Nova Launcher adds docked search bar, more Pixel 2 goodness in latest beta

Action Launcher may have been quicker in adopting certain Oreo/Pixel 2 features over the last few months—such as Oreo-style adaptive icons and a docked search bar—but Nova Launcher is back on track with its latest beta (5.5-beta3), available now on the app's beta channel.

The latest version brings a lot of the usual host of under-the-hood optimizations and improvements, but most importantly, it also introduces two sought-after features in the form of docked search and an Android 8.1-style pop-up menu for app shortcuts. To place the Google search bar widget in your dock, go to Nova Settings > Dock > Searchbar in dock, and choose whether you want it displayed above or below the icons in the dock. The best part about this is that the widget, albeit now in your dock, is still the same customizable widget that you know and (probably) love from your home screen. This means that long-pressing the search bar yields the usual host customization options that let you change its shape, color, and other features.

As for the new pop-up menu style, you can change that from Nova Settings > Look & feel > Popup menu style. This will change the look of the app shortcuts pop-up menu from the Nougat-like pill-shape aesthetic that's currently the default option, to an Oreo-style block design.

Here's the changelog for Nova Launcher 5.5-beta3:

Keep in mind that some of the features and improvements introduced in this version are available to Nova Prime users only. If you'd like to test the latest beta version of Nova Launcher, you can do so by going to Nova Settings > Check for updates, tapping the three-dot icon in the top right corner, and selecting "Beta" from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can download the APK from the official site (linked bellow).

Download Nova Launcher 5.5-beta3


Source: Nova



11. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I neither use the dock nor the search bar. I never understood the purpose of the dock. If I swipe to another screen, I clearly don't want to see the same homescreen objects in the next screen.

10. dinhgyo

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2017

how to display the weather icon in search bar like this screenshot?

6. Cyberchum

Posts: 1150; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

How is Nova not simple? Well, different strokes for different folks.

4. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

I tried Nova and kept it as the primary launcher for a few days and I couldn't let it drive my phone. I was using Z launcher and now I'm going back to it. Sure, Nova has tons of customizable options but I always go back to simplicity. Z launcher is just so convenient for me.

7. jellmoo

Posts: 2715; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

My big issue with Z launcher is that they no longer seem to be supporting it.

8. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

But it still works great. No issues whatsoever.

1. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Docked or not, the stupid Google search bar is ugly and a waste of screen space. Just use the Google App shortcut, it does the same thing but takes up only 1/5 of the space of the search bar.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Isn't the docked search bar of Nova launcher movable? Unlike the one on the Pixel 2 which can't be moved and placed anywhere else on the home screen.

9. bambamboogy02

Posts: 842; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Yes, but they now Incorporated it in with the bottom dock so the search bar is in the dock, above or below the icons.

3. chenski

Posts: 801; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Use Nova prime assign swipe down to search, don't even need bar or shortcut

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You can also assign the search function to any type of gesture, be it swipe down or swipe up, or double tap or swipe up/down with two fingers or whatever gesture you want. Nova launcher is so badass.

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