My Nova Launcher Prime Experience

12:36 AM

Hey there!

I redesigned my phone's user interface and I thought I'd write about it here. I used to have Nova Lancher (free version) on my old phone (Moto G) but I never got around to learning more about the features in it, and only used it to change simple things (changing the app drawer from a horizontal to vertical layout, for example). 

I wasn't sure if I should download it on my current phone (Mi 4i) until I browsed through posts on Reddit and Google Plus, and got inspired by the home screens I saw. Honestly, I didn't like how big the icons were on my phone and the lack of an app drawer. I downloaded Nova Launcher Prime (RM 20) instead of the free version because it offered the option to resize icons and have extra dock pages, among other things

Andddd, this is what I designed: 

The layout.

Before: On MIUI 8

After: With Nova Launcher Prime

Left: Before 
Right: After (with Hi Locker)

Left: MIUI 8
Right: Vertical (scrolling) app drawer layout.

I love how the lack of color makes it look simpler and cleaner. The smaller icons makes the home screen look bigger as well. There's also a feature where when you swipe up on an app, it takes you to another app of your choosing. For example, when I swipe up on Phone, it takes me to Contacts. You can also hide apps in the app drawer that you hardly use but you can access it through the search bar. 

It's time consuming to change the icons of the apps one-by-one, but it's also kinda fun. They didn't have an icon for Dayre, so I edited the logo to suit the theme and added it to my phone. In some cases, they have other icons which suits the purpose of the app, so I use that instead.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of features they had and tbh, I didn't understand what some words meant at first or what I was supposed to be changing, but I watched a ton of tutorials on Youtube and read step-by-step guides online.  Also lurked on Reddit r/AndroidThemes discussion threads where they had advice for beginners. 

From what I remember, the free version is great as well. It just doesn't have as many features (which you may want or need). I didn't notice any lagging or extreme memory consumption either after using the launcher for a while. If anything, it's much more convenient because the apps are more easily accessible in the current layout. 

There's an extension within the launcher: TeslaUnread (You have to download it from the Play Store) that adds the count of unread conversation threads/messages to the apps you choose. The only complaint I have about this is: it's not very accurate. I have about a thousand plus messages on WhatsApp, but it only counted around 700+.

It would be nice if they managed to incorporate more preview features for each customization, but it isn't that complicated to navigate once you get used to it. 

I read that they offer sales for the app often. It's great because the app is kinda pricey for us Malaysians. I'm not sure when they have those sales so I guess if you're interested in purchasing it when it's on sale, you have to follow tech blogs or places like Reddit or Lowyat.

What I used:
Icon packs: Whicon (large) and Min (small)
Calendar: Month (app) 
Grid size: 7 x 5

  • Highly customizable
  • Offers a ton of features 
  • Free version for those who can't afford the prime version.
  • Ability to apply external icon packs.
  • Does not cause lag.

  • Normal price (RM 20) is expensive for Malaysians.
  • Initially difficult to use without guide. 
  • Unread messages count is not very accurate.

That's all for now, so till next time! 

Nova Launcher Prime on Google Pixel:
1. Lock Screen
2. App Drawer

1. Home Screen
2. Calendar Widgets (from Chronus Pro)
3. Tasks Widgets

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