The 8 Best Minimalist Launchers for Android

Android permits easy customization using launchers. You can personalize your Android smartphone with just an app installation; no technical knowledge is needed. There are a variety of android launchers that target different users.

Customization buffs go for Nova Launcher and its alternatives. But if you prioritize a clutter-free experience over anything, try minimalist Android launchers instead.

Here are the best minimalist launchers for Android.

1. Niagara Launcher

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Niagara is a pretty new Android launcher, making its debut in 2021. The launcher stands out for its minimalistic and simplistic nature. It sports a sleek user interface and allows you to choose up to eight of your favorite apps to be listed on its stripped-back home screen.

Niagara offers a couple of customization options, but it keeps them limited to maintain its simple status. Among other things, you can customize app icon size, icon shape, and fonts, and select whether you want the status bar to be displayed. Tapping on any letter on the vertical menu surfaces corresponding apps.

Niagara integrates message notifications, doing away with the need to open the notification shade for your favorite apps. You can even reply to messages without opening an individual app.

Download: Niagara Launcher (Free, premium version available)

2. Before Launcher

Minimalist Android launchers only show you what matters—you have the option to display just your most important apps, then hide the rest away. Before Launcher adopts this exact approach, letting you select up to 14 of your favorite apps.

You can also customize apps that can send you instant notifications for maximum productivity. The rest will have their notifications filtered and tucked in a separate window that you can check while free. All apps are placed on a separate page on the right, while filtered notifications are also a swipe away—on the left of the home screen.

Download: Before Launcher (Free, premium version available)

3. Lawnchair 2

Lawnchair 2 is one of the most popular Android launchers. Unlike Nova Launcher, which is heavy and with tons of customization options, it takes a conservative approach. Lawnchair 2 includes a clean user interface that mimics Google’s Pixel phones to achieve minimalistic status.

It sports a simple application dock, like Pixel Launcher, with a very accessible Google search bar and Google Assistant button.

But even with its clean approach, Lawnchair 2 manages to sneak in some additional customization options reminiscent of Google’s Pixel Launcher, like icon pack support. It also supports adaptive icons, dock customization, desktop customization, and other ways to personalize the experience.

Download: Lawnchair 2 (Free)

4. AIO Launcher

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AIO doesn’t feature fancy design. It displays information on a single screen in a simple way, with no animations, icons, or text. It features buttons and has several rows for different information. It includes separate rows for frequently used apps, notifications, mailbox, tasks, Twitter, calendar, and more.

This approach could make it a good launcher for seniors.

It also has a separate row for quick settings like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and others. You can access all your apps by swiping horizontally from the edge of your display.

The premium version adds more widgets, support for icon packs, and other customizable options. But if you’re looking for a minimalistic Android launcher, the free version is more than enough.

Download: AIO Launcher (Free, premium version available)

5. Smart Launcher 5

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Smart Launcher 5 is more colorful compared to the other launchers here, but manages to enter the list of minimalist Android apps in the way it works.

The home screen is simple and clean, with two rows of app icons, a digital clock, and a weather widget. A swipe up reveals your apps which are arranged based on their functionality. Categories include games, communication, utilities, media, and internet. There’s a search and Google Play Store button atop each category for easier searching.

If you need some customization, Smart Launcher has your back. You can customize icons, hide apps to reduce clutter, display theme, etc. Smart Launcher is free to download and use, but it offers more features in its premium version. You can pay for the premium version as a monthly subscriptions, or once.

Download: Smart Launcher 5 (Free, subscription and premium versions available)

6. Takan

Takan is as minimalistic as it can get. It doesn’t include anything colorful. It’s all black and white. There’s no single icon here. It all text, and there’s a fixed qwerty touchscreen keyboard at the bottom for navigation. Want to open an app? Just tap a letter, and all the apps that start with that letter will show up.

Despite its strict minimalist approach, it offers some slight customization to tweak everything to your liking. You can change font types, keyboard font size, and Takan’s accent color. Also, if app icons are a must-have to you, Takan allows you to include them.

You can access Takan’s settings by tapping the exclamation mark on the virtual keyboard.

Download: Takan (Free)

7. Sentien Launcher

Like Takan, Sentien Launcher doesn’t have a fancy home screen. It keeps it very simple. There’s a search bar, which acts as a gateway to all your apps. Tapping the circle reveals all your apps arranged vertically. If you don’t do anything, Sentien only shows you the circular button and a search bar.

That’s how simple and minimalistic Sentien is. But despite that, it offers a few handy customization options here and there. There’s an option to set favorites and even customize search settings to include contacts and device settings.

Download: Sentien Launcher (Free)

8. Olauncher

Olauncher is super lightweight and minimalistic. It’s all black and white like Takan Launcher.

Olauncher’s home screen is very simple; you have an option to include up to eight of your favorite apps, show the status bar, hide date and time, choose your default theme, and customize app alignment.

It supports customizable swipe gestures for easier app access, like many Android launchers. Given its minimalist nature, Olauncher settings are tucked away but can easily be accessed by tapping and holding any part of the screen. Swiping up opens your app list.

Download: Olauncher (Free)

Turn Your Android Into a Minimalist Phone

Using a launcher is one of the easiest ways to give your device a personal look. These minimalist launchers are free to install and help you get a very refined and focussed experience in just a few seconds.

Some are completely free, while others offer more customization options at a fee. But if you’re after a simple experience, there’s no need to pay for anything.

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