One of the biggest drawbacks to new versions of Android is that it can take forever for the new features to roll out to current users. For launcher-specific items, though, we can always count on developers to bring us up to speed. Nova Launcher has done just that with several Jelly Bean-esque add-ons to its ICS-compatible app, including automatic rearranging of desktop elements, and the ability to fling apps and widgets away to remove them from your homescreen.

nova1 nova2 nova3

Here's the full list of what's new:

Since 1.3.0
Fix preview screen
Misc minor fixes
Since 1.2.2
Jellybean launcher features (Works with ICS)
-Desktop automatically rearranges to fit
-Long-press then fling to delete items
-Project butter related enhancements
Import from other launchers
Custom drawer grid size
Uninstall on quick menu
Performance improvements
- Smoother scrolling
- Faster load
- Reduction of memory usage
- Reduction of APK size

The update is available via the Play Store and should be a welcome addition to anyone running a skinned launcher on an ICS device. Which is becoming an increasingly large number of you. If you want to take a look at the release notes (or Apex's recent problems have given you incentive to switch), grab the app from the widget below. The Prime license (which only unlocks certain features, still requires the installation of Nova Launcher) is also available.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • John

    Nice. I still find this to be better than Apex. I've tried it for about a week, and I found myself constantly wanting to go back to Nova. I know they're supposed to be similar in most ways, but it's just the experience I've had.

  • besthiroeu

    Apex launcher recived similar update aswell, but it's newest update isnt really working. Hotfix should follow soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Anucool Anukool Karvir

    I am about to buy a pro version of a launcher. But can not decide between Apex and Nova. Any suggestions?

    • Greyhame

      I went with Nova. No regrets here. 1x1 widgets in the dock are awesome!

      • ShiroEd

        What are 1x1 widgets in the dock? how do they work? I'm intrigued...

        • Greyhame

          I was just referring to how you can place 1x1 size widgets in the dock of the launcher. For example, a flashlight widget can be placed there, keeping your wallpaper clutter free.

          • theentropic

            If you go into Nova settings, and hold the volume key down it will bring up the "Labs" menu. From there, you can enable the launcher to place any size Nx1 widget in the dock. There are some other neat options in there too.

          • goldenscreen

            Thanks was not aware of this

      • Max

        Well, Apex can do that too...
        Both offer very similar functionality, and both seem to keep a good eye on one another. Try both and decide then. For me, widgets just seemed to look better on my TF101 with Apex (they looked stretched with Nova), so I went with that, but others prefer Nova. Can't really go wrong with either I guess.

  • FRGuzman

    Meanwhile, on Apex Launcher, last update FCs for 99% of users...

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    Does anybody use Go Launcher? I keep trying different launchers but keep going back to Go. I have tried out Apex (until the FCs this morning) and now Nova, as well as others, but there always seems to be something missing.

  • Jaxx89

    And which wallpaper is that???

  • Simon Belmont

    This is a good launcher. I'm assuming that the Project Butter enhancements only work on a Jelly Bean ROM, though.

    I've found that I like this a bit more than Apex Launcher. But both are good.

  • Howard

    I love nova launcher

  • Erni Papakroni

    Sorry Apex, Nova is faster and smoother .Yesterday I updated Apex then .... everything went wrong , a lot of fc , the app didn't open at all. Then I tried Nova . Last time I have tried it was 6 or more months ago.

  • vgergo

    I've done my testing: Nova eats a little more memory than Apex, mainly because the unread counter comes in a separate package.

  • rasorz

    Hiya I find that nova launcher on the one x and one x plus is a better experience than go launcher (was my favourite launcher till I got the one x series) primarily because of the dock, on go launcher the 3 dot menu and dock are present which takes up valuable screen estate and nova launcher just looks amazing and is buttery smooth to use, I just had to upgrade it to prime, I was that impressed.