Android is one of the most popular platforms in the world today. This is thanks largely to the kind of versatility that the OS offers in comparison to rival offerings. One of the best part about Android is the ability to customize your device as per your liking. However, when you try to customize the appearance of your Android home screen, the RAM and CPU sometimes can take quite a burden. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to use the best kind of apps and custom launchers so that your overall experience isn’t hindered.
But how do you pick the best custom launcher for your phone or tablet given the sheer number of third-party launchers that are available out there? Well, luckily you don’t have to worry about that, as we’ve done the research for you! It’s important to remember that these launchers also consume very low CPU and RAM, so if you are facing lag or issues with your current launcher, now is the time to make the switch.
And so, without further ado, here are nine of our favorite low-resource intense launchers for Android:
Microsoft actually has its own launcher. Aptly called Microsoft Launcher, this unique option actually brings you a sweet new interface never before seen on Android. One of the major highlights that it brings to the table is seamless connectivity between your phone and your Windows PC, which Android hasn’t previously been able to do. You can easily connect your phone to your Windows PC, giving you the ability to quickly and easily share files between that PC and your phone — it’s so much easier than trying to move files through the Cloud.
Another unique feature that comes with Microsoft Launcher is something that they’re calling universal search. that’s similar to what you’d find on iOS when you swipe to the far left screen. This allows you to search for terms throughout your phone and the Web simultaneously!
Smart Launcher 5 is up next, and is supposed to improve speed and customization features, and without taking up too much processing power. In this new edition, Smart Launcher actually automatically changes the theme colors to match your wallpaper. Navigating through home screens is quicker and easier, too.
One unique aspect is Smart Launcher 5’s Gesture System. You can use your phone’s power button to wake the screen, but thanks to the gesture system, with just a couple of taps on the display, you can unlock or lock your phone.
Pixel Launcher comes up next. If you just want a simple and clean interface, much like you would find on the Google Pixel phones, the Pixel Launcher will be right up your alley. The benefit to the Pixel Launcher is that it takes up very little CPU usage and RAM. There aren’t many special functions in the Pixel Launcher, but there are some features that are usually only available on the Pixel phones.
You can swipe right from your home screen to see personalized Google cards that bring you news and personalized information — similar to what Google’s “Now” page was all about. It actually uses contextual services to make sure you’re getting the most accurate and personalized information.
Apex Launcher is a nice choice as well. It’s actually entirely different than the rest, intending to offer you way more customization options than other launchers on the market today. There are tons of small choices that you can make, and before you apply those changes, Apex Launcher actually lets you preview your changes before actually applying them to the home screen.
Apex Launcher is actually one of the few on the market that works with phones and tablets.
It’s a low RAM, low CPU launcher, but still offers other functionality, such as a scrollable dock at the bottom of the screen. Got some more applications that you want to add into your dock? Apex Launcher allows you to do that, and you can simply swipe through them like you would your home screen!
Smart Launcher Pro 3 comes with a multitude of features on board, appealing to all sorts of audiences. It comes with 9 home screens, allowing deep customization in every screen. There are seven extra drawer animations on board as well, further letting you change the appearance of your home screen. The launcher consumes very less RAM and CPU by default, so you won’t feel your phone giving up on you during regular usage.
The developers mention that this launcher was built from scratch and that it’s not based on the default AOSP launcher. The launcher also lets you password protect apps to keep them away from prying eyes. This app launcher is also compatible with Google/Android TV devices, so it’s not just limited to smartphones and tablets. The app makes use of an arch layout.
No good launchers come for free, and Smart Launcher Pro is no different. You will have to shell out $8.49 to unlock all the features. You can either get the app directly, or download the free version and make an in-app purchase to use the launcher.
Coming from Microsoft, a lot of thought has gone into the making this app. It’s incredibly efficient and uses minimal CPU power as well, making for an excellent user experience. The launcher provides all the important details at a glance. You can access your apps, contacts, documents on the cloud in a glimpse. The launcher also comes with Wunderlist integration, so all your Wunderlist reminders and notes will be synced automatically.
There’s a Windows like feel to the UI, so if you’ve been a fan of the Windows platform and never wanted to switch platforms, this is your best bet right now. The versatility of the app launcher allows you to quickly go back to your recent activity without wasting much time. Since this is a Microsoft product, you will get access to some amazing wallpapers powered by Bing. This is a free download and has been downloaded nearly 10 million times already, so a lot of customers have tried it out already. The app requires Android 4.0.3 or higher to work.
This is easily one of the most popular custom launchers available in the markets today. It comes with a wide range of features and themes to attract the masses. The developers have made great progress over the years to make it one of the most popular launchers available today. New updates have ensured that the launcher doesn’t eat too much of your phone’s CPU and RAM, which is one of the most important aspects of any launcher.
In terms of features, Nova Launcher comes with all the basic features that you find with other free launchers. But you will have to purchase the Nova Launcher Prime license to unlock all the features available on the app. Prime comes with the ability to hide apps, give you a reading of the unread notifications from certain apps like Hangouts, SMS, Gmail and others. You can also make custom gestures like Swipe, pinch, double tap to perform certain functions within your home screen. The app requires smartphones or tablets running Android 4.0 or above to function.
If there’s one app that’s more popular than Nova, it’s CM. The app has been downloaded nearly 500 million times on the Google Play Store, speaking volumes about its quality. The launcher comes by default on a handful of devices as well, which might have accounted for a few of those 500 million devices. There are a wide range of features on offer here, making this a complete launcher. The developers also offer the ability to become a tester by downloading a beta version, which is worth trying out if you’re looking to contribute to the community.
There are dedicated theme and icon packs to download, helping you make the right kind of adjustments. The app is free to download, although there are some ads on board. Be sure to try it out from the Play Store right now.
GO Launcher is yet another popular launcher available on the Google Play Store. There are 10000 specially designed themes available with GO Launcher. Thanks to the independently developed 3D Engine, GO Launcher functions smoother than most conventional launchers. Although the app is available for free, the developers offer a paid version of the app, available as an in-app purchase from the free app. We highly recommend getting the paid version of the application given the kind of features it comes with.
There are the standard set of security features, such as hiding apps, password protecting them etc. All these features combined make for a very pleasurable experience for the customers. The app uses very little RAM and CPU, and the device doesn’t slow down despite the animations and effects it offers by default. Customization is one of the biggest strengths of any mobile launcher, and GO Launcher is no different.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent launchers available on the market. All of these don’t take up too much RAM or CPU usage, so it’s simply a matter of finding one that you like most.
What are you picking up? Sound off in the comments section below.