Nova has long been the go-to app launcher for Android users. When it was first launched, Nova was renowned for the sheer amount of customization options it offered. Even in the past few minor/major revisions, the launcher has been constantly adding new features—and it offers a lot for free.

But if you’re looking for more power-user features like swipe gestures, custom drawer groups, hidden apps, and more, you’ll want to upgrade to Nova Launcher Prime. Let’s talk about the features that make Nova Prime the best launcher for Android.

1. Add Deep Linking Search With Sesame Shortcuts

Android’s on-device search is far from optimal. In the daily workflow, you have to tap or switch between multiple screens to get to the relevant information. Sesame Shortcuts is a third-party app that solves this problem, and it supports native Nova Launcher integration.

Once it’s linked, you’ll be able to access a variety of in-app shortcuts. You can create a shortcut to enable one-tap access to make calls, send SMS messages or emails. And it makes it easy to find files, locations, important settings, apps from the Play Store, WhatsApp conversations, and more all from one place.

The built-in API lets you search YouTube subscriptions, subreddits, Slack channels, Spotify playlists, Telegram chat, and Twitch.

2. Integrate Google Discover Pages

Google Discover (formerly Google Now) is a quick way to access news or stories that Google thinks will appeal to you. You can customize the content to your interests, and let Google curate the feed. For more on the basics, here’s our guide on how to use Google Feed on Android.

If you’re using a third-party app launcher, it’s not easy to get access to the Google Discover page. Nova Launcher has a workaround to integrate the feed into the left-most page of the launcher. You’ll need to sideload the official Nova Google Companion app on your device first, then go to Nova Settings > Integrations and check Google Discover.

3. Customize Swipe Gestures

Gestures serve as a great tool to get your work done quickly and efficiently. In the case of Nova Launcher, gestures give you quick access to the screen, apps or custom shortcuts that require multiple taps.

To see all the options go to Nova Settings and select Gestures & Input. By default, swiping down with one finger brings up Search, and swiping up reveals the app drawer.

To customize them, tap any gesture to open a screen with three options—Nova, Apps, and Shortcuts. For example, you can choose to expand notifications when swiping down, launch WhatsApp camera or recent apps on a double-tap, and start driving mode on a two-finger swipe.

Other gestures include pinching in or out, two-finger rotation (clockwise or anti-clockwise), and more.

4. Create a New Tab or Folder in the App Drawer

After you install apps, the app drawer can become cluttered. If you want to keep your home screen clean or avoid adding more screens, Nova Prime lets you create sub-categories in the app drawer to organize your apps.

Similarly, you can also create folders in the app drawer. It’s important to decide in advance how you want to classify apps. Check out our guide on unique ways to keep your app drawer neat and tidy.

5. Hidden Folder Swipe Gesture

Nova Prime lets you hide folders behind app icons. You can also swipe upwards on an app to reveal the hidden folder behind it. Once enabled, the first app in the folder becomes the front app. This way you can quickly access the pool of related apps and keep the home screen clean.

6. Create Quick Shortcuts for App Actions

Nova Launcher lets you set the swipe action for any app icon on the home screen. You can launch a related app by swiping up, or enable an app-related shortcut. To do this, press and hold the app icon, and tap the Edit button.

Under the Swipe Actions section, tap on the arrow to open the screen with three options- Nova, Apps and Shortcuts. For example, swiping up on the Phone app can launch the Messages app, and swiping down can launch the Two-Factor Authentication app.

Whichever option you choose, there are several combinations of swiping up and down as long as they are related to each other. That way, you can open other apps faster and keep your home screen from cluttering.

7. Use Dynamic Notification Badges

Notification badges were already built into the Nova, but this required a separate TeslaUnread app, which was unfortunately buggy and the experience was inconsistent. In contrast, dynamic badges use informational content to create custom badges.

For example, WhatsApp will show a preview image of the sender, as long as the notification remains in shadow.

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