5 More Free Launchers You May Not Have Heard About [Android]

Joel Lee 13-07-2012

launchers androidBack in May of this year, I published an article that examined 5 Awesome Free Android Launchers You May Not Know About 5 Awesome Free Launchers You May Not Know About [Android] I'm an Android user because I love to tinker with my phone and change it up every once in a while. Android lets me do that easily right out of the box because it was... Read More . One of the great things about the Android community is that modifications and changes are always being made. Android technology is always changing, and thus, there are always new avenues to explore–and so many more launchers to discover.


On an Android, the launcher is what you may know as the “home screen.” It stores shortcuts to your apps and sometimes even holds widgets and displays for quick access to certain information. There are dozens of launchers to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and properties. Some are optimized for speed and others focus on flashy graphics, while others work to provide as many features as possible.

Here are five more launchers for Android devices that you may not have heard about–and they’re all free! These may not be topping the charts in terms of popularity, but each of these has something to offer. Check them out and maybe you’ll find yourself enjoying a new launcher.

Nemus Launcher

launchers android

Nemus Launcher was recommended to me by one of our MakeUseOf readers. The creators advertise this launcher as a full replacement for the default launcher with focus on low memory usage, quick response times, and ease of management. Having installed this on my own device, I’m happy to say it’s now my default launcher. (Sorry, Lightning Launcher!).

You can customize a number of options with Nemus, including the size of the home grid, the number of home screens, the number of pages for the bottom app dock, widget sizing, themes, and more. This launcher is highly responsive, very quick, and clean without being overly flashy.


Hi Launcher

best android launchers

Hi Launcher is an Android launcher with an emphasis on its power and feature set. Not only does it offer a good deal of customization, but it claims to be the first to adopt new visualization features and functions. It does all of this seamlessly, earning it a good deal of praise from me.

The home screen layout for Hi Launcher is separated into two components: a widget area and an app area. Both areas are resizable. This launcher also categorizes apps into different section for maximized organization. It has also been designed to use a shortcut system similar to OneKey, so all you really need to do is tap the screen.


best android launchers


QQLauncher was recently hit with a big update that added a few optimizations and changes. This launcher is described as a powerful replacement for the default launcher, introducing a range of awesome features and eye candy.

Choose from a wide range of themes that not only transform your home screen but your lock screen, too. There are some built-in widgets for easy information access.  This isn’t exactly the fastest launcher, though, so if you have an older device, you may want to look elsewhere.

ssLauncher [No Longer Available]

best android launchers

ssLauncher’s description says that it is the “fastest and fully customizable,” which is a tall order with so many other lightning-fast launchers around. However, ssLauncher does have a unique way in terms of aesthetics, so that gives it a slight edge when it comes to originality.


All of the basic features you’d expect in a launcher are here, like themes, app drawers, widgets, etc. However, there aren’t any extraordinary features that stick out to me, so this app falls just short of being awesome. Instead, it’s only great. However, if you’re looking for something that feels new and fresh, give this one a try. It may be what you need.

Holo Launcher

launchers android

Holo Launcher is a launcher that’s based on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich default launcher. However, Holo Launcher works on any Android version 2.2 or greater. It also comes with a bundle of new features on top, so if you don’t have an Ice Cream Sandwich device but want to use its launcher, give Holo a shot.

Customize your home grid size up to 10×10 and spread your apps over 9 screens. Your app list and app drawer can scroll infinitely so it always feels smooth. Shortcut gestures allow you to launch specific apps right when you need them. The built-in backup feature comes in handy whenever you need to roll back to a previous configuration.



I hope this was helpful to you. There are still so many Android launchers out there to explore. If you don’t like any of these, then keep your eyes open. There’s sure to be one that fills all of your criteria–all you have to do is find it.

Know of any other Android launchers that I missed? I’m always on the lookout for new ones to try. If you’d like to recommend one, please share it in the comments!

Image Credit: Phone Image Via Shutterstock

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  1. Andrew Kim
    September 22, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I'm trying Nemus Launcher right now and it's pretty nice!

  2. Totoy Badiola
    September 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I am new in the use of Android and always dread the thought of rooting. I just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with ICS. My apprehension is if I install a third party launcher, what happens to my ICS built-in launcher?

    I do like to install a different launcher because I hate the packaged media, music, and game hubs widgets which I can't get rid of.

    • Joel Lee
      September 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Avoid rooting if you're an Android newbie. It's just safer and there are many apps that can do what you want without rooting (for most things, anyway).

      Most launchers won't require rooting. When you do install a launcher, Android will keep track of them all. If you hit the Home key, Android will ask you which launcher you want to use to display your home screen. Unless you choose "Use this launcher every time," it will keep asking you.

      In other words, the built-in ICS launcher will always remain. You can install and uninstall different launchers and use them as you will, but you will always be able to fall back on the default one.

      • Totoy Badiola
        September 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

        Many thanks for the prompt reply and is sure, a relief. Now, I can confidently try other launchers. More power!

        • Totoy Badiola
          September 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm

          And oh, finally I can now read this article which I am sure will be great help in choosing a new launcher for my tab.

        • Joel Lee
          September 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm

          You're welcome! Glad to be of service. :)

  3. Christopher Harlan
    August 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I currently use MIUI and it is an amazing system with an amazing launcher! However when I used stock, I liked Atom launcher a lot.

  4. Mark
    July 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Hi, Joel, what do you think about Tagy, a launcher-like widgets pack? It basically presents apps, contacts and bookmarks as tag clouds, sort of a text-based interface.

    • Joel Lee
      July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Hey Mark. This is my first time hearing about Tagy.

      It isn't exactly a launcher so it wouldn't fit alongside other launchers, but wow! It's a really cool concept and I'm going to try it out right away. If it's good, I'll write up a review. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Steven Kim
    July 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Holo launcher has an amazing feel

  6. denny Gl
    July 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

    nemus look cool .will try

  7. yorgil111
    July 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I have used some cooked, independent lauchers but now, after ICS upgrade and more powerful processors, Sense in my HTC works very fine

  8. Meg
    July 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Here's another one to check out: SweeterHome.

    [Broken URL Removed]

    It's currently in beta and not available on the market, and has a fairly steep learning curve on how to set things up, but its EXTREMELY customizable, and there are quite a few great themes already set up to try out.
    I'm using it right now and I adore it!

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      That looks pretty sick. I'll have to look more into it. Thanks!

  9. Keith
    July 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I highly recommend Nova launcher. Great eye candy & very (very) fast! Only drawback is it only runs on ICS.

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Nova was recommended in the previous article, too, but I don't have an ICS phone so I can't try it, unfortunately. Thanks for the recommendation, though!

  10. Nick Bruce
    July 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    At this point, with so many options for launchers, the Google Play Store really needs a section for launchers.

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Ha! It'd make it easier for everyone, wouldn't it? I agree with you there.

  11. Suhel
    July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    That user was me... on facebook

    Facebook comment :
    "Suhel Hasan Nemus Launcher... Smooth like silk :D"

    *takes all the credit* haha

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you. :D

  12. Vipul Jain
    July 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

    used to have GO, but now on Nemus. Its way to light and has every essential feature in an explicable awesome manner :)

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Awesome! Glad you were able to find a better launcher than GO. :)

  13. ferdinan Sitohang
    July 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    i've used Holo launcher, it is enough for me i think. It is an awesome tutorial. Thank you

  14. Chris
    July 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Holo launcher is great. Nice ICS GUI and quite smooth considering my not-so-recent phone!

  15. Kelly Buchanan
    July 13, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Nemus has made a number of improvements since I last tried it. Sounds as though it's worth another look. Thanks for the heads up!

  16. Garey Boone
    July 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

    MIUI now has a launcher that landed in the play store and is not too shabby, you should give it a look see

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      I've tried MIUI before and I think I remember liking its launcher. I didn't know that they put the launcher up as a separate download now. Thanks for the info. I'll check it out. :)

  17. Azam Afzal
    July 13, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I've been using Holo launcher for a couple of months now, since I still haven't upgraded to ICS and its great.