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.
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.
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.
- Nova Launcher replaces your home screen with one you control and can customize. Change icons, layouts, animations and more
- 📲 Beta test on Google Play
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