5 Minimalistic Android Launchers Worth Adding to Your Device
It’s no surprise that phones can kill focus – in fact, about 50% of employees confess to being distracted by their phones while working. Phone usage can be distracting when it comes not only to work performance, but personal time as well.
However, smartphones are not naturally designed to cut down on usage. Instead, bright colors, eye-catching icons, and the necessity of scrolling can keep users glued to their devices for hours at a time.
Downloading a phone launcher that modifies the phone’s features is one solution to the distraction problem. Minimalist launchers in particular focus on streamlining the user experience, and cutting down or hiding some of the elements that lead to the most sidetracking.
Here are five of the best minimalist Android launchers available on the market today.
For users with ADHD – or anyone who gets easily distracted – it can be helpful to have a launcher that reduces everything to clean, unobtrusive text. The Before Launcher has a minimalist interface that allows users to customize icons, fonts, and backgrounds. Users can experience app names as names only – no colorful, busy icons.
Before Launcher says that users can expect to open their phones 40% less. It helps me stay focused and keeps all the addictive triggers at bay,” notes one user in a recent review.
If your main goal for minimalism is cutting down on your screen time and ending a toxic phone relationship, one app worth considering is the minimalist phone app for Android. The minimalist app is more than just a launcher – and for users looking for a digital detox, that’s a good thing.
“This changed my relationship with my phone. After 4 months I often find myself forgetting where I set my phone. My phone is a communications device again instead of a pacifier,” notes one of the app’s users in a recent review.
Rather than trying to cut down on app usage with a streamlined launcher – which doesn’t always deter users from mindlessly scrolling – minimalist phone has multiple features that help users to reduce screen time. They can choose from an in-app time reminder, app blocking and hiding, notification filters, and a monochrome mode.
About 93% of users reported spending less screen time and improving their time management after three days of using the minimalist phone – a noteworthy statistic for those aiming to cut down on their digital usage.
The Niagara Launcher was developed with modernity in mind. “I started this project in 2016 as I was unhappy that phones grew bigger, but my home screen stayed the same,” explains the app’s founder.
Instead of sticking to the traditional home screen that was developed when phone screens were tiny, the Niagara Launcher eliminates the grid layout and offers a smooth, accessible experience – and a phone that can be maneuvered with one hand.
A lack of customization options will be a drawback for some. “If you appreciate being able to fine-tune everything to the smallest degree Niagara is likely to disappoint you,” notes a HowtoGeek review of the launcher.
If you trust forum feedback, Kiss Launcher is considered one of the best Android launchers by Reddit users. For users worried about space, Kiss Launcher takes up less than 250 kb in your phone’s storage. It’s optimized for battery life, and offers a clean, minimalist screen.
“All I wanted was a nice clean, empty, screen. This launcher achieves that perfectly,” notes a recent user review.
Kiss Launcher is more for minimalist who want easy access to their top-used apps and less screen clutter – however, it’s not really intended to help cut down on screen time or reduce schooling, so those looking for a more complete digital detox might want to keep looking.
Square Home’s layout is inspired by the Windows 10 UI for a unique, gallery-like experience. Users praise its interface design as well as the many options for customization.
“The beauty and the curse of this app is there are nearly unlimited design choices. But this has given me the ability to design the device interface that works for me,” explains one of the app’s reviewers.
As far as minimalism goes, it depends on how the user approaches it – the layout can be made more or less streamlined. For some users this might be a drawback, since many people rely on the launcher to pare things down (and don’t want to be given the choice to add in more color and distractions). For others, it’s a way to get exactly what they want out of a launcher.
So: Which Minimalist Launcher is Right for You?
If you’re looking for the best minimalist phone launcher for Android, there are plenty of options to choose from. It can be tough to start a digital detox when the tools to do so are nearly infinite, but you can start by making a list of the top three features you want in a minimalist launcher, then looking for a top-rated app that fits the bill.