Google recently unveiled the finished version of Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is now in the hands of developers and handset vendors. The former group is busy updating the look of their apps to match Google’s beautiful new “Material Design” and the latter is hard at work readying updates for their latest phones. It will be months before those updates are finished being built and tested though, so most Android fans still have quite a wait ahead of them.
Of course, thanks to Android’s open nature, there are ways to get a taste of Google’s latest and greatest software without having to wait another minute.
Google’s Play app store is full of apps called launchers that can replace Android’s stock home screen and various functions on a phone or tablet. Nova Launcher is one of the most popular options out there, and the app was just updated with some new features that Android users will love.
Namely, Nova Launcher now includes several animations and other visual elements from Android 5.0 Lollipop.
All of the specifics can be found in Nova Launcher’s latest change log:
Lollipop Circle Folder Animation (Settings – Folder – Transition Animation)
Lollipop Scroll indicator (Settings – Desktop – Scroll Indicator)
Lollipop Icon Theme for Calculator, Clock, Contacts, Downloads, Email, Dialer, Settings and SMS (Settings – Look Feel – Icon Theme)
Preview of scroll effects in Settings
Optimizations and fixes
Here’s the app’s full description:
Accept no substitutes! Nova Launcher is the original and most polished customizable launcher for modern Android
Nova Launcher replaces your home screen with one you control and can customize. Change icon themes, colors, layouts, animations and more.
Reviewers love Nova Launcher and you will too
• Ok, Google – Use Google Search’s hotword right from the home screen, just say the words Ok, Google. Note: Google does not support all devices or locales yet. This limitaiton applies to Nova Launcher as well.
• Color Theme – Set the highlight accent color for the launcher
Also individual Color controls for labels, folders, unread count badges, drawer tabs and background
• Icon Themes – Find thousands of icon themes for Nova Launcher on the Play Store
• Subgrid positioning – Much greater control than standard launchers, Nova Launcher allows you to snap icons or widgets half way through the desktop grid cells
• Customize App Drawer – Custom tabs, Vertical or Horizontal scrolling, Custom effects
• Infinite scroll – Never far from your favorite page, loop through the desktop or drawer continously
• Backup/Restore – Sophisticated backup/restore system allowing you to backup your desktop layout and launcher settings
• Scrollable Dock – Create multiple docks and scroll between them
• Widgets in dock – Place any widget in your dock, such as a 4×1 music player widget
• Import Layout – No need to rebuild your desktop from scratch, Nova Launcher can import from most popular launchers. Including the one that came with your phone.
• Fast – Nova Launcher is highly optimized to do it’s work quickly and quietly, keeping the animations smooth and letting you use your phone as fast as you can move your fingers.
Nova Launcher is a free download in Google’s Play app store, and a paid version with premium features is available for $4.00. The free version has a 4.5 star rating with more than 398,000 reviews.