There comes a point many, many months after the release of a new version of Android where devoted users just can't quash the desire to get their hands on an even newer version. A preview of Android L is already available for download, but unless you are willing to flash your device and put up with any number of potential bugs, I wouldn't recommend installing it on a phone you actually need to use. But this doesn't leave you without options. The talented folks behind TeslaCoil have sprinkled some of Android L 's style all over the latest version of the Nova Launcher. They've slowly added these features into the beta since L's debut, and now things are ready to go stable.

Changing a launcher can't hit apps with the Material Design stick, but it can swap out old app animations for those that have not yet arrived yet. Selecting the L option will cause apps to pop out from the bottom of the screen upon selection and return when exiting (nicely summarized as "Slide Up" in Nova's settings).

Nova1 Nova2 Nova3

With a few taps, users can swap out that KitKat app drawer for a flat, solid white L one. Under settings, there's the option to give the search bar the same treatment as well. And those folders? Nova's L setting arranges those into a nice line.

This isn't the full L experience, but it lets users get a taste without having the risk of breaking anything. Is it enough to tide people over until the final release? Probably not. But at least it will let people get to taste L on the vast number of Android devices that have no hopes of ever getting an upgrade.

What's new:

  • "L" style folder preview (Settings > Folders > Folder Preview > Line)
  • "L" style app animation (Settings > Look and Feel > App Animation > Slide Up)
  • "L" style search bar (Settings > Desktop > Persistent Search Bar > L, or long-press on the quick search bar widget and select Edit)
  • "L" style app drawer icon (Long-press on the app drawer icon and select Edit then tap the icon and select the opaque white icon under Built-in)
  • Fixes and optimizations

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • matt

    download the "Moonshine Icon Pack" in the Play Store, pair it with these changes, and BAM :) L magic

    • Guillaume

      Awesome icon pack wow thanks for the recommendation ;-)

    • Justin Foster

      And then do something funky with your notification drawer like this :


      • Aseem

        how to change the color of notification bar

        • Aaron Hafitz

          Xposed ...forgot name of module though

          • Jacek Smoter

            Tinted statusbar :)

      • NinoBr0wn

        What the heaven is Jesus mobile

        • Eric Schmidt

          Isn't that the car he drives around in?

        • Justin Foster

          Only supernatural carrier in existence ;)

        • bettydlemons

          My Uncle
          Joshua just got an almost new white Kia Rio Hatchback only from working
          part-time off a home computer. try this C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • evolutionx1

        My eyes @_@

      • Saimantick Bhadra

        Which app is this?

        • Justin Foster

          Wanam Xposed and Xblast Tools

      • Jaa

        hey matt how u have changed this notification? using which app and how

        • Justin Foster

          Wanam Xposed and XBlast Tools

    • n_a_v

      I'm trying to avoid giving my N4 too much of the L look. I figure the sooner I go with an L theme, the sooner I'll get tired of it and will want the M release.

      • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

        This is a voice of experience.

    • rosariopwetzler

      Josiah . although Jacqueline `s stori is surprising,
      last week I bought themselves a Chrysler from having made $5060 thiss month
      and-in excess of, 10/k last-month . it's realy the easiest-work I have ever done
      . I started this 4 months ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in at
      least $78 per-hour . why not look here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • L-ViZ

      thx :) i like it :)

    • Patrick Tingson Olalia


  • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

    This honestly doesn't matter but I'm running the L preview on my N5 and my persistent search bar isn't that white. Is it supposed to be?

    • kevin_TeslaCoil

      No, or not yet at least, at the Keynote they showed screenshots with it white like that, but change is not present in the actual L Developer Preview with the Google Now Launcher.

      Nova's L style search bar is inspired by the screenshots at the keynote

      • SHeadius

        Thanks for the nice upgrades and shutting up all the complainers when you were on hiatus. It was almost too much to take listening to people whine about Nova being dead because there wasn't an update.

      • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

        Ohhh awesome. I must have missed that.

  • francisco garcia gonzalez

    install android previeuw theme and bam one step closer to android L :)

    here is the link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nikhilb.lcm11&hl=fr

  • http://androidintvfilm.tumblr.com/ wade_county

    I find the "Slide UP" animation a lot slower compared to other animations. That's with Nova speed and dev options on 0.5X

    • DanSan

      same here. definitely noticed it was a little slower.

      • ArkAngelZeroSix


        Look and feel>Animation Speed

        May or may not have an effect on that particular animation.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      I don't about slower but it's definitely a lot more noticeable than the other ones.

    • splus

      I find it even less fluid than other animations, lower FPS. And that's also at 0.5x speed.

  • DanSan

    been rocking these changes since i saw this stuff on DL like 9 days ago. really like the new changes and im dying for some L preview. my galaxy s4 will have to wait patiently until somebody makes a rom :(

  • Renan Lazarotto

    All that I wanted was the GEL app drawer (without the tabs and stuff). But at least now I get a bit of L feel, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

    • bozzykid

      You can disable the tabs and have Nova look exactly like the GEL launcher.

      • grumpyfuzz

        GNL* :P

        • Renan Lazarotto

          Thanks, I never knew which one is the right one, because there are so many acronyms that I get lost sometimes.

      • Renan Lazarotto

        I've already did this and it feels nothing like GEL/GNL. The icons and the spacing are very different and this is where my "OCD" kicks in. i wish that Nova Launcher got updated with Launcher3 style :(

        • bozzykid

          Did you increase the icons size?

          • Renan Lazarotto

            Yeah mate, but the spacing is not the same and I don't want to have huge icons on my app dock.

            But don't bother about me. I'm just a bit perfectionist and want it to look exactly like GNL but don't want to use GNL.

  • Jephri

    Taste the L. Mmmm

    • mattcoz

      But what does it taste like? Lemon? Liquorice?

  • Guillaume

    Nova launcher is one of those few apps I wish I could pay twice for. Solid Explorer is also on that list

    • ekerazha

      I paid for the Prime version but I don't use it anymore: it has become bloated, slow, it uses a lot of RAM and it's still based on the old Launcher2.

      • bozzykid

        It isn't bloated and slow for me. It certainly isn't using a lot of RAM.

        • ekerazha

          Maybe you are not using a Nexus S with 512 MB of RAM.

          • justin

            It's nearly 4 years old... perhaps it's time to upgrade.

          • ekerazha

            I still have to amortize those € 580.

          • RTWright

            Then don't blame the launcher for being slow when you're on an outdated low-end device. It's to be expected with hardware that old. I mean even on my Evo4G it would be slower than normal.

          • ekerazha

            Still, Nova shouldn't advertise itself as "performance driven" when it's slow as hell when you compare it to other launchers such as CyanogenMod's Trebuchet. Trebuchet has much less options but it is way faster and it's based on the new Launcher3, while Nova is still based on the old Launcher2.

          • elchuby

            dude, seriously- it's not slow at all.
            What device are you running it in?

          • Mircea

            Neither one of you understands what ekerazha is trying to explain. Nova doesn't have any features that would require more processing power than launchers in the past.

            An efficient app runs fast on older hardware and faster on newer hardware. Therefor, if a launcher advertised as performance driven runs slow on older hardware, even if it runs fast on newer hardware but, being inefficient, it would utilize more CPU power, leaving less power for others apps and using more battery. This is why being efficient is important. This is why on an older phone you can test how efficient an app really is. On a newer phone, an inefficient app may run just as fast as an efficient app, but the inefficient one would utilize, let's say, 50% CPU power in comparison to 25% as the efficient one would.

          • sgtGiggsy

            Does it matter witch launcher is it based on? Does it make any difference in the experience? And the slowliness... you know more features mean more system resources, you know?

          • ekerazha

            It does matter because the Launcher3 experience is better (e.g. dynamic home screens creation). Also, it was better when it had less features but it was faster. Now it's bloated and slow, it's not "performance driven" anymore.

          • sgtGiggsy

            More dynamic home screen creation than tapping the + button on the home screen overview screen?
            You know, nobody experiences these performance issues, because most users use it on a phone that isn't 4 years old. Nexus S is a Methuselah. For that LauncherPro is the proper choice, not the latest stuff. You have to get used to with the fact, you can't expect fast and modern working from a phone, that has that outdated hardware. Now even the cheapest phones have two core CPUs, with at about 1,2 Ghz, and 786MBytes of RAM.

          • ekerazha

            Yes... you have to manually tap the + button. That's old style. Instead, Launcher3 (just like GEL) creates new home screens dynamically. Nova Launcher was fine until version 3, version 3 is bloated and slow, moreover it's "wannabe Launcher3" (it adds some Launcher3 graphics) but it's still based on the old Launcher2. If a launcher requires a dual-core CPU it's OK, but you can't advertise it as "performance driven".

          • sgtGiggsy

            How often do you make new homescreens for having this such an important feature?
            And so you know, performance driven is always in the context of the current generation. When they saying it, they don't have to consider a hardware that is two generations older, than the current one. Having a 4 year old phone, and expecting new things to run smoothly on it, is like having a P4, and expecting to play Crysis 3 on it. Nowdays you literally can't buy a new phone that has nearly as low specs as Nexus S.

            But since you like so much launcher3, please tell me if that has these features: unread count, resizable widgets, full size widgets (when a widget fills the whole space it occupies) custom icon size, custom grid size, changeable effects, overlapping widgets, the ability of hiding apps, overlay dock, custom icon packs, changeable icon font, changeable animation speed, widgets grouped by applications (so if an app has 15 widgets, it's still ocuppies only one place in the list). Even Trebuchet doesn't able to do many of these. And with all the features, Nova uses only 60 MB RAM, while there are 7 widgets on the homescreens. So please tell me more about it's not being performance driven.

          • ekerazha

            Mmm... there's a "small" difference, Nova is a launcher, Crysis is a 3D game... requiring latest gen hardware for a launcher is just ridiculous. I'd gladly trade some useless features for more performances (e.g. unread count is useless since there's the notification bar), however the previous Nova version (2.x) had those features too but it was much faster, while version 3 is a poor programming exercise.

          • sgtGiggsy

            Not the latest hardware, just not one that was outdated even two years ago. Huge difference. I could have said P3 and Windows 7 too. Or P4 and Gnome3. The point is it's ridiculous to expect for something new to run smoothly on something that generations behind from the current. Having a 4 year old smartphone is equals with having a 10 year old PC. You know when your gadget has half of the specs of EVERYTHING that you can buy in a one Euro shop, maybe it's time to change.
            And as I said, 60 MB RAM, for a launcher with 7 widgets isn't a big deal. LauncherPro occupied 45 MB RAM three years ago.
            And please don't decide what is useless in the name of others. If you personally don't use something, it doesn't necceserally make it useless.

          • ekerazha

            Widgets run their own process, please don't talk about things that you clearly don't know.

          • sgtGiggsy

            Not every widget uses their own process (try once a launcher with full of widgets then again with no widgets, and you'll see what I'm talking about) For example right now I see only one process, that connected to a widget, and my phone has enough memory, it doesn't need to kill apps just to run an other one.

            And it doesn't changes on the fact, you expect a way too outdated hardware to run a new app smoothly. Let's talk about it later, when you have a phone that at least as powerful as a budget phone from the last year...

          • ekerazha

            Every widget runs its own process, widgets are just applications which get shown in a different way. Obviously there could be a small overhead in the launcher for widgets management, but it's negligible. Launchers are conceptually simple apps, the Nexus S hardware should be more than enough to run them super smoothly, if they can't run smoothly, there can be a couple of reasons:
            1) They use advanced graphics features (e.g. 3D launchers). This is not the case for Nova.
            2) They are badly programmed.

          • sgtGiggsy

            "Nexus S hardware should be more than enough to run them super smoothly"
            I hope you think about everything like this. "Oh, this car was fast, and ate little gasoline twenty-five years ago, but now it seems slow, and use too much gasoline. It must be because of this shitty new gasoline" "This TV was supersharp ten years ago, but now it looks blurred compared to the new ones. It must be because they intentionally make the HD content in a way that doesn't look fine on CRT"
            You really expect to stop the evolution of apps, just because you don't want to upgrade your shitty way too outdated hardware to a new one? Congratulations, but I stopped arguing with you, because it leads to nowhere.

          • ekerazha

            You think wrong. Moreover, there are no features in Nova Launcher v3 which can justify its low performances, just poor coding.

    • tdurden64111

      Nice try, Nova Launcher team...

  • Pastey

    Where can we find the wallpaper?

  • Feles

    Does anyone know if it's possible that Nova Prime will be on sale in the near future?
    I know it's easily worth the money, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm broke. And the free version is great, but there are some features that are a must for me and only available in the Prime.

    • Luis Gonzalez

      probably not the fastest way to go about purchasing Nova, but you could always do the surveys on Google opinion rewards until you save up enough play credits. Not sure when the next sale would be, I would say pay attention to holidays and typically AP will inform it's viewers of what sales are going on in the play store.

    • SHeadius


    • AOSPrevails

      If you are broke and you need paid apps, try Google Opinion Rewards https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.paidtasks

  • Abdallah Hirbawi

    Any way to get the white search bar on 4.4/google now launcher?

  • aaron cooper

    I run the "L" preview on my Nexus 4 as a daily driver.... No issues for me....

  • krudl3rx

    The new folders reduce functionality by showing less of the 2nd and 3rd app icons, in an apparent effort to mirror the look of the new app switcher... not cool Google. Do not make it function worse simply to have a consistent look.

    • bozzykid

      The folders look better when you have an odd number of apps in the folder.

  • Adrien Assadian

    OCD kicking in, but DAMN something about the play store icon next to the camera one drives me nuts. Just harmonize it already.

  • Michael M.

    Google not lets work hotword detection on any launcher, but I still can't use any lancher without side-bar google now position.

  • My name is….

    Ι still go with the ICS animation on Nova Launcher.

  • tstorm004

    Still my favorite launcher, loving all these new additions lately

  • http://www.editweaks.com/ Ifediri Dominic Eluagu

    Arrrgh! too much designs!

  • muddi900

    Noa Launcer always had a slide in feature...

  • primalxconvoy

    When will these third party launchers include full hardware controller support? It's only logical considering Android TV is on the way and there are already Mojo, Ouya and other Android device that utilise such controls to navigate the gui.

  • http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002275.shtml D.Smithee

    I like the L Preview slide up animation--very cool.

  • TDN

    Apex also added the L folder options and the "Slide Up" activity animation.