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Nova Launcher 4.0 stable is released, carrying Material Design and more

May 14, 2015 - Written By Alden Gillespy

TeslaCoil Software has proudly announced the stable release of Nova Launcher 4.0, the Android community’s free “highly customizable, performance driven, home screen replacement for Android 4.0+”, and it’s now available for immediate download in the Google Play Store.

Version 4.0 brings a ton of changes to Nova Launcher since the release of version 3.3 in December of last year. Perhaps the most notable item on the list is the load of new Material Design aesthetics baked into Nova Launcher 4.0. Lollipop-style shading and overlays, colors, and animations can be found all over the place. Just as you’ll find in many of Google’s stock Android apps, UI elements now can set their color conditionally based upon other UI elements. The Quick Menu sets tints depending upon the color of icons in the menu, for instance. Adding, editing and removing home screen pages and folders can now be accomplished more quickly and easily by using drag-and-drop actions when managing the home screen elements. It’s also possible to easily change icon sizes and fonts, as version 4.0 allows icons to be resized up to 150% their original size, and Roboto-Medium is now included as an alternate font option for those who want to try a lighter font weight. A new Widget Drawer brings all your widgets out of the App Drawer and puts them in their own space, better organizing what is traditionally a disorganized area if you have a lot of apps and widgets installed. Version 4.0 also brings support for Android for Work managed profiles, a feature of Android 5.0 Lollipop that allows IT organizations to deploy and manage Android in an enterprise environment.

It’s great to see Nova keeping on with innovation and providing a sweet alternative to some, um, shall we say, “less appealing” Android skins. Users might not be able to switch out every part of the Android UI, but the home screen is a major part of it, and Nova makes the process super simple to customize to your heart’s desire.

Nova Launcher 4.0 requires Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later in order to run, but chances are that isn’t a concern for you, because most Android devices (88%) nowadays meet that requirement.