This story was originally published and last updated .
Nova Launcher has always been among the most popular third-party launchers, even with great alternatives like Niagara popping up left and right. After what felt like months of stagnation, the latest visual refresh and rewrite of Nova is finally starting to roll out on the Play Store, dubbed Nova7. It's based on the latest AOSP launcher code and comes with new animations, styles, and features.
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:
- 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)
Nova7 was in beta for eight months — it first launched back in December 2020. That seems like a long development cycle for a small visual refresh and a few new icon shapes, but it's no trivial task to rebase a full product on new code. In the long term, the update could actually help speed up future feature integrations, as the base for the whole app is now much more modern.
If you don't want to wait for Nova7 to roll out to you via the Play Store, you can also get version 7.0.45 from APK Mirror right away.
The article previously talked about the Nova7 beta and has been updated with details regarding the stable launch.