Top 10 Android Launchers of 2016

Hello Guys! In one of the previous posts, I wrote about some the best custom designed UI (on ROMs)  available for Android. Well for all that you need to root your phone and rooting phones can sometime become really painful, especially if you own a smartphone which is not officially supported by the ROM developer. So now what? If you want to customise the UI of your Android phone without going through all those complicated and time consuming methods of rooting your phone, what'd you do? The best solution is probably to install a custom third-party launcher.

What's an Android launcher?

In layman's terms, Android launcher is the end-user app to interact with all the other apps installed on the phone. A typical Android launcher comes with a means (such as an app drawer) to launch the apps along with other features such as homescreen, wallpapers, theming, fonts, transitions and other long bunch of customisation. It's basically a homescreen replacement. When you have a new Android phone, chances are that your manufacturer has shipped your phone with a custom Android launcher on top of a custom Android ROM.

Are these Launchers Free to Download?

Yes and No. Yes because most of the launcher are available on Google Play free of cost. You don't need to spend a single penny to download these Launchers from there. Yet many of these so called free Launchers have limited capabilities regarding customisation and performance. Then there are several Launchers which support freemium model which are available at free of cost but requires a pro/plus version for full functionality.

 Top 10 Android Launchers

So here I have assembled a list of top 10 Android Launchers, which are free to download on Google Play.

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is the king when it comes to Android Launchers. It may resemble the stock Android Launcher, but actually boasts a plenty of customisation options. When used with a third party icon pack, you will see completely different version if your phone. It's full version aka Nova Launcher Prime is all you need to rock up your phone.

Apex Launcher

Apex Launcher is mere competitor of Nova Launcher. It is very much similar to Nova Launcher, but with some limited functionality. It supports icon packs, simple transitions, fewer homescreens etc. Apex Launcher also has a pro version, which indeed has some more unlocked features. If having Nova Launcher on your phone seems incompatible, Apex Launcher is your choice.

Go Launcher

Go Launcher is one of the most popular Android Launcher out there. With over 100 million downloads, it has seriously formed a very good user base. It is one of the oldest Launcher dating back to days when Android Gingerbread was the OS standard. Go Launcher has some pretty good features and is available for free download on Google Play. But it is heavily ad based, which may bother few of you.

Google Now Launcher

Google Now Launcher is the default Launcher on Google flagship phone Nexus, and the Moto series. If you want your Android device to have a stock Android like feeling, then there's no better choice than having Google Now Launcher as your primary option. Google Now Launcher comes with the Google's voice assistant - Google Now integrated into the launcher itself, allowing easy access to Google voice search and other services.

Hola Launcher

Hola Launcher is relatively a new player in the Launcher market, but has indeed made a very good impression on the Android users with over 100 million downloads. It is light weight, fast and focuses more on visual effects and ease of use. Hola Launcher is integrated with some very cool features like Hola swipe (Ripped Down version of Omni Swipe, by the same company), inbuilt RAM booster etc. Overall it's a quite efficient Launcher in such a small package.

Apus Launcher

Apus Launcher is a slim and lightweight Launcher, drawing inspiration from the iOS. It thus lacks the app drawer and just adds every app into the homescreen, arranged beautifully in different folders. Apus Launcher comes with variety of online downloadable themes, which would pimp up your phone suiting your style. It does supports variety of transitions and animations.

Yahoo Aviate Launcher 

Yahoo also jumped into the Android Launcher scenario by launching a very unique and lucid launcher named Aviate. Unlike most of the launchers, which would sort apps on your either alphabetically or chronologically, Aviate sorts these apps on the basis of frequency of user's interaction with the app. For example, if you like to read news in the morning time, Aviate would simply feed this information into it's user data and would automatically recommend you news apps in the morning. The same goes for whatever you do on your phone at different times of the day.

Themer

Themer is for all those, who just want to customise their phone visually in a very drastic way. Themer comes with a variety of user shared themes, which would completely change the look of your homescreen. Rather it be lockscreen, clock, wallpapers, widgets etc. In terms of visual customisation, Themer is one of the best Android Launchers out there.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher 

It seems like every other tech company is in the Android Launcher game. The introduction of Arrow Launcher from Microsoft is a proof of this. Arrow is a simple and efficient launcher. It doesn't consumes your device's valuable RAM and battery to slow down your device. As the official description says "Unlike other launchers, Arrow not only gives you a beautiful experience, but also keeps your work and life organized by integrating with Bing daily wallpaper, Wunderlist, and Microsoft Office", it sticks true to that. Overall it's a quite decent launcher.

Nokia Z Launcher

Nokia Z Launcher changes your perspective of using an Android phone. It uses gestures and drawn scribbles to launch apps. You just need to simply scribble the letter on the screen and it will launch apps, sites and other things in no time. Like Aviate Launcher, Z Launcher also automatically suggests the right app at the right time. Indeed, Z Launcher is very cool and innovative launcher from Nokia.

And More...

This list of Android Launcher is actually an endless one. There a plenty of Android Launchers available on Google Play for free. If you feel some particular Launcher needs to be added onto the list, just drop your comments down below. I'll add those on the list if possible.

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