Nova Launcher, by far one of our favorite launchers for Android and overall great application, has just recently received a complete overhaul that was in the works for a very long time, finally dropping the old elements of Holo and fully embracing Material Design everywhere. Along the way, there was also enough time to implement a few new features. The redesign is still in beta, although you can easily join the program and try it yourself, with regular updates. Let’s take a peek at how it looks now and how you can get in on the action!
To start with, it’s important to note that this really is a full redesign. While Nova had attempted to introduce some minor Android Lollipop elements into the mix right around the time it was released, they were only small things like animations or icons. This time, the whole app is Material, and in terms of features also brings in some elements of the Google Now Launcher that Nexus devices use.
Starting with the revamped overview screen, just hold anywhere on your homescreen and you will see a completely different way to add your widgets and access your settings. There is no popup menu anymore, and you can now add/remove homescreens from here, and mark them as your main one which you will return to when you press the home button:
The Settings also sport a new look and overall design, with monochrome icons and a white theme. Some of the features remain exclusive to Nova Prime, the premium, paid for version, but as usual, it’s probably nothing you actually need if you just want to have a reliable and customizable launcher:
Also new is the app drawer, which now sports a design that will be very familiar to anyone using Google Now Launcher. The white cards interface is now the default, but as usual, you can customize it to be however you want, even back to the old black style or fully transparent!
One of the greatest features of Nova remains, which of course is the ability to customize the animations for pretty much everything, including the reveal when you first press the drawer icon:
Adding widgets now is relegated to the overview screen, and you no longer use the app drawer. This may take a little bit to get used to, but it works the same as Google Now Launcher and it is an overall more consistent design:
If you want to get in on this action, you can simply wait for the final update to be released to the Play Store as usual, but you can also opt into the beta program manually and get the latest version in advance, so you can test it out and find out if it suits you. It’s also free to use and download, so there’s really no downside to it. To opt into the beta, just follow the instructions in this webpage and you’ll be all set!