Our favorite third-party launcher on Android, Nova Launcher, is almost ready to graduate to a new major release. Nova7, as it's been lovingly dubbed by the devs, is starting to roll out on the Play Store, bringing along a visual refresh and several aesthetic and functional improvements.

The team says version 7 is based on the latest AOSP launcher code, which means that it should feel fresher than ever with new visual animations and styles. But to be honest, unless you're a designer or you pay attention to tiny details, it'll mostly feel the same, only a little more modern. In my tests, compatibility with gesture navigation on the Pixel seems slightly improved and less janky, but it's still not as smooth as the default launcher.

New features are available too. First, a weather icon can be added to the search bar, with customizable location and temperature unit. Next, you can change the corner radius of your widgets to force even the most straight-angled ones to better fit with Android 12's new design language.

There's a new swipe down gesture, in addition to the swipe up one, which can be assigned to any Nova option, any app, or any shortcut. It's available both for individual apps as well as folders. And talking about icons, you can now control the forced reshaping of every app's icon, individually.

Here's the full official changelog with a few more improvements:

Nova7 first Play Store Beta (Staged roll out)

  • Visual refresh - Rebased on the latest AOSP launcher code and updated Nova specific code to match the latest animation and visual styles
  • Weather icon in search bar (Nova Settings > Search > Desktop Search Bar > Weather)
  • Swipe down action on icons (Requires Prime)
  • Enhanced Nova Search
  • Reshape themed icons and toggle reshaping per icon
  • Option for Android for Work apps in their own tab
  • Custom Widget Corner Radius (Nova Settings > Desktop > Widget corner radius)

If you're eager to try out Nova7, you can enroll in the official Play Store beta and wait for the staged rollout to reach your device. Or you can grab v7.0.39 from APK Mirror right away and install it to check it out.

Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher
Developer: TeslaCoil Software
Price: Free