A launcher is a GUI method for arranging, organizing, and interacting with applications on a device especially from the home screen. iPhone users are stuck with the default iOS launcher but Android devices allow users to personalize their home screen by complete changing the fonts, icon style, transitions and animations, etc.
I remember as far back as 2013 when I had a Samsung Galaxy S3 (which I rooted) and a lot of time on my hands. I tested virtually every Launcher there was at the time and when I was done, I moved on to experimenting with ROMs. There are a lot of new additions to the launcher category but only a few of them can compete with the “old-timer” launchers.
See Also: 10 Best Application Launchers for Linux Desktops
Today’s article is a compilation of the launchers that have the most note-worthy personalization options, UI/UX, and performance ratings.
1. Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is a versatile, customizable, user-friendly and reliable home screen replacement. It is designed to give Android users a cleaner, faster home launcher with features such as custom icon themes, subgrid positioning, backup and restore for migrating between phones, a customizable app drawer, night mode, and light or dark themes.
While it is completely free to use, Nova Launcher Prime equips pro users with more functionality such as unread counts, more scrolling effects, the option to hide apps from the app drawer, swipe gestures, etc.
2. Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft Launcher provides Android users with a modern home screen experience created by seemingly merging their Android phone with their PC. It is designed to enable users to organize everything on their phone starting from calendars and todo lists, to sticky notes.
Its feature highlights include contact organization, gesture customization, searching the web or finding locally stored files and apps using Microsoft’s universal search bar. Seamless transition between editing documents on the phone and PC, light and dark themes, screen time, Bing daily images for wallpapers, custom icon packs, customizable news feeds, and calendar events.
3. POCO Launcher
POCO Launcher is a fast, lightweight, and customizable launcher with a design that justifies anyone describing as fresh and clean. It uses a minimalist design to keep the app drawer tidy, features a convenient search function for finding icon colours, apps, and files.
Its latest version has made it compatible with the latest Android versions and added extra features such as double-tapping the screen to lock device, dark mode, and customizable notification badges.
Poco Launcher also allows users to hide applications from the app drawer instead of uninstalling them and it can be used with a variety of icon packs.
4. Smart Launcher 5
Smart Launcher 5 is a beautiful, unique launcher designed to make Android users work smarter. It automatically sorts applications into categories – a feature that Apple has recognized and recently added to its App Library in iOS 14. Smart Launcher has a beautiful smart UI which adapts its colours to the currently set wallpaper and what’s even cooler is the fact that is a community-driven project.
Its feature highlights include an ambient theme, adaptive icons, an ultra-immersive mode that allows users to hide the navigation bar and maximise screen space, smart search, a build-in clock widget with a weather forecast, on-screen notifications, hiding apps and locking apps with a PIN, wallpaper selection, and of course, complete customizability with custom fonts and icon packs.
5. APUS Launcher
APUS Launcher is a fast, efficient, and stylish launcher designed to beautify Android home screens with themes, wallpapers, Call Show, and other services. Call show themes is a feature that will make your screen look ‘cool’. It also features smart folders, quick settings, the option to hide apps, widgets, and swipe gestures.
APUS feature highlights include Discovery – a section where users can find good apps, videos, and meet friends that are nearby. Know – a hub for news, weather, and traffic information. Search – a universal search function for surfing the Internet and finding local files. It also has widgets for a weather forecast, clock, and search.
6. Evie Launcher
Evie Launcher is a performance-centric home screen replacement for Android users. Its key features include a universal search for quickly finding apps and documents, quick navigation using swipe gestures, custom shortcuts which can be created by long-pressing on search results, personalization of layouts, wallpapers, icon size, etc.
Evie Launcher also supports the import/export of layouts for other devices, different search engine options, frequently used apps, hiding apps, app drawer and folder grid customization, local home screen icons, and a ton of app options.
7. Action Launcher
Action Launcher is an Android screen replacement app that draws functionality inspiration from Pixel Launcher and then makes it a lot more colourful. It offers a full customizable dock search box, widgets for weather and time, app shortcuts, support for notification dots, shutters, and support for adaptive icons.
As the name suggests, Action Launcher’s selling points are action-based. For example, tapping a Cover loads an app, swiping a Cover opens an already customized (hidden) folder, and icons are automatically resized to match Material Design’s recommended icon size. Last but not least, Action Launcher allows layout imports from popular launchers like Now Launcher, Nova, Google Now, and TouchWiz.
8. GO Launcher
GO Launcher is arguably the most versatile launcher on this list with over 10,000 free mobile themes, tons of wallpapers, 20+ transition effects, built-in applications for boosting phone speed, managing installed apps, creating DIY wallpapers with stickers and animations, hiding apps, and locking apps.
Its UI is completely customizable with different HD wallpapers, icon packs, fonts, lock screen interfaces with 3D effects, and widgets with built-in layouts for the weather forecast, and world clocks. If you’re looking to completely change your Android the Go Launcher is a definite try.
9. Launcher iOS 13
Launcher iOS 13 is an iOS-style home screen replacement for Android users. It works together with two other iOS Launcher supported apps namely Control Center and Assistive Touch to give the Android OS an iOS look and feel.
There are several launchers on the PlayStore that offer the same functionality but Launcher iOS 13 is by far the best launcher app to do so without Root permission. When you install it, remember to complete the iOS aesthetic by setting a suitable wallpaper.
Launcher iOS 13
10. XOS Launcher
XOS Launcher is a smart, stylish, and lightweight Android launcher designed to bring the Android home screen to life. It features a ton of themes and wallpapers for a suiting background, font swap with the possibility to preview fonts before selecting them, rolling app icon effects, a built-in freezer app for speeding up the phone, and global search, among other cool functions.
Last on this list but certainly not the least, XOS Launcher is designed to make using the Android device a breeze without compromising its style or customizability.
So there you have it, folks. The best Launchers for your Android smartphones and tablets that 2020 has to offer. Are there others that should have made it to the list? Or perhaps, they will make it to a top-20 list; feel free to add your suggestions in the comments box below.