Google used to offer stock Android experience on the Nexus line before the debut of Pixel line of products. With the launch of the premium Pixel lineup, the company started to provide a mild-customized Pixel UI out of the box. Thankfully, other Android phone owners can always try out the Pixel launcher alternatives to enjoy a similar experience.
Google continues to add a bunch of Pixel-centric features to stock Android. But what if you don’t want a Pixel device and aren’t a fan of stock Android either? Here is where Android launchers come into play.
As Google made tweaks and changes to Pixel UI, the launchers such as Nova, Action, Lawnchair, etc. started to implement a similar style in customization options.
No matter which Android phone a user opts for, with the help of Android launchers, one can mimic and enjoy the Pixel experience on his Samsung or OnePlus. In this post, we have compiled the top five Pixel launcher alternatives that you can use without compromising on features and customization. Let’s jump in.
1. Action Launcher
Right after the launch of Pixel launcher, Action launcher quickly integrated most of Pixel’s features in the app.
To completely adopt a Pixel experience, head to Action settings and make the following changes.
Go to Quickbar > enable Action search and set the color to white. Now, head to App drawer > Advanced > toggle-on search bar for a Pixel like a search menu in the app drawer.
To use Google feed, you need to download the Action launcher plugin to access the news and info with a quick swipe.
Other features include Action bash (Similar to Digital wellbeing), a host of customization options, Quickdrawer, the ability to hide apps, floating widgets, and much more.
I like how Action launcher offers multiple ways to launch an app from quickdrawer and covers on the home screen.
Action launcher is free to use. The premium functions will set you back by $5.
2. Nova Launcher
Number two on the list is the fan-favorite Nova launcher.
Unlike Action, Nova gives a basic home setup. So you need to tinker around a lot to get a Pixel experience.
As for the home screen, head to Nova settings > Home screen > Search and set the placement to Dock (below icons). You can also change the search bar style and even the default search engine.
Now, go to the app drawer and change the top bar to a clean Google search widget similar to Pixel phones.
It’s not a Pixel experience if the Google feed menu is absent. Nova has implemented a workaround here. You need to download the Nova companion app, and the Google Home will start to appear on the home screen.
The other functions include a plethora of customization options (something Nova is known for), gestures, Sesame shortcuts, and more.
The most important aspect of Nova launcher is that the app lets you change every little detail of a launcher to the user’s liking. Whether it’s home screen, or app drawer, or dock, or gestures, one can tweak every option from the Settings menu.
The app is free to use, but the premium functions will cost you $3.
3. Lawnchair Launcher
Lawnchair launcher is the closest Pixel experience you can get out of the box. By default, it has adopted a bottom search bar menu, date, time, event widget at the top, and a similar search bar in the app drawer.
Head to settings, and every possible option is available at your fingertips. You can change the theme, edit at a glance function, change dock style, add Bing or DuckDuckGo as a search engine, and play with gestures.
Lawnchair also offers Google feed plugin to access the Google-themed menu on the home screen.
One of the best functions of Lawnchair launcher is its simplicity. It’s ready to go launcher from the start. There is no need to go through countless options like Nova and Action launcher.
The app is entirely free to use with no-ads, which further sweetens the deal.
5. Rootless Launcher
Download Rootless launcher if you intend to get rid of tons of settings and options and only want a clean Pixel experience out of the box.
Rootless takes a minimal route. Even the settings app is eerily similar to the Pixel home launcher’s settings.
The feature list includes notification dots, at a glance function, Google app support, different icon shapes, icon styles, and themes.
The Rootless launcher is limited in terms of customization options and features but gets the job done for a beginner. The app is free to use.
Note: As of now, the Android 10 gestures don’t play nice with third-party launchers. So if you intend to use any of them, the navigation will revert to the three-button style.
The Pixel Experience
As you can see from the list above, each launcher has its pros and cons compared to its rivals. Action launcher is packed with features and gets frequent updates. Nova launcher is a customization king. Lawnchair is free and makes a strong case with lots of functions. Evie is free of Google services, and Rootless is perfect for newbies.
Next up: Both Nova and Action are close competitors. Read the post below to find a perfect comparison between the two.