Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers for Android, with a history of over ten years. The main difference between Nova Launcher and other launchers is that it continues to be updated frequently, to the point that the great renewal of Nova Launcher 7 is almost ready. Here we will tell you 17 tips, functions and tips to get the most out of Nova Launcher.
We will be based on Nova Launcher 7 in our article, which is currently a beta, so if you are using an older version some functions may not be available or the settings may be in other menus. It shouldn’t be long before Nova Launcher 7 moves from beta to stable, given that the beta debuted in early 2021.
One of the great things about Nova Launcher is that it is extremely customizable. After leaving Nova as you see fit, you will generally be interested in making a backup copy of your configuration so that you can import it into another mobile without having to reconfigure everything.
The process is very simple. First, enter the settings of Nova Launcher and go to the Backup and Restore section. Press Save and a file will be created with your settings, which will be saved on the mobile and you can share with other applications. To import these settings, you must use the Restore backup menu, in this same menu.
Gestures for everything
Nova Launcher allows you to configure many gestures to perform actions and launch applications. Most of them aren’t active right out of the box, so you should be the only one setting them up in settings.
You do this by entering gestures and inputs into settings and all in one of eleven gestures to choose from, including keystrokes, double taps, and swipes. To each of these gestures, you can assign an action such as expanding notifications or opening the Google Assistant, as well as opening apps or shortcuts.
Badges to your liking
Nova Launcher supports notification badges before they officially arrive on Android. Although they have multiple names, these badges basically indicate that an app has pending notifications or messages.
Previously, it was necessary to install a separate app for this, but the functionality is now built into Nova Launcher. You can customize the appearance of these codes in detail in the Unread Indicators section of the settings. For example, you can choose between dots, numbers or icons, as well as the size and location of the badge.
Custom night mode
How could it be otherwise, Nova Launcher has a dark mode, and with three different flavors to suit all tastes. If you enter the Night mode section of the settings, you will see that you can choose between three colors for the dark mode: absolute black or dark gray.
Not only that, but you can choose precisely when dark mode is on, whether you want it to sync with the system option, whether you want it to automatically turn on at dusk, or whether you want to manually choose the times. start-up and deactivation.
Extract APK from any app
A curious new feature of the latest version of Nova Launcher is that you can extract the APK of any installed app without having to install any additional app. Of course, you must first activate the corresponding menu in the settings, in the Pop-up menu style section Appearance> Settings.
In the boxes that appear, you should check Save APK to Drawer or Desktop (at your convenience). Next, long press on the app you want to extract its APK from and click on the APK icon that is displayed in the top menu. Then choose where you want to save the APK in the document picker.
Integration with Google Discover
Nova Launcher has been integrating the Google application – formerly Google Now – for several years. To do this, you need to install Nova Google Companion, a small app that is not available on Google Play: instead, you need to download its APK.
After installing Nova Google Companion, go to the Integrations section of the settings and check the Google Now page box. If you want, you can customize the animation and theme from this very place. Then you will access Google Discover by swiping right on the mobile home screen.
Customize the search bar
Nova Launcher has always let you customize the look of the search bar, but the latest version takes it a step further. You can change the look and add shortcuts to Google search and the one displayed in the app drawer.
You’ll find these options under Search> Desktop Search Bar or Drawer Search Bar, as appropriate. Among the available settings are the curvature of the design, the icon and various widgets to include in the bar, including the time.
In Nova Launcher, you can customize the shape and style of the icons, as well as the folders, as you like. So much so that there is a whole section of parameters dedicated to them: the Folders section. Here you can switch from how they are displayed minimized to when they are opened.
For example, you can switch between windowed or immersive mode, choose the curvature of the layout, the shape of the folder icon or even the display mode of the icons of the applications inside. There are options for a while.
If for some reason the grid for placing widgets on the home screen is insufficient, you may be interested in the overlay of widgets, that is, the ability to overlay them. The result, on some occasions, can be curious.
Nova does not allow you to overlay widgets unless you change an option in its settings. Specifically, you need to enter the Desktop section of settings, bring up the Advanced panel at the bottom, and enable widget overlay.
Use Nova to open activities
The activities of an Android application are a bit like the screens that make it up. Advanced users sometimes create shortcuts to activities to open an app on a specific screen. You don’t need to install any app for this if you are already using Nova Launcher.
You can use Nova Launcher to open activities by adding the Activity widget, belonging to the Nova Launcher itself. After adding it to the home screen, the activity switcher will open, showing all installed apps and their activities.
Change the name of an application
With Nova Launcher you can edit application shortcuts very easily, changing the name and even the icon, if you wish. Besides, it’s very easy, all you need to do is long press and hit edit.
In the window that opens, you can change the name of the app in App Label. On the other hand, if you touch the icon, you will be able to choose other icons, even images that you have saved on your mobile. To complete the loop, it is possible to assign actions to gestures on the icon itself.
Some applications are reserved for you. In Nova Launcher, hiding applications is very easy. More than anything, because all you have to do is long press the app and tap on the crossed out eye icon.
If you change your mind later, or if you want to hide multiple apps at once, you can go to the App drawer – Hide apps section from Settings. Here you can mark and uncheck the installed apps that you don’t want to appear in the Nova Launcher app drawer.
Gestures on applications and folders
Nova Launcher folders are great for grouping apps with something in common, but sometimes you might want a quick way to open any of the apps in the folder with a gesture.
To do this, you can long press the folder and tap Edit. You have two gestures to configure: swipe up or down. The available options include, for example, opening the first item in the folder.
Tabs in the app drawer
If you’ve installed a lot of apps, the app drawer becomes more of a mixed bag where it’s hard to find something. If you want to tidy up your drawer, you can create folders and tabs.
You will find both options in the Nova settings, in the section Applications drawer> Drawer groups. Press the + button if needed and create a folder or tab to which you can add apps later.
Icons of any shape
How could it be otherwise, it is possible to precisely configure the shape of the icons in Nova Launcher, with a large choice of shapes. You will find this setting in Appearance – Icon style.
In total you will find 15 different shapes, in addition to being able to create your own shape according to the configuration of each of its edges. A unique advantage of Nova Launcher is that you can apply these shapes even to apps that don’t include adaptive icons.
Pages in the dock
In the mobile dock, you can install a maximum of five or six apps. If you need more, you have the option to add more pages. That is, you can swipe to one side to open more dock pages just like on the home screen.
To do this, you must first add other pages to this dock. You can do this in the settings, in the section Desktop> Dock> Dock Pages. Then change the page and move the icons inside to fill its content.
In Nova Launcher, you can customize various animations to give a new touch to your mobile. For example, in App Drawer – Transition Animation, you can choose between three different animations for opening the drawer.
On the other hand, in the Appearance section, you can choose between eight different animations when launching an app. Finally, in Integrations, you can choose what animation you want the Google Discover page to appear with, either as an additional page or as an overlay.