Top 5 Best Android ICS/Jelly Bean Custom Launchers

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  • 17 Aug 2012
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  • Most of us use a third party launcher to enhance our experience on Android. Most of these include lots of options for installing icon pack themes and customizing every aspect regarding the look and feel of the device. On the Play Store you’ll find lots of options making it almost impossible to not find one that suits your needs. Here are the best for Ice Cream Sandwich as well as for the new version of Android – Jelly Bean.


    Nova Launcher / Beta – One of the first launchers on the stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich launcher was Nova. The development has gone a long way since the first pre-stable releases and currently the launcher offers all the features you could think of. From custom icon themes to gestures, the features list implemented in Nova is very long. With the latest beta releases (currently 1.3 beta 5) the changes brought by the newest version of the Android OS have been merged.  You can download Nova Launcher for free from the Play Store and upgrade to the Prime version for full features and options.


    Apex Launcher / Beta – Following Nova, Apex is also among the first to be based on the stock ICS launcher. Apex holds as many features as Nova does. The differences among the two are mostly cosmetic. Custom icons and icon packs, gestures, phone and tablet optimizations, it’s all there for you to enjoy. As we’ve previously announced you, the changes brought by Jelly Bean have also been merged into Apex Launcher Beta (currently 1.3.0 beta2). You can download the free version from the Play Store and upgrade to the Pro version for many new extra features.


    Holo Launcher HD – Based on the Android Jelly Bean launcher, Holo Launcher HD is a recent addition to be considered when choosing a home-screen replacement for ICS or Android 4.1. The app does not bring that many options as Nova or Apex do. Though a stable build has been released on the Store and even gor an update to version 1.0.1, it steel feels like it need some more work to bring it to a more advanced level. The list of features it brings is still impressive, borrowing from the up-mentioned successful launchers. Holo Launcher HD is offered for free while the Plus version can be bought for extra features and options.


    Atom Launcher – Also a recent addition to the ICS / Jelly Bean launcher party, Atom hold some advantages in terms of the look and feel. With Atom you can use custom themes download from the Atom Store that look very good. There are also included a number of very useful options like the ability to change icons, custom grid size or dock pages. Some may consider the number of options it offers to be unsatisfactory but Atom will be certainly found a very interesting option for many users. To download the launcher for free and see the themes available for it you are welcome to visit the Play Store.


    Go Launcher EX – Though not exactly built for the new versions of the Android OS, Go Launcher is still preferred by many users. In time, the list of compatible themes for the launcher has grown to an impressive number, giving the possibility to change it’s look just the way you like it. Go Launcher also acts as a lockscreen replacemnt, with it’s own themes, has custom widgets and functions very smooth. Through the GO Store you can download lots of goodies for the home-screen replacement app. Go Launcher EX can be downloaded for free from the Play Store.

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    • Paul

      Why is Go Launcher in there, it lags all the time. It’s not one of the best launcher, it’s slow. It ruins the experience. The only pros with it is custom themes and lock screen. Other than it’s full of bloat widgets. I’ve been using this for 3 months now so I have been experienced with this launcher. Nova Launcher was a very excellent choice.

      • Antonio Oliveira

        +1 it’s the worst.

      • harlow

        i gotta say I agree. Nova has all the good features of Go but without all the bloat. I used Go for over a year on a droid x and now on SIII. I just recently switched to Nova and it just runs smoother and there isn’t a whole lot about GO that i miss. I must say however, I appreciated the convenient way a user could add apps to the home screen. someone who has used GO would know what i mean. You can scroll through the home screens as you are adding an app, and add multiple apps at the same time. Forgive me if Nova has a similar feature, I have not explored it thoroughly yet, but I like everything I have seen about it so far.

    • diederik

      For me go launcher is definitely the best launcher because of the high customization factor, just take a look at this video and you’ll see exactly why :

    • sam

      Try windows phone 8 launcher you will forget evrything else available in store

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