Nova Launcher vs. Action Launcher | Neck-to-neck Comparison Between 2 Of The Greatest Android Launchers


Are you an Android user and just simply tired of your old default custom theme launcher? And want to install a launcher with great features and customizable options. Then you may heard about the Nova launcher and the Action launcher. These are the top 2 best launchers for Android available on the Play Store. And if you can’t decide which launcher you need to download on your Android devices then don’t worry.

That is why we are here to compare the Nova launcher vs the Action launcher. This is a side-by-side of the Nova launcher vs the Action launcher. In this comparison, we compare every single feature of these launchers and give you our honest opinion about which launcher you need to install on your Android devices.

So guys my name is Shahid and I have been a blogger for the past 4 years also I have been an Android user for the past 10. During this time I will try so many Android apps. That’s why I have so much information about them. and I want to share my knowledge with you so you don’t need to waste your time comparing them side by side so without further to let’s start today’s comparison article.


Intro of Nova Launcher and Action Launcher

So when it comes to third-party launches I’ve used full-time on my everyday devices, I’ve really only ever used two: Nova Launcher and Launcher. And because of how accustomed I came to both of these launches, whenever anyone suggested trying anything else, I’d always be very apprehensive. But today, that ends because I’ve decided to take what I would consider two of the best third-party launcher options for customization.

And put them against each other in a head-to-head comparison. So, Nova Launcher versus Action Launcher, that’s what today’s video is all about. So without any further delay, let’s jump straight in. Okay, starting out with some basic comparisons about the two launchers to provide some context, so as of the making.


In terms of Popularity aside from stock default launches, Nova Launcher is top of the pack. It’s got well over 50 million downloads on the Play Store alone and over 1.2 million ratings as well for a total rating of 4.4 stars – super impressive stuff. Now, in comparison, Action Launcher has a still impressive but far smaller 5 million downloads and 103,000 ratings. Its total rating is 3.8 stars, which does seem a good bit lower.


Both launches have free options available but a lot of the good features for both do require a premium upgrade. Nova Launcher costs $4.99 USD and for this, you unlock gestures as well as the ability to organize the app drawer with folders, groups, and hiding apps. The upgrade also unlocks swipe actions for icons on the desktop, notification badges, plus a few additional wallpaper scrolling effects.

Out of each of these features for me, the only one I’d consider to be basic customization is hiding apps from the app drawer, but each of the other features is just additional bonuses that I really only think power users would be taking advantage of. In other words, we still get access to a lot of features with just the free version, so that’s a good thing.

On the other hand, Action Launcher costs $5.99 and this unlocks a buttload of additional features. So, upgrading to the plus version will unlock the adaptive Zoom app opening animation, which is the best of the various animations on offer, in my opinion. It also unlocks the ability to customize app shortcuts and it also unlocks notification dots and notification previews.

It also unlocks the Pixel Launcher-inspired ‘At a Glance’ widget, Google Discover to the left of the home page, folders in the app drawer, quick theming, shutters, unread notification badges, a weather widget, the ability to quickly edit icons, gestures, hiding apps, the ability to edit the scale of your icons, and it also unlocks widget stacks, which functions almost identically to the widget stacks feature found on iOS.

Man, that’s a lot. Now, to be clear, a lot of those features aren’t even options at all within Nova Launcher. But that said, it’s hard not to feel a little gypped when you download the free version because you quickly realize that most of the advertised features that make the launcher unique require a paid upgrade. In fact, a lot of the negative reviews you read on the Action Launcher’s Play Store listing are related to certain features being blocked unless you pay to upgrade.

I think they do very well to unlock at least half of these features and make them available in the free version. And then they need to fix their Play Store listing as well so that they aren’t heralding all of these amazing features that aren’t even available in the free version. But moving on from paid features.

Setup Process

And let’s take a quick look at the initial setup process for each launcher. So, when you launch Nova Launcher for the first time, you get a scrolling menu of basic launcher settings, including which theme to use, the icon shape and size, some customizations for the search window, as well as some options to customize the search bar that’s located on the dock.

Action Launcher, instead, gives you only a couple of full-screen pages to set up some basic elements at the home screen, including what search bar you want, whether to show an icon to open the app drawer and then an option to grant the launcher wallpaper access for auto theming. You also need to accept the user policy during the setup process as well.

I’d say Nova Launcher definitely offers a more comprehensive experience during this startup process, making it a bit easier to get things looking right straight away. After that, Nova Launcher.

Menu layout

After that, Nova Launcher Jumps straight into the home screen from which you can long press any blank space to launch into the widget selector and you can also launch into the settings from the page as well with Action Launcher. You can also access additional settings via a long press on the home screen. But here, we get the more minimal approach of a shortcuts menu, which I think is a lot cleaner if we jump into the main settings menus of each launcher.

You can see both have all of their menus clustered together and for the average user, I’d say both will take a bit of getting used to in order to figure out where each setting is located. Each menu does have a brief description underneath to indicate what is contained within the settings. However, the descriptions are much easier to understand within Nova Launcher, whereas, for Action Launcher, I still don’t really know what I’m going to find under each setting toggle beyond perhaps one or two functions.


Now, both Launches have all the basic customization features you’d expect including support for third-party icon packs and various icon theming options, custom grid sizing for both the desktop and app drawer independently, notification badges, app opening animation customization, a dock that you can turn on or off, hiding apps from the app drawer, creating blank home screen pages, hiding the status bar when on the home screen, a list of gestures and shortcuts, and also support for backup files.

Both launches also let you have multiple pages on the dock, customize the default options that appear when long-pressing an app, and set up folders in a cover mode which will essentially replace the folder icon with the first app found in the folder. To access the folder, you simply swipe up on that icon. So, pretty extensive options for customization are offered by both launchers.

Unique Features (Nova Launcher)

But let’s now chat about the features exclusive to each launcher starting with the Nova launcher the first unique feature is the ability to change the folder view you obviously have the standard window view but you can also change this to an immersive view and this is similar to what you get on oxygen os or even ios.

You also have another folder customizations that the action launcher doesn’t include corner radius shadow and scroll direction. Nova Launcher also lets you disable app opening animations altogether and you can enable an undo bar if you want to quickly bring back a desktop icon or widget you’ve accidentally removed. You can also change the icons of the folders themselves and set both folder icons and regular app icons to have swipe-up and swipe-down actions.

The list of actions to choose from is pretty extensive, including dedicated Nova Launcher actions, apps themselves, and application shortcuts. The options are pretty much limitless. For example, I could have it set up so that when I swipe up on my Google Chrome icon here, it takes me into the Google app itself, but when I swipe down, it takes me into Gmail, essentially giving me quick access to three applications all for the price of just one app icon on my home screen.

Now, there are some other areas where Nova Launcher has a few different options to Action Launcher, like some of the gesture shortcuts or app opening animations, or even some of the status bar customizations as well. But for the most part, for each of these scenarios, Action Launcher offers an equivalent amount of alternatives, so I don’t really consider it an advantage for either launcher.

Unique Features (Action Launcher)

Then we have the features exclusive to Action Launcher, and I have to say, Action Launcher does offer a surprising amount of additional features that cannot be found in Nova Launcher. So, this includes font theming, although the options are somewhat limited. A quick page feature, which is essentially like a second mini home screen that is accessed via a swipe in from the right.

And we also have the inbuilt At a Glance widget, as mentioned earlier. Then there’s quick theming, and which is a feature that colorizes literally every single one of the various elements of your home screen according to whichever wallpaper you have set up. And I have to give credit here, this is basically the same feature everyone loves the look of with the new Material You Android 12 update on Pixel phones, but Action Launcher has had this feature already baked in since late 2017.

As mentioned, we also get widget stacks, which as far as I’m aware is the only way to emulate this iOS feature on Android. It’s actually a pretty cool piece of functionality that essentially allows you to set up multiple widgets within the same space on your home screen and then swipe between them pretty seamlessly.

And finally, we have shutters, which is a really cool feature that essentially lets you access any widget you like simply by swiping or double-tapping on an app shortcut. But those are the main features that make the two launchers unique

My Favourite

I think Action Launcher definitely takes the crown for offering more unique features compared to Nova Launcher. However, keep in mind all of these unique features do require the Plus upgrade, whereas, for Nova Launcher, the only unique feature not available within the free version is the option to add swipe-up gestures to the folder icons on the home screen.

Out of all of the unique features Action Launcher offers, I’m also personally only really interested in the quick theming feature. But even then, I probably still wouldn’t use it because if I’m going to go to the effort of setting up and using a third-party launcher, then it’s because I want my home screen setup to look and feel the way I’ve set it up, rather than having the launcher auto-theme itself.

As well as this, like I alluded to earlier, whilst Action Launcher’s settings menu might look nicer than Nova Launcher’s, I definitely find it harder to navigate around and it often takes longer to find the settings that I’m looking for. Now, that said, as you’ve seen, both launchers offer nearly as much customization flexibility as the other.

So if you’re starting from scratch and you’ve never used either of these launches, then pick which one you prefer the look of and know that you’re not really missing out on any of those core customization features. My personal pick would still be Nova Launcher just because it feels much more intuitive and easier to customize, whereas, with Action Launcher, it feels like you have to work pretty hard to get it to not look how the developers think it should look.

Final Thoughts

Either way both launchers are still fantastic options, and what’s great is that a lot of Android phones are now getting much better at supporting the use of gestural navigation alongside third-party launchers. So if customization is your top priority, then you’re not really going to go wrong with either option. Let me know your thoughts on each of these launches down in the comments below.

Ending Note: This is the of the Nova Launcher vs. Action Launcher Which Android Launcher Do You Need To Install. You can download both of these apps from the Google Play store. So this is all for today’s article. We hope you will like our article. If you like it leave a comment and don’t forget to share it with your fellow Android users. And we will see you in our next article. Bye!

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