Best Android launchers to use on your phone in 2022 [Video]

All the best third-party Android launchers offer something unique, be it customization or even a minimal aesthetic. Here are the best ones to install on your Android phone in 2022 and beyond.

Video – Best Android Players for Your Smartphone in 2022

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Nova Launcher

No list of the best Android launchers would be complete without Nova. The most popular third-party home screen replacement for Android has evolved and changed over the years, but the experience is still exceptional. The recent Nova Launcher 7 rewrite offers one of the biggest upgrades in years.

Nova Launcher 7 is a powerful app that you can download and use on your smartphone – or tablet, that’s faster and lighter with more features to fully customize your everyday experience. The startup options go beyond most stock launchers on Android, plus you have the ability to adjust all kinds of parts of the user interface.

Areas such as folder popups, main grid layouts, icon fonts, and size are just the start because many other customization controls allow you to disable all animations or add options to application popups for faster access to important controls. The added search functionality goes beyond the built-in on-device search found on many devices here as well.

garden chair

Unlike Nova, Lawnchair Launcher mimics the Pixel Launcher experience and offers a clean “Googley” look and feel for almost every Android phone. It’s not technically the most impressive launcher, but while it looks identical at first glance, it offers just enough customization over the Pixel Launcher that it’s worth a visit.

First, the ability to set custom icon packs alone is worth a look if you’re frustrated with the recognized basic Android 12 “themes icons” on the Pixel Launcher. You can go even further by adjusting the app’s highlight color, tweaks, creating your own shapes, and more to boot. At a Glance still favors the pre-Android 12 design, but you can adjust only what’s shown or prompted here and that’s a neat inclusion that we wish Google could make more easily.

Google Discover Feed can be added, but you need to download the Lawnfeed APK file to make this work properly. It’s super handy and makes a great alternative, even for Pixel owners who want an Android launcher that isn’t crappy or bloated and has almost the same smooth performance albeit with some additional custom controls.

Niagara

A lot of Android launchers follow a familiar layout, and despite some differences in how things are done, they work effectively or provide a similar end product. Niagara Launcher is an entirely different beast as it discards the “traditional” home page layout in favor of integrating the app drawer and home screen. This means that it is a very acquired taste for obvious reasons.

Niagara relies on a small set of “Favorites” that you will need to select in advance. These appear at the top of an alphabetically scrollable list of everything installed on your device. On top of that, you can enable widgets that will display upcoming events, give quick stats on weather and battery, and more. It feels very functional in a good way. The bonus here is that notifications can be displayed on your home screen, which means you don’t need to expand the quick settings panel. The alphabetical sidebar allows you to quickly scroll to any applications that are out of view.

Swipe actions unlock the ability to access quick shortcuts and even view individual app notifications. Unfortunately, you can’t put apps in distinct folders on the device, but you can hide anything to help make it easier to navigate the scrolling menu. Niagara might not be for everyone’s taste, but it’s a unique launcher for Android owners to try with added Pro features, including weather and agenda widget, custom fonts, plus a much more priced $5.99 per year.

Microsoft launcher

Microsoft Launcher - Best Android Launchers

Microsoft Launcher is designed to be a central “hub” for all your accounts and apps, which is great if you use Windows 10/11, OneDrive, or any of the other Microsoft services heavily. It certainly doesn’t look the best, nor does it offer the same level of customization as Nova Launcher. However, you can set a large part of your home screen and even get a daily wallpaper from Bing.

Microsoft has baked in a “Your Feed” panel that somewhat mimics the OnePlus Shelf. This Google Discover Feed replacement is more useful if you already use Microsoft services and Windows features. It has synchronized calendars, to-do lists, sticky notes as well as screen time and even recent activity data. Although Microsoft Launcher is not ideal for all Android users, it may be ideal if you are heavily invested in Windows and want an extension for your desktop.

mass ratio

Blloc started its life as a brand that made minimal Android devices, but since leaving the hardware market has developed Ratio. Certainly an outstanding software product, it is at the same time one of the most interesting Android launchers on the market.

If you want a completely different launcher layout and usage method, the app has changed significantly since we first started hands-on. Ratio is an Android launcher that aims to curb your bad smartphone usage habits with timers to track app usage and a monochrome theme with just a splash of color. It may take a while to orient yourself, but the whole experience is without a doubt wonderful and takes inspiration from a number of places.

After leaving beta, Ratio 6 was recently released with some very interesting new features including a brand new ‘Talks’ shelf. This section on the far right is home to almost all of your messaging apps but not quite and is one of the killer features in the latest update. Effectively, this groups all of your contacts’ conversations into one easy-to-manage place so you don’t have to manually open each app. This cleans up your messaging experience, and Ratio is one of the only launchers on Android that offer this feature.

On the other side, you’ll find the “Root” section, which simulates the iOS tools drawer. You don’t get a lot of tools but Blloc’s designs are elegant, informative, and straightforward. A home screen dock is now also available, with a continuous search tool to navigate through your smartphone.

At $50 per year or $150 for a lifetime account, this may be a major sore point for some as this is easily the most affordable option on our shortlist. However, there is a lot here that you won’t get elsewhere and some may appreciate the experience over other options. You can play the seven-day trial for free to see if it works for you.

lysphone

At the other end of the scale to ratio and “premium” experience, if you sometimes feel like your phone is getting in the way of your daily life or getting in the way of you day in and day out, there are a number of “limited” Android launchers. One of the best things we’ve tried is Lysphon. The idea here is to actually reduce your smartphone usage, and it does so by limiting app access to just four on the free tier or eight on the $1.39 paid tier.

There is a built-in to-do list or to-do list as well as in-app purchases, and you can unlock more themes and other app list additions. If you find yourself spending a lot of time on your smartphone, Lessphone can help you curb your bad habits.

Action Launcher

Action Launcher - Best Android Launchers

Action Launcher is one of the overall good choices for almost every Android owner. It is a classic game that sits side by side with Nova Launcher thanks to its customization, speed of update and has a huge user base. Developer Chris Lacy also created ActionDash, which brings digital wellbeing features to any Android phone, regardless of make or build. If you have this add-on installed, it acts as a plugin and unlocks additional features.

The launcher has been upgraded to a more capable version of Pixel Launcher that surpasses Lawnchair in terms of custom controls and add-ons. Some iOS features go over the iPhone-Android split to join the Action Launcher here too including widget packs, plus you can set custom folder icons or create app drawer folders among plenty of other small tweaks.

What is your favorite Android player?

Android’s wealth of choice means you don’t even need to agree to our shortlist. What’s your favorite Android launcher – or launchers if you use multiple apps? Tell us in the comments section what you’re using and why.

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