One of the coolest things about Android is its customizability. This includes the home screen or launcher, the screen where you choose what apps to launch, get info at a glance from widgets and generally use as a hub for everything you do on your phone. Rather than simply allowing you to customize the stock Android launcher app, however, Google has allowed users to replace it outright. One of the most popular home screen replacements out there is TeslaCoil’s Nova Launcher. The beta version of Nova Launcher released on April 1 included a throwback to the Holo color scheme of the Android 4.x family as an April Fool’s joke. In Holo’s place today’s new beta release is a brand new night mode.
Night mode enables a dark theme in Nova Launcher’s menus, which can be extended to the persistent search bar on the home screen, as well as the app drawer. The night mode function can be turned on at all times, made to follow the system’s night mode guidelines, or be activated automatically based on Nova Launcher’s own judgement, which can be fed your location for added accuracy. Custom ROM users beware, however; night mode turned on in conjunction with a Cyanogenmod Theme or Bitsyko Layers theme that affects Nova Launcher can make the menus look a bit janky or even make them unreadable.
Night mode isn’t the only new feature the update brings, however; there’s also a good number of new options for customizing the persistent search bar that stays at the top of your home screen, should you choose to turn it on. Users can now choose many different styles for the search bar, as well as a color for the bar, if you don’t use the default Google color scheme. The newest beta version of Nova Launcher is making its way to beta subscribers through the Play Store in a slow rollout. Alternatively, users can simply head through the source link to check out the full changelog on Google+, courtesy of Nova Launcher developer Kevin Bary, which includes a link to a downloadable APK file.