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Nothing launcher is available now (Update: Video review!)
- Nothing has launched a public beta of Nothing Launcher.
- This will be the default launcher of the upcoming Nothing Phone 1.
- So far, the launcher doesn’t have much going on, but it gives a taste of things to come.
Earlier this year, Carl Pei’s new company Nothing formally announced its intention to launch its first smartphone in 2022. The Nothing Phone 1 doesn’t have a release date yet, but we now have our first look at how it will work when you take it out of the box.
The Nothing Launcher — released today as a public beta — is now available from the Google Play Store. You can install it on a limited number of Android phones, specifically the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 series as well as the Google Pixel 5 and newer. OnePlus support is coming soon.
Nothing Launcher: What’s it like?
Upon first installing the Nothing Launcher, you’re presented with a fairly standard layout. You’ve got four icons in the dock, a Google Search widget above them, and then two other icons above that. The default icon pack comes from Nothing, which turns icons into circles, not unlike the Pixel launcher.
The default wallpaper is objectively bad considering it blurs out icon labels and makes the status bar pretty unreadable. If you want to change the wallpaper, you can long-press on a blank section of the home screen, hit Wallpaper & Style, and then Select a new wallpaper. However, all that does is take you to your phone’s default wallpaper picker, in my case Samsung’s.
There are also very few things you can change once you’re in the settings section. You can choose to auto-add new apps to the home screen or turn on/off notification dots on icons. That’s it.
The app drawer is also incredibly basic with a soft gray background and icons with black text labels. There’s a search bar at the top that only searches apps and nowhere else.
There are a few interesting widgets on offer, including an analog clock, digital clock, and weather information. Each one uses the Nothing “dots” or the brand’s black/red/white design. Outside of the design, though, the widgets don’t do anything special.
All in all, the Nothing Launcher is pretty anemic. Obviously, this is simply a beta so it will get better over time. If Nothing was hoping to really wow people out of the gate, though, this is likely going to leave folks more disappointed than anything else.