There are loads of ‘old guard’ launchers around that do a fairly similar thing. Nova, ADW, Go Launcher EX and a couple of others all have the same sort of aim. They give you the feel of standard Android, but with a little tweak, and a lot of features added.
We’ve decided to just include the one of this old group, and we’ve picked Nova. The beauty of Nova Launcher is how easy it makes filling your entire screen with home screen, with almost no space given over the extraneous interface elements.
This gives you the sort of simple look you just can’t get with a lot of other launchers, and it’s one that we think will appeal to Android veterans – you need to know how to call up things like the notifications menu once you banish them.
Aside from a nice and clean look, Nova operates using things called Nova actions. These are buttons you can place on your home screen to get rid of things like the app dock, the notifications menu and so on.
Nova does need a few little optimisations to get it looking its best fresh after an install, though. As standard it uses some slightly juvenile-looking screen transitions, which we think the system looks a lot better without. If you want to give your phone an even more pared-back look than Google Now can provide, though, Nova is a good place to start.