Nova Launcher beta receives a huge Material Design overhaul, tons of new features

It's no news that Nova Launcher, one of the most popular and feature-packed launchers on Google Play, has been donning a slew of Material Design aftertaste for some time now (in the shape of animations, a card-styled app drawer, etc.), but it's the most recent update to the beta version that really brings a serious redesign to the well-known home screen replacement. 

That's not all - a ton of new features have made their way to Nova, while many of the available ones have been further improved. 

Starting from the app itself, which is now more colorful and vivid than before, and moving on to the customizability settings for the home screens, the app drawer, and almost anything you can think of, we can notice major improvements on all fronts. 

Here's a sort of an official changelog that will give you an idea of what the new version of Nova Launcher beta has in store:

  • Full Material Design
  • All settings screens and dialogs are material style
  • More animations
  • Google Search from the search bar shows as an overlay
  • Edit Shortcut dialog, and quick menu, tinted based on colors of the icon
  • New icon
  • New Nova Action icons
  • Rebased on top of Launcher3
  • Individual icon layout settings (size, font, etc) in Desktop, Drawer, Dock, Folder
  • Max icon size boosted to 150%
  • Widget Search
  • Pull to search (pull down in the drawer to open app or widget search)
  • Widgets given their own drawer, removed from App Drawer
  • Ability to change Page Indicator color
  • Drawer Tab Bar completely optional
  • Support for Android for Work managed profiles (Lollipop)
  • Workaround Expand Notifications Nova Action not working on Samsung Lollipop
  • Requires Android 4.1 or higher (Dropped support for Android 4.0 ICS)
  • Unlimited desktop pages (previously limited to 9)
  • Easy add/remove of desktop pages by dropping icons on the blank page, or removing all icons from a page
  • Add blank desktop pages (for gestures or live wallpapers) from overview
  • Improved bulk edit of folders (Folder > Menu > Select Apps)
  • Added shadows to unread badges
  • Unread Badge size scales with icon size
  • Allow reordering drawer folders by drag/drop within window
  • Added Roboto-Medium font option
  • Improve handling of apps installed to SD card
Impressive, right? Said features are only available in the beta now (you can get it from the source link), but most of them will certainly make their way to the full-blown version of the popular Android launcher.



1. Biernot unregistered

i use it since galaxy s3 release ^^ best launcher IMO

2. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Nova is love. Nova is life! :D

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Easily one of my best purchases on any store! I definitely recommend buying Nova Prime

12. Dude2

Posts: 41; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Nova is very strong, but right now Next Launcher 3D Shell has it beat. Having said that, this new release of Nova could leap frog Next. Looking forward to seeing the official release.

4. DanielCestafe

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Best launcher ever, best purchase on Play Store!

5. soldier820

Posts: 115; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

I have used it for a little bit. It seems like it has some good reviews. I will give it another shot.

6. WakaFlakaD

Posts: 575; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

I actually don't really care how new it looks. I don't use dock at all and don't care much about transition/animations. I only use gestures for all my actions on the phone. =)

10. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I don't use the dock either. Nova allows me to remove it from the home screen.

7. Cyberchum

Posts: 1037; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

With all those white I'm seeing, they better have a dark theme or I'll be really pissed off - I have nowhere else to go, Apex comes close but Nova for me.

8. RangoX

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Nothing beats Nova Launcher.

9. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I don't believe you can get the Beta from the source link.. that takes you to the regular Nova app. to get beta, you have to sign up on G+.

11. GeekMovement unregistered

Can't wait to see it released on the official app!

13. durrav

Posts: 25; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Nova launcher has been my no. 1 launcher since Ice Cream Sandwich. But when Action Launcger 3 came I got hooked on that instead. With Nova I had four homescreens because of all the widgets. In AL3 I only have two homescreens and only two visable widgets (dahsclock and weather). The rest of the widgets are now shutters or put in the quick page. The only thing I'm missing from Nova is the swipe on apps features to start an activity or a different app. But with the possibillity to get the widget for that app on a swipe makes it easier and faster to go to a specific conversation in Hangouts or to create a new email in the Gmail app. I tried to go back to Nova with this beta but I missed Action Launcher. Nonetheless, both are great launchers and I highly recommend them both.

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