The so much praised and so far delivering on that home screen app Nova Launcher's developers have been hard at work to improve the overall experience it gives, and so, without a surprise, version 6.1.2 got released. As they have said in their official release breakdown, this update brings "two notable features" and some tiny fixes. Different to our most previous reports, let's get straight to our findings.

Notification dots

While numeric notification badges or "dots" have been around in Nova Launcher for so long, they required the TestlaUnread plugin to be installed for them to function properly. Sadly, Google's recent privacy oriented changes on the Play Store forbids the use of SMS and CALL_LOG permissions by any third-party applications published there, which the plugin requires, so, either you use the now built-in numeric badges option which entirely mirrors the number of notifications in the notifications shade, or instead go ahead and sideload manually TeslaUnread onto your device. This plugin has benefits like showing up exactly how many unread messages you have from many popular chat apps by conducting different sets of APIs but is not limited to IMs only.

Discover dark mode

Following Flick Launcher, which got support for Google Discover's dark mode in its latest beta, Nova Launcher adds the same feature in v6.1. The advantage with Nova's implementation, however, is that you can manually choose between light, dark and auto mode for Discover's background theme. To enable Google Discover in Nova you need to get the Google Companion APK and install it on your phone as well.

Wallpapers behind notches

One of the shortcuts for accomplishing the ever-wanted 100% screen-to-body ration on smartphones has been adding a notch or even a hole. If you want to fully utilize the screen space given to you whilst having your status bar hidden, Nova now allows for displaying wallpapers behind screen cutouts. You only need to check if the 'Enable Transparent Notification Bar' option in the Look & feel section in the settings is enabled and the 'Show notification bar' setting is toggled off.

Verdict

Nova Launcher 6.1.2 looks to be a nice feature upgrade for customizability lovers and this time has focused on improving the different "integrations" types it has baked in, like Discover and TeslaUnread that we talked right above.

Source: help.teslacoilapps.com, Google Play


My daily launcher app, Nova Launcher, has gotten yet another beta update this week, which should resolve many issues, improve the previously revamped settings menu and a lot more. But first of all, let's go through the changelog.

Changelog

  • New: Added a page indicator for horizontal folders
  • New: Notification Badges now respect System Settings on Oreo+
  • Improved: Dock background
  • Improved: More text updates in Nova Settings
  • Improved: Hover to scroll during drag/drop in horizontal folders
  • Improved: Updated scrollbar style
  • Fix: Widget drawer resetting to the top
  • Fix: Text color in drawer after toggling Night Mode
  • Fix: Blank rows in shortcut popup
  • Fix: General fixes and improvements in Settings

Page indicator for horizontal folders

As noted above, there is a scroll indicator support for horizontal folders added, which consists of dots that show up right next to the folder name and you just need to switch on the horizontal scrolling feature for folders from Nova's setting. To do that, long-press on a blank space on your home screen, hit the gear icon, select Folders - Window style - Scroll direction - Horizontal.

Notification badges

The default settings for notification badges, also known as dots, on Android Oreo and above have been set to follow the system settings, so if notification dots have been disabled from your device's notification preferences, Nova will respect that.

Apart from all of the improvements and fixes, these are were the most notable features that came with this beta version.

If you are interested, you can apply for beta testing Nova Launcher on the Play Store, or either download the most recent APK file from Nova's website and install it manually

Source: Google Play


The first beta of the next major release for Nova Launcher was made official the day after Android Pie was made public. Nova Launcher v6.0-beta1 brings many features from Android P's launcher and here is a list we made with most of the changes in this update:

Dock

  • The Google search bar can be positioned above or below the icons in the dock
  • Dock as overlay option

App drawer

  • Support for Google search in the app drawer
  • Bounce animation from Pixel Launcher

Folders

  • Full-screen folder view
  • Customizable folder background shape
  • Vertical or horizontal scrolling in folders
  • Clip to background setting for folder previews

Others

  • Fully customizable Google search bar
  • Search option in Settings
  • Better previews in Settings
  • Option to match the app icon size to the desktop size for icons in the app drawer, folders, and dock
  • Manual X and Y padding control slider for the home screen, the dock, and the app drawer.
  • Customizable shortcuts for the pop-up menu when you hold on an app, a shortcut or a widget
  • Custom app icon shape support
  • New setup UI

This time we got a huge settings overhaul. The search bar in the settings is very useful, but why does it have to be a separate overlay when it can just expand on top of the action bar like the search option in Android's Settings app. Currently, it doesn't always show results on my device.

Another little glitch I encountered is that the checkboxes in Settings - Look & feel for Transparent notification bar and Dark icons don't animate properly. You can see it in the demo video.

Nova Launcher brought some long-awaited things with this update. For example, the full-screen folder view, the Google search and the bounce animation options in the app drawer.

You can subscribe for Nova Launcher beta to get this update on your device from our website. Additionally, you can also check the history of Nova Launcher Beta changlogs gathered from the Google+ beta testing community and Google Play.

Tell us if you have any feature request or issues with the app down in the comments section.