The Android developers’ community never fails to impress with the effort they put into ensuring everyone has the best features that could otherwise be exclusive to one brand. Case in point is the Pixel Launcher (download) that made its debut in 2016 and is exclusive to the Google phones, yet every other Android user can get it and enjoy just about everything on offer, including some even more interesting tweaks that are not found in the stock version.
If you fell in love with the Pixel Launcher right from the start and have since been unable to figure out a way to get the goodies it comes with on your Android phone, we have you covered. In this post, we have a selection of Pixel Launcher clones that are as good as the real launcher, but you’ll be surprised that some might even be better than the stock version.
Let’s dive right in.
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Customized Pixel Launcher (CPL)
The Customized Pixel Launcher, otherwise simply known as CPL, is based on AOSP Pixel Launcher but includes expanded functionality and customizations. While trying out the, I’ll admit that it’s one of the best, if not the best Pixel Launcher clone outside the usual stuff and once installed, you’ll be quick to notice the similarities with the original Pixel Launcher.
What’s even more interesting is that you get the app for free and it comes with no ads, however, you won’t find it in the Google Play Store, but we have the link to the APK version that can be installed manually on your Android phone.
Don’t know how to install APK files on Android? We’ve got your back! Just click here and you’ll be good to go. As for the CPL APK file, hit the link below.
Note that the above procedure on how to install APK files on Android will still be applicable in other cases in this post – cases where we only have an APK file and no Play Store download.
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Like CPL, Lawnchair Launcher prides itself as the launcher that brings Pixel features to the masses. In fact, the developer of CPL has acknowledged the support offered by the Lawnchair team, but it is the latter’s app that has made it to the Play Store, although in beta.
Whether you want Notification Dots, Adaptive Icons, App Shortcuts, swiping right to open Google Now cards, swiping up from anywhere on the home screen to open app drawer, swiping down to open notification center, and ability to customize these options; the Lawnchair Launcher has them all. The best part of this app is that once installed, you get to enjoy Pixel Launcher features on your phone without even touching anything.
Since Lawnchair Launcher is still work in progress, the developer notes that more features will be coming in soon. Even better is the promise that the app will always remain free and open-source.
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Rootless Pixel Launcher
As the name suggests, the Rootless Pixel Launcher is one that gives you access to Pixel Launcher exclusive features without the need of rooting your Android phone. Developed by AmirZ, a recognized developer on XDA Developers and a notable contributor to CPL, the Rootless Pixel Launcher is a “port” that not only brings Pixel features to Android phones but also tablets.
Besides the Pixel Launcher features, Rootless Pixel Launcher further adds exclusive features such as app suggestions based on the number of clicks in the app drawer, round icons, centered screen popups, ability to resize all apps list when opening the keyboard, and many more. The latest version is 3.5 and you won’t get it in the Play Store, but an APK file is available via the link below.
→ Download Rootless Pixel Launcher APK
Rootless Pixel Launcher Android Go Edition
The same developers of the above launcher have a tweaked version that offers Android Go users a taste of the Pixel Launcher features. Like the OS itself, the Go Edition version of the Pixel Launcher is meant to be easy on smartphone resources, but there are a few things you’ll have to deal with.
For instance, the desktop grid is locked to 4×4 and support for widgets and notification dots is also disabled. Other than these, the rest of the Rootless Pixel Launcher features are available, including the Google Feed panel and home screen rotation, among others. You can even change the icon pack, a feature that is not present in the stock version.
So, if you have a low-end device that is not necessarily running Android Go and would like to have Pixel Launcher features, the Go Edition of the Rootless Pixel Launcher is what you’ve been looking for. And we have the APK version via the link below.
→ Rootless Pixel Launcher Go Edition APK
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Another impressive Pixel Launcher clone is the Flick Launcher, which is available for free download via the Google Play Store. Once installed, you’ll be getting all the Pixel Launcher features to your Android phone, including automatic night mode, app shortcuts, quick app search and so on.
Like many other third-party Pixel Launcher apps, Flick Launcher also comes with plenty of customization options and gesture support. Although free, you’ll be better off going Pro in order to enjoy the full-blown features of the launcher, but be warned that both versions are still work in progress.
→ Download Flick Launcher free version | Pro version
Of course, you cannot use all five launchers at the same time, but you can as well try all of them and find which one best suits your preferences. One thing that will stand out, though, is that all mentioned launchers are the best Pixel Launcher alternatives you can get besides the usual options, that is, Nova and Action Launchers.
So, what’s your favorite one? And has it got enough to make you switch from a custom launcher like Nova and Apex to it?