emulate to some extent. Still, it's a lot of fun to use. Some of the extra features include 3D animations, an unlimited dock bar, batch selections of things like icons on the home screen, widgets, and more. It's completely free to download and use. It also has an extra plugin that adds app badges.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Yahoo Aviate Launcher

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo bought it out. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout. It boasts a feature called Smart Stream. That's essentially a less effective version of Google Now. The app swings a little bit depending on the update, but it's generally fairly stable. It's also free.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any of the best Android launcher apps, tell us about them in the comments! Should the Pixel Launcher ever make it to Google Play, you can bet that it’ll end up on this list post haste! You can find our latest app lists by clicking here!

Joe Hindy
Joe Hindy is known as the 'app guy' around these parts. He also likes to branch out and talk about a variety of other topics from gaming to TV tech, and more.