5 Features That Make Nova Launcher Great
Nova Launcher is probably one of the oldest apps I’ve been using since switching to Android in 2012. I’ve tried a plethora of launchers over the years but like most users, once you’re accustomed to Nova’s simplicity and features it’s hard to switch over to anything else.
Get the Best Out of Nova Launcher
Over the years TeslaCoil, the developer of Nova Launcher has also innovated by adding new features like Icon Normalisation, Google Now integration to keep its users satisfied and the launcher relevant. In this article, we go over the best features of Nova Launcher that’ll entice even regular users into giving it a try.
1. Quick Launch Shortcuts
Easily the best part of using Google’s own Pixel Launcher is the app shortcuts when long pressing an app. With growing support from developers, Nova took this feature and made it more robust with the ability to hold down on those shortcuts and directly create an app icon out of it. Of course, things get even better with Sesame shortcuts which we’ll explore more later in the article.
Gestures were one of Nova Launcher’s earliest features and it really takes using Android to the next level. With just a handful of gestures, users can set the swipes, taps & pinches to trigger apps & shortcuts. You can access Gestures by going to Nova Settings & selecting Gestures & inputs. Additionally, you can also configure the home button press to trigger an action such as launching the app drawer or app search.
3. Nova Actions & Activities
Probably the most powerful tool of Nova Launcher is the ability to create custom shortcuts using Nova Activities & Actions.
Nova Actions: These are simple but useful tasks to launch certain tasks such as locking the screen, Google now or expanding the notifications panel.
Nova Activities: These are a bit more complicated to figure out but they’re essentially shortcuts to launch an app directly into an environment or part of the app. For example, if I want to go directly to the Battery settings, the Android activity can be found under the Settings app.
Both Nova Actions & Activities can be found by long pressing the home screen and selecting Widgets.
4. Sesame Shortcuts
The newest addition to Nova Launcher is Sesame Shortcuts. Rather it’s a third party app which vastly enhances Nova’s App Launch Shortcuts. Once inside the app, users have the ability to set custom shortcuts for a growing number of apps. In my use, I found the app to be lacking in features like rearranging & renaming shortcuts but it still proves itself to be quite useful.
For example, it’s possible to set a custom shortcut to directly launch to any website in Chrome instead of creating a bookmark icon in your home screen.
5. Google Now Integration
Last but certainly not the least is Google Now integration directly in the launcher. Simply download the companion app from APKMirror & you’re good to go. If launching the companion doesn’t activate the feature visit Nova Settings & select Integrations. But first, make sure infinite scroll is turned off. Then turn on the switch next to Google Now Page to get the swipe left feature working.
By the end, if you’re feeling more experimental and looking to try Nova Launcher’s newest features, sign up to be a beta tester here. If you do find the beta to be buggy, the only way to get back is to reinstall the app. So be sure to backup your settings in document storage.