We all are very well aware of the fact that Android is the only mobile operating system that gives us the maximum choices when it comes to the customizability.
And that is exactly the reason why different Android based smartphone companies go out of their way to release their very own custom-tailored user interface for their devices.
The best example for that is “TouchWiz” which is developed by Samsung and being widely used on smartphones and tablets manufactured by Samsung since 2010 till date. Regardless of its popularity and the eye-catching smart features being offered by the Samsung TouchWiz, the lack of customization possibilities may not interest everyone. But, as we have already mentioned in the beginning, Android gives you the complete freedom to modify the interface and make the experience according to your personal liking.
This brings us to the third-party Android launcher, which is undoubtedly the easiest way to personalize your Android device. And not only customize, but these launchers also come bundled with powerful and well-designed customization features to help you further enhance your familiarity with your Android device.
To help you find the best and lightest 3rd-party launchers for Android, we have prepared a list of handpicked home screen replacement apps that are lightweight, require the least amount of space, and work on every Android device regardless of its specifications.
|Requirement:||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above.|
The Holo Launcher is based on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow stock interface, which provides you a complete material design along with a number of customizability and modification preferences.
And above all, Holo Launcher is a lightweight launcher that consumes less amount of RAM, which leaves enough free memory for other apps on your phone.
You can change the total number of desktop pages (up to nine pages) as well as the grid sizes (up to 10 x 10).
You can make the dock scrollable by adding up to three pages, and each dock page supports seven apps/folders.
The icons and labels for both, app shortcuts as well as the folders, can be customized with just a simple ‘tap and hold’ gesture so that you can better organize your Android home screen UI.
There is even a support for gestures, which means you can assign a ‘swipe up’ or ‘swipe down’ gesture to launch the specific app right from the home screen.
These simple modifications and features will let you cut down the number of app shortcuts visible on your Android desktop while making your phone work faster as compared to the stock launcher.
- Light, efficient, and powerful launcher with several customizable options.
- Add up to nine pages to your home screen.
- Support gestures.
- Scrollable dock with support for up to three pages and seven shortcut icons.
- Some bugs and stability issues, and needs some fixing.
|Requirement:||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above.|
Smart Launcher 3 is a fast, intuitive, simple, and light launcher that is fully compatible with almost all the Android phones, whether it is a newly released device or an old one with minimal memory and processing power.
And unlike most of the other popular Android launchers available on the Google Play Store, Smart Launcher 3 (SL3) is not built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
The launcher has the lowest system requirements, tapping an insignificant amount of stress on your device’s battery power, memory usage, and processor.
Which also leaves enough unused resources so that you can easily run other important apps on your phone.
The search bar is conveniently located on the home screen that will allow you to perform quick web search as well as enable you to search for apps and contacts located within your device.
The launcher is vastly customizable and personalizable thanks to the availability of loads of icon packs, themes, and lock screens.
Furthermore, the development team has added compatibility for both, portrait mode and landscape mode to enhance accessibility. Along with the ability to hide apps from the app drawer as well as password protection.
- Come as a base launcher app to provide maximum minimalism, but can be customized by downloading an additional plugin for personalization.
- Compatible with Android phones and tablet devices, and works in portrait and landscape mode.
- Can run on almost any Android device, and requires minimal Android system resources.
- You can unleash the true ad-free potential of this powerful and highly customizable launcher by purchasing pro version for $4.49.
- Multiple home screen widgets not supported.
- Icon notification feature may malfunction on some Android devices.
- Personalized fonts not supported.
|Requirement:||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above.|
Zero Launcher is a lightweight, small in size, consumes less space, and fast in performance. The launcher comes with a variety of free HD live wallpapers and themes to help you better personalize your Android phone and tablet.
Zero Launcher is smartly designed so that users with limited RAM Android devices can easily download, install, and run the launcher without worry about memory hogging.
And because it works flawlessly while leaving less footprint on the memory, which also saves battery in a longer run.
The launcher provides you with a number of customization possibilities including folder management, intelligent apps arrangement, and categorization, built-in search bar to let you search for emails, apps, and messages stored on your device.
Apart from providing you with the ability to change the wallpaper of your Android home screen, you can even change the lock screen wallpaper to further modify your Android device.
Other features of the launcher include support for custom gestures, home screen weather, and clock widgets, security function to let you lock app and password protection for folders.
- Change or modify the wallpapers, themes, fonts, and icons.
- Awesome 3D transitional and smooth scroll effects.
- Gesture support to help you quickly search for the apps.
- Icon size cannot be adjusted.
- Lack of fresh wallpapers and themes, as the app has not been updated since September 2016.
|Requirement:||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above|
Nova Launcher is one of those Android launchers that offer you some of the best personalization and customization options along with the most advanced performance capabilities as well as easy to use user interface.
With Nova, you can gain a complete control over the home screen of your Android phone and customize it to your will.
The launcher will let you change the layout, select different variations of animations, thousands of icon theme packs for almost every app, and the ability neatly organizes your home screen by creating folders.
The backup and restore functionality let you create a complete backup of all your customizations, which you can even restore on your other Android devices or store it for later in case you need to change your phone.
You can also customize your app and widget drawers using custom tabs for categorization or grouping, custom effects, and vertical & horizontal scrolling options.
Nova offers extra premium features too, like gesture support, unread notification count badge, ad-free launcher, ability to hide apps from the drawer, option to open specific app by swiping icon, shortcuts, or folders. You can avail all of these extras by purchasing Nova Launcher Prime for $5.00.
- One of the lightest, quickest, and performance-driven Android launcher with smooth animations.
- Import your custom layout from any existing launcher to save time.
- Option to backup and restore to save your precious personalization.
- Subgrid positioning offers you higher control over personalization of your home screen.
- If you are using the latest Android 7 Nougat then you might face some compatibility issues.
- App is not updated since May 2016.
|Requirement:||Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread and above|
Hola Launcher is a tiny, lightweight, and powerful launcher for Android devices. Apart from being a launcher with themes and wallpapers, it comes bundled with some additional tools to further clean and boost your Android phone.
The additional tools include battery saver, speed booster, power manager, game booster, and battery charging monitor, which makes it a perfect launcher for those who usually install an additional app to avail these power saving and cache cleaning functionalities.
Apart from the usual aspects of the launcher, there is a feature called Hola Shine that takes the launcher to the completely new level, it categorizes your apps in recently opened and frequently used.
You can access Hola Shine by simply swiping from the corner of your phone screen, and it will give you an easy access to all your apps. Moreover, the toolbox category will allow you to have an easy access to the tools like a flashlight, WiFi switch, airplane mode, screen brightness and what not.
The quick search mode, which can be accessed by simply double tapping on the home screen, will take you to the directory of all the apps installed on your device in alphabetical order.
You can add multiple pages to your home screen and they are easy to manage too, all you have to do is perform a pinch-out gesture right on your home screen.
You can further modify your Android home screen, add widgets, change wallpapers and themes by performing a tap-and-hold gesture.
- Hide/lock apps, SMS, pictures, and then easily access them with a two-finger swipe gesture.
- Completely personalize your Android device with hundreds and thousands of high-quality themes, wallpapers, and fonts.
- Omni Swipe allows you to switch between apps in seconds as well as quickly access other apps and tools.
- Come pre-installed with bloatware like phone booster, battery saver, and game booster that will slow down your device.
- Contains a lot of advertisements and pop-ups that negatively affect user experience.
|Requirement:||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above|
+HOME, or you can say Plus Home, is a free Android launcher that let you personalize your user experience by simply modifying the wallpaper, widgets, icons, and you can even select from thousands of pre-designed stylish themes.
The whole setup process is so easy that even a beginner can effortlessly customize the theme within minutes to better suit the sense of taste.
If you don’t like to spend your valuable time scrolling through the pages of apps to find the apps you are looking for, then you can use the one-stop-menu option that comes built-in with the +HOME launcher. It gives you easy access to calendar, alarm, maps, email, gallery, camera, and other frequently used apps with just a simple tap.
You can even create folders in the app drawer to better organize the apps installed on your Android device. This will help you organize apps according to their category or genre. This way you will know where to look for the apps.
+HOME launcher has the capability that will allow you to add pages to the dock. You can further customize dock by adjusting the number of visible icons as well as the total number of pages.
- Unify your apps by creating folders within the app drawer.
- Ability to modify the dock section and add additional pages.
- Personalized one-stop-menu that is just a tap away.
- Not currently compatible with Android 7 Nougat.
- A large number of pop-up advertisements that hurts the user experience.
- Fonts cannot be changed.
|Requirement:||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above|
KK Launcher is the only launcher that provides you with the user interface similar to the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat. Without compromising on the speed, power, and reliability.
If you are one of those Android users looking for a way to experience how the latest Android operating systems look like then this launcher will be perfect for you as it ensures that you have the smooth, powerful, and lightest launcher along with a modern touch.
Apart from giving you a way to get yourself familiar with the latest Android environment, there are several other things that this launcher is capable of doing.
With this launcher, you can have:
- Sidebar that gives you an easy access to a much cleaner interface which is appropriate for guest mode or kids zone,
- Enhanced Security with folder and app locking capabilities to put them behind an added layer of safety,
- Gesture Support provides support for over fifteen different gestures that you can even apply to desktop and icons,
- Super Folder allows you to create folder on the home screen as well as the app drawer to organize your apps,
…and a lot more.
There are hundreds and thousands of free themes that will completely modify your Android user interface including the wallpaper, icons, widgets, fonts, and desktop grid size.
Furthermore, you can easily manage and configure your home screen by adding or removing pages and widgets and modify other settings of the KK Launcher right from the home screen.
- Highly customizable with tons of options to configure the way your phone’s interface looks and works.
- You can secure your Android device by putting an additional lock on the apps or folder.
- Support for unread notification badge over the app icon.
- Popup advertisements, which might discourage many of you from using it. Unfortunately, even the prime version cannot remove these ads.
Best Android Launchers
These are the best launchers for Android. These may not be light but are the best in the market.
8. Action Launcher
Action Launcher is one of very best option for a launcher that mixes things and also changes the interface. One of the main and most unique features of Action launcher is Windows Start Menu-like bar that pops up on the left side of your screen, window-bars which you can use the application you like without searching for it. You can completely customize your All Apps list, icons and font as you like.
9. Google Now Launcher
Google’s very own launcher strips things down to basics. With Google Now Launcher you get access to button-free voice controls, and enough window bars to make you think you’re using Windows Vista again. It comes out of the box with Google Nexus devices. Use the Google Now launcher if you’re looking for high stability and a fast and stable Android experience.
10. Apex Launcher
Apex Launcher just like Nova blends smooth performance and also has a very good level of customization. The standout feature of Apex Launcher is a superb tablet mode allowing tablet users to rotate their home screen. The Pro version of Apex Launcher has a special Notifier service, which pushes notifications to a widget on your home screen.But for this service to use the app must be run in background draining battery.
11. Buzz Launcher
Buzz Launcher is packed with standard option of customization. But the advantage that Buzz Launcher has that it has thousands of user-created themes and widgets you can browse, download and tinker with. There are very more powerful launcher than Buzz launcher but if you’re all about matching colors of smartphone then Buzz is the launcher for you.
These are the best and lightest Android launchers that are smaller in size and consumes less memory, which makes them absolutely perfect for older devices with less processing power and RAM.
Have you tried any other Android lightweight launcher?
Please don’t forget to share this article with your friends if it helped you find the lightest launcher for your Android phone. 🙂