The Best Android Launchers Of 2017

Best Android Launcher Apps 2017

Customization is an area where Android wins big over all its competitors. Be it making the home screen look the absolute minimal, or changing the layout of the apps on the home screen, or even being able to change the app-opening animation, these apps called 'Launchers' can help you take your customization game to a whole new level! 
But then again, a simple search for the word 'Launcher' gives back hundreds of apps on the Play Store. So which one of should you install? Well, we have tried over 80 popular launchers, just to bring you the best of them. Just click on the app names to go and install them directly from the Play Store. So, here are our top pics in the Home Screen Launchers' category. 

1. Nova Launcher (Free) /  Prime
Who is it for? : Everyone. From the lazy ones to the hardcore customizers. 

Nova has been our favorite since long ago, and there's a reason for it, which is, complete control over everything. Nova's main alternatives like Apex Launcher have often been preferred by some users, but they don't quite match up to the set of features and options provided by Nova Launcher. From setting up about a dozen of customizable gestures to setting custom images as icons on the home screen, Nova has got you covered. The recent updates like the Google Now Companion & Sesame Shortcut compatibility compelled us to go back to Nova again and again after trying out any other launcher. Pro tip: Use this Nova Launcher Tips & Tricks guide to get the absolute best of the app! You can also be a beta tester of the app if you desire to try upcoming new features before everyone else. Nova launcher is available for free on the Play Store, but in case you want to customize home screen gestures and unlock more features, you'll have to grab Nova Launcher Prime (Paid), which, by the way, is entirely worth what you get. 

2. Elvie Launcher (Free)
Who is it for? : The minimalists. People who want their phone interface to look minimal, without needing to tinker around with the complicated stuff.

Elvie launcher is one of the new kids on the block. It has quickly become the crowd favorite and is one of the highest rated launchers (4.6 Stars) at the time of writing this article. The reason is that Elvie gets all the basics right and adds only some useful features, keeping away all the complicated customization options away. Features like swipe down to search and custom shortcuts are features that most people would use. It also doesn't hurt that Elvie is one of the lightest and fastest Android launchers (see the entire list of the lightest Android launchers here). 

3. Google Now Launcher (Free)
Who is it for? : The purists. People who absolutely love what's served to them by Google.

Google Now Launcher came into the scene with Android KitKat and has never been disliked by Android Purists. The reason- it is a dead simple launcher app that does what it's meant to do, along with Google Now integration. Although Google Now Launcher doesn't include fancy features or customization options and this app still is one of the most downloaded launchers on the Play Store, because Google makes it. Do note though that the Google Now Launcher will soon be discontinued and will be replaced by the newer Pixel Launcher, which is also one of our favorites, but we couldn't list it here as it isn't available for all devices just yet. It does, however, find a mention in our list of 'The Best Android Apps You Won't Find On The Play Store' which you must check out. 

4. Smart Launcher 3 (Free, with in-app purchases)
Who is it for? : The organized minimalists. People who want their phone to look minimalistic, but also want all their apps and games to be grouped and organized automatically.

Smart Launcher 3 is one of the most minimalistic launchers you can find in the Play Store, or if we had to put it more honestly, Smart Launcher is the app which started the trend of minimalism in home screen launchers. Long-time Android customizers will remember when every other custom launcher was running behind 3D animations and new features, Smart Launcher hopped into the scene with only two primarily features: minimalist UI and auto-categorized apps in the drawer. These two features still remain the main reasons why users love Smart Launcher 3. The launcher now also supports themes (there are a lot of them in the Play Store), and widgets. To sum it up, if minimalism is your thing, and you want your apps to be organized, Smart Launcher 3 is for you. 

5. Action Launcher (Free, with in-app purchases)
Who is it for? : The 'quick' customizers. People who like to keep it stock, but occasionally play around with customization, and also want to save a few taps.

Action Launcher brings with it all the Pixel launcher features, but that's not why this app is one of our favorites. It's the host of added 'quick' features like Quickthemes, Quickedit, Quickbar, Quickdrawer and more that we missed while trying other launchers. Also, features like shutters and covers add more productivity while keeping the homescreen clean. The laucher also supports themes and icon packs, so giving a quick makeover to the phone's interface won't be a tough job. With the latest update (v26), Action Launcher has got Google Now integration (like Nova Launcher), Android O Notification Peeking and a host of new features! 

6. Next Launcher 3D Shell (Free) / Paid
Who is it for? : 3D Animation Lovers. People who like fancy animations across their phone's UI.

This beautiful launcher is developed by GO Dev- the same group that makes the very popular GO Launcher. The launcher includes a lot of wonderful 3D transition and scrolling effects. The launcher also supports themes, plugins and language packs. There's also a full-fledged pro version, but that is the most expensive launcher app (Rs. 999, in case you were wondering) on the Play Store. Fun fact, you can get the pro version for much less if you make a purchase for it via In-app-purchases. 

7. Launcher 8 (Free, with in-app purchases) 
Who is it for? : Windows Phone lovers. People who liked the flat tile design language and of the WP8.

This homescreen replacement brings back the Windows Phone 8 goodness on to Android. The launcher includes the typical right swipe to the app drawer, customizable tile colors and sizes, live tiles and more. The launcher also includes WP styled status bar. Want even more? Well, the launcher also includes WP lock-screen with custom PIN lock! Now that Windows Phone is officially dead, this app brings back the nostalgia. It is available for free on the Play Store, but you'll need to pay for a pro version to unlock some features. 

8. EverythingMe Launcher (Free, with in-app purchases) 
Who is it for? : Automation Lovers. People who like their phones to automatically serve them the right apps, contacts, and notifications, depending on various situations.

Rightly named, EverythingMe Launcher provides 'Me' content that I might want to use, depending on different situations. The phone utilizes information like location, connected WiFi, time of the day, etc. to determine and present context based content (apps, contacts, reminders, notifications & app suggestions). The launcher also groups apps into suitable folders. The launcher is no slouch when it comes to customization either, as it supports icon packs and layouts. 

9. FastKey Launcher (Free) 
Who is it for? : Productive minimalists. People for whom productivity & minimalism are always the top priority, everything else can wait. 

FastKey is one of the few new launchers that implements some real innovative idea. The launcher includes a full keyboard right on the home screen so that the user can find anything in a few taps. Be it finding an app, or finding and calling a contact right from the homescreen, FastKey has it all. Let's admit, not every one of us likes to scroll through the app drawer, especially when we have hundreds of apps. FaskKey eradicates the hassle by making it very easy and fast to launch an app from the homescreen itself.

10. Asus ZenUI Launcher (Free)
Who is it for? : Simplicity Lovers. People who just don't like the default launcher and want a simple alternative with only relevant customization options. 

Asus launched most of their native apps on the play store. The ZenUI launcher by Asus is a straightforward homescreen replacement app which supports themes and some customization options. The launcher includes basic customization options, like changing transition effects and applying icon packs. It is suitable for people who just want a simple alternative to the default launcher. It is available for free on the Play Store. 

So this was our list of the best Android launcher apps for 2017. Note that all the apps in this list are used by us before including them here, and we'll apparently keep this list updated when we find a new favorite! We'd also love to give honorable mentions to Solo Launcher, Arrow Launcher (by Microsoft), Buzz Launcher, Lens Launcher and Zero Launcher! They didn't make it to this list but are five of our favorites as well. 
Now that you have installed your favorite launcher, you'll need a nice wallpaper to notch up your smartphone customization, so take a look at the Best Android WallPaper Apps Of 2017!

Did we miss any launcher? Which one's your favorite? Do let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

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