When it comes to custom launchers in the Android world, Nova is one of the biggest offerings with over 50,000,000 installs. With a customer base that big, making wholesale changes could be fraught with danger but that hasn’t stopped them making massive changes with the latest beta. Somewhat outside the convention (sign up for beta in the Play Store), if you’re keen to take a look at the Beta, you’ll need to join their discord or check out APK Mirror.
The usual caveat applies to joining Beta programs: Some features may not be fully functional or potentially outright broken. Please, approach with caution and seriously consider if you want to run Beta software on your primary, daily use devices.
One of the biggest changes is that Nova is now based on Launcher 3 from the AOSP, a near-total redo of their code. Don’t worry though, the overwhelming majority of features from previous versions are present. From a visual standpoint, users will see the updated icons and radial folder icon layout. You’ll also get vertical paginated folder scrolling, great to develop the muscle memory to access favourite apps quickly.
On top of this, users who’ve purchased Prime will have access to swipe actions on icons. For those of us who are regularly throwing APKs around, the option to save an APK (particularly useful if you’re part of a Beta program) there is now an additional “Save APK” menu button.
So like we said, big changes are coming to the main release soon. If you’re super keen to take a look now, try APK Mirror or head over to the developer’s discord.