Customization is my favourite a part of Android.

Android supplies us with a lot freedom, permitting us to utterly scrap the setup and the launcher that got here with our telephones and substitute it with one thing that fits us extra. Years in the past, earlier than I knew what Nova Launcher and icon packs have been, I used to be attempting to make my cellphone look much less blockish and boring. Our telephones maintain our lives — should not they maintain a few of our character and elegance, too?

Whether or not you have received theming all the way down to an artwork otherwise you’re simply searching for one thing a bit of extra versatile than your present launcher, these are the perfect of the perfect on the subject of theming launchers. They’re additionally two of the perfect launchers available on the market, interval.

Here is why you must have Nova Launcher and Motion Launcher in your theming toolkit.

The Finest: Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is among the few constants within the launcher scene: Nova Launcher is arising on its sixth birthday this winter, and it has been persistently superior. Nova Launcher has a small studying curve, however when you be taught your approach round Nova Settings, the theming world is your oyster, and Nova holds fairly a number of pearls.

The largest pearl from a theming standpoint is Subgrid Positioning. This permits customers to resize widgets and place icons halfways between conventional grid packing containers. So you possibly can resize a widget to be 4×1.5 and even .5x.5 in order for you. This elevated freedom when putting and sizing widgets is invaluable on the subject of lining up components in complicated themes, and even putting ingredient exactly in relation an in depth wallpaper. The flexibility to stretch widgets to the sides of the grid and the display nearly helps customers make extra immersive themes with edge-to-edge widgets. Subgrid positioning is a small characteristic with a big effect, which supplies it a definite benefit over Motion Launcher.

Attempt doing this in Motion Launcher. I dare you.

Nova Launcher additionally means that you can set any colour you want in your launcher components, together with transparency. You possibly can even use hex codes to color-match components of your required theme precisely, and we have taken benefit of this in a number of themes. Getting the colours proper in your app drawers, folders, and search bars may appear trivial to some, and it is one thing most launchers do not hassle permitting you to vary, however for a theming launcher, it’s essential.

If there is a draw back to Nova Launcher, it is that whereas every little thing is specified by the settings in a reasonably easy method, it nonetheless takes time to edit every little thing individually. Nova Launcher is sort of a Swiss Military knife: there’s so many attachments you by no means assume you may want however if you happen to ever do, all you must do is pull every one out till you discover what you want.

Runner-Up: Motion Launcher

Motion Launcher, then again, is extra like a switchblade: very fast, very sharp, however with out the bottle opener or the nail trimmer. Now, do not get me incorrect, Motion Launcher has lots of options, and lots of customization, however nearly all of it’s geared in the direction of productiveness. There’s numerous theming potential, however there are some things lacking that preserve it from overtaking Nova Launcher on this class.

One among Motion Launcher’s most well-known options are their Covers, which let you substitute a folder icon with the primary icon in your folder, and means that you can rapidly open that first app with a faucet, whereas opening the folder with a swipe. It is a good characteristic, however I am sorry to say that from a theming perspective, Nova does it higher, albeit clunkier. To activate a Cowl on Motion Launcher, you merely open the folder, faucet the three-dot menu, and faucet Make Cowl. So as to set a customized folder icon, it’s essential to make a folder a Cowl, then change the icon of the app that turns into the Cowl.

Motion Launcher’s Covers are simple, however lack the customization in look and performance of Nova Launcher’s folders.

When organising a Cowl on Nova, you long-press a folder, Edit it, then activate Swipe to open folder and set the faucet motion to the primary app in your folder… or every other app or Nova shortcut you need. You may also set a customized folder icon no matter utilizing Swipe to open in Nova Launcher, as folder icons could be edited identical to every other shortcut. It is positively simpler on Motion Launcher, however you are able to do it extra methods on Nova, particularly in relation to theme-building.

One other characteristic the place Motion Launcher opts for an easier however in the end much less helpful implementation is Quicktheme. Quicktheme means that you can rapidly set colours which might be determined by the colours in your wallpaper, and if Quicktheme pulls the proper colours in your wallpaper, it is nice.

The issue is, lots of instances, Quicktheme can miss colours we need to use in our theme (particularly accent colours), and you may’t manually decide a colour if it will get missed: you must re-apply your wallpaper and hope that Quicktheme will get it that point. If you happen to’re utilizing a Dwell Wallpaper like Contact Circle or KLWP, your probabilities of getting the proper colours are slim to none, as Motion Launcher pulls colours from the icon moderately than the precise stay wallpaper.

It is great to have all of your colour choices on one web page, however I would like all colours at my disposal, not six that will or might not match my wallpaper plus primary black, white and gray.

Now, all of this isn’t to say Motion Launcher cannot be used for good themes. Motion Launcher at the moment has a wonderful tackle the Pixel theme, permitting you to higher customise Pixel folder icons and their iconic Quickbar than Nova. Motion Launcher is not fairly as versatile, however it’s much more nimble, and for customers who swap themes the best way most of us swap garments, that counts for lots.

The Verdict

It’s a great time to be an Android themer, as a result of Nova Launcher and Motion Launcher simply preserve getting larger, higher, and bolder than ever. Each launchers are actively including the most recent Pixel options to their launchers, from the dock search bar to Adaptive icons. Motion Launcher handles the dock search bar a bit of higher due to its heavy funding within the Quickbar already, whereas Nova Launcher’s implementation of Adaptive icons is a bit of cleaner and extra adaptive to legacy icons.

Nova Launcher does extra, and Motion Launcher does a few of it sooner. If you happen to’re not as nitty-gritty together with your grids and widget placements, Motion Launcher will get your theme up and get you in your approach with out a lot fuss. If you happen to care in regards to the little particulars, or simply want the liberty of being to selected nearly every little thing in your launcher, Nova Launcher is your launcher.

As long as the colour selections in Motion Launcher are restricted to some algorithm-picked hues and grid sizes restrict your icon sizes and folder placement, Nova Launcher will stay the launcher I theme in. And judging by the reception Nova Launcher receives anyplace it is talked about, it’s going to stay the theming launcher many, many others use.

The place are the opposite launchers?

I want I may inform you there’s lots of nice theming launchers on the market. However there aren’t. There are actually theming launchers past Nova and Motion, however none can play on their stage.

Apex Launcher is (slowly) making a comeback, however it’s nonetheless a protracted, good distance from being characteristic aggressive once more. ADW Launcher 2.zero is one other launcher rising from stagnation, however the UI nonetheless wants work, and the configurations aren’t simple to make use of. GO Launcher is spammy. Buzz Launcher’s controls are awkward and it does not play nicely with Google Play theme components. Complete Launcher and Lightning Launcher are so highly effective however too difficult for many customers (even for me!).

Then there are dozens of respectable general-use launchers that may do what we name ‘light-duty’ theming: customized wallpapers, icon packs, and resizable widgets. This consists of launchers like Good Launcher, Arrow Launcher, and Aviate Launcher. They’re succesful launchers, however they cannot compete with Motion Launcher for theming, nor can they compete with Nova Launcher.

Up to date October 2017: We have up to date this text to incorporate the progress made by theming launchers within the final a number of months, similar to Google Now pages coming to each launchers and Android Oreo characteristic implementation.

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