The battle of the Home Launchers. We all knew it would eventually come to this. There were many to choose from but ultimately it comes down to a couple of the absolute most popular choice when a user goes on the search for a custom home replacement app for their device. Nova or Apex? Both these launchers offer intriguing and compelling features and functions, and both are insanely customizable. Both are also free but offer even more choices an ways to customize your device with their premium counterparts. Let’s get into it.
Nova Launcher is easily the crowd favorite when it comes to replacement launcher apps. Ironically, people who use Nova have probably at one point and even possibly for quite some time, used Apex Launcher as it was out before Nova. Nova Launcher has seemingly endless customization options, but let’s begin with a few of the most awesome features. Screen transitions make Nova Launcher pretty, and if you have a device with a decent amount of RAM, any screen transition animation you choose will look simply stunning. Nova also has one big thing going for it that is brand new, which should delight plenty of users who aren’t running a supported device for the developer preview of Android L. With the latest update Nova has a few key UI details of the Android L preview, so even users on an unsupported device can get bits and pieces of that Android L Style, with things like the L style folder preview, L style app animations, the L style app drawer icon and the L style search bar. Icon themes are another big hit with Nova, although they aren’t specific to just Nova and many icon packs made specifically for a particular launcher are often times compatible with other launcher apps. Nova also supports gestures on screen like pinching in and out to open certain apps or shortcuts or complete certain functions. You can also hide apps from the drawer and get even more gesture control by setting swipe up actions for icons or folders on the homescreen. There’s also the OK Google Hotword support from the homescreen, as well as infinite scroll, a customizable app drawer and many other options, all wrapped up in a performance driven launcher that is quite possibly unmatched.
Apex Launcher has been around for quite some time, since the beginning days of Ice Cream Sandwich, allowing users at the time to get the new look and feel of ICS on their devices even if they weren’t running the software build. There are lots of similar features to Nova, including customizable app drawers, the ability to modify homescreen grids, transition effects, backup/restore options, infinite scroll and even gestures controls. Similar to Nova’s icon swipes, Apex offers swipe actions from app shortcuts that sit on the homescreen dock, which you’ll need the dock enabled to use. Apex also supports icon packs, and like Nova it also has the ability for unread counts for any of your email or message apps through an app extension. One area where Apex seems to have the upper hand is custom themes, where in many cases Apex will support custom themes that are made for other launchers like Launcher Pro, Go Launcher and ADW. Although it seems to have the capability to theme the entire device throughout including the homescreen, icons and many other elements of the UI, there is so far no addition of Android L based styling features like with Nova. Apex is also a free home launcher but offers tons more customization options to those who are willing to drop a few bucks for the premium license.
Nova V.S. Apex. Both formidable home launcher replacement apps with features that any person would love. Apex supports custom themes from other launchers for a full themed experience, but Nova has Android L styles and the option to use widgets in your dock. Both are free and come with premium features for a small price, and both will give you the capability to customize until you drop. So, who deserves the crown of these two awesome home launcher applications?