Nova Launcher

It looks like Nova Launcher has been updated on the Play Store to include Google hotword detection. Now in version 3.0, Nova Launcher says that its Google hotword requires a device running Android Jelly Bean or later.

In addition to Google hotword support, the update also brings more flexibility to Nova Launcher. Now, you have more flexible subgrid positioning for layouts, dynamic calendar icons, and color options for icon labels, tabs, and backgrounds.

Grab the update for Nova Launcher and let us know what you think!

Thanks for the tip everyone!


Reader comments

Nova Launcher updated to use Google's voice hotword


Works great, love the update; I'm in the beta group and we've been getting updates fast and furious. Love the new color options for folders too.

Are you getting a fc when trying to scroll down the built in page? Happens any time I try to change the folder icon to a built in icon

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I can't remember the last time I got a fc in Nova at all...

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

Need to download an icon pack that works with it. Try Project Hera Moonshine.

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Cool. Didn't know that. Thought maybe the stock icons would have done it. Love the icons your recommended. Thanks!!

That dev is excellent. Updates frequently and submitting icon requests is ridiculously easy

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

Seconded! Moonshine is a beautiful icon pack that I've been using for a while. Works great with Nova, and looks amazing.

Try the app "today calendar". There are supposed to be two icon packs too but I have tried today calendar and it works.

I don't get the Google hotword stuff. Right now I say "Ok Google now, navigate to work" and it works fine. How is this different?

Posted via Android Central App

It's not suppose to be. Before only the Google experience launcher had the hot words. Now nove supports it so you don't have to use GEL

That's a feature of the moto x, most phones also don't let you use voice control with the screen off.

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Did it and it beeps after I say "OK google" but doesn't respond to any commands. Not a big loss though considering I think google now is awful, almost useless, and works terrible. Moving on....

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What?! Blasphemy!

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion. I'm just shocked by it... I for one love Google Now and it just keeps getting better. When I first heard about the Google Now launcher, I thought it sounded stupid even though I love GN. But now that I've traded my Note 3 for a Nexus 5, having GN a swipe away is the only thing keeping me from re-installing Nova.

I'm sorry you haven't found it as useful as I have. Although with all the updates they are constantly making to it, maybe one day you will.

I find the Google Now card info useful, however the voice actions are half assed. I have tried a bunch of things to try and work around the lock screen restrictions. Using bluetooth in the car just brings up the horrible voice dialer. This is stupid. It is a joy when I have my Lumia in the car and can respond to text messages or play music without taking the phone out of my pocket. It worked well pre-Cortana and works great now too. It baffles me why I can't use Google Now actions when the screen is off and locked. I see this as the primary use especially via Bluetooth in the car yet it has been completely ignored.

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I ran into the same issue on my G2. I had to disable the voice dialer app, and used an app called Bluetooth Launch to set a long-press of the bluetooth button to start a voice action.

Agreed. I was floored when I couldn't compose and send a text message over my car's bluetooth on Android. It was so useful on Windows Phone, I couldn't believe Google is that far behind on voice commands

I too find it useless (and disable it on all but one of my devices, which I leave on to see if they ever actually enable any of the claimed features). However it's not broken just intentionally crippled for non-US users. It's worth remembering that when they talk about Google now they're talking about something we have never actually seen.. The lame weather app we have is very different.
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Wish Nova prime would go on sale again. Missed it each time it did before :/

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Ridiculous, given the functionality and proven "just works". This app is worth well over the asking price. Might try to ask Mom for more allowance.

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I will say that Nova is well worth the $4. Works great and you will use and appreciate it every day.

You'll spend more than that on lunch today.

I stopped using Nova when I got my N5 because I actually like saying "OK Google ..." And the slide to the left for Google now was nice too. I went back to Nova after hearing about the hotword detection and it works, some quirks, but works. My mic icon only filled in once, but hotword detection still works every time. Google now doesn't open as fast (or with that semi-transparency like GNL), but takes my command even before it's fully open. And getting to Google now, I'll just do it the old fashion way. I forgot how much I missed gestures and app drawer tabs too! Functionality is a 10 out of 10 for me, but style still needs some work. Either way, back to Nova.
Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, hotword (holy shit, SwiftKey, no I did not mean hookworm) detection is built into the device at a hardware level for the Moto X.

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It still has the one inherent problem that stopped me from using it though I own the Prime version. It only shows a very small amount of widgets that I can choose from unlike the G4S stock launcher that shows every frigging widget on my phone. I need the whole month view on a page that I can easily swipe to and just can't do it. And I don't want to download a ton of widgets I won't use. Bummer...

If those widgets are Samsung widgets, Nova can't access those. They're only available while using touchwiz
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Maybe so, but it doesn't pick up the widgets that come with other apps either except for two or three. That's always been my biggest problem with it. Like I said, I bought the Prime and it was great on my Evo (original) but I guess I've gotten spoiled and some of the widgets I use most, it won't provide. And I'm bummed. I really like it otherwise. :(

Hmmmm . . . picks up every widget except the Samsung widgets for me. Maybe some setting is hiding them on your phone? I can call up widgets in Nova from the home screen and from the app tray, are you seeing this abbreviated list of widgets from both the home screen and the tray?

Yes, from both. And I can't hide anything with the TouchWiz launcher and I haven't used any other launcher on my phone, Don't know what's going on, but Nova is the only one I've tried a few times since I got the G4S and it won't pick up but maybe 15 widgets and that's it. Same thing with the DH's phone and he's so technically challenged, he makes phone calls and can text and that's it. He hasn't changed a thing on his. (G4S as well)

Been using Nova for the past 3 devices I've used....and its still the Best!!!
Wouldn't want it any other way....I love the shortcuts as well for icons.

Love the new OK Google feature! Would be good if the article mentioned that it is an option and not turned on by default. Found that on another blog.

Did the same thing. Love my Note 3 with this launcher, especially the beta launcher. I requested to the dev to make the platforms also color adjustable. Right now they're only white circle, and the other platforms are all black. You have the customizable folder option, but it's hit or miss.

Posted via Ash William's Boomstick

I have the Google Now launcher on my phones anyway

Posted via Android Central App on my Galaxy S5/Galaxy Note 3

Nice I love seeing them update especially after seeing someone claiming nova was dead, I love nova thanks for update .

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Did Apex fall behind Nova? I used ADW for the longest time, then Apex for a while on my EVO LTE but kept meaning to try Nova, then when I got the Nexus 5 I just stuck to the GEL for the hotword activation.

Now that Nova has hotword activation I wouldn't mind losing the slide to the left for Now in return for gestures i used to love (like swiping down for notification bar, from anywhere), amongst other things.

Just curios if Nova's now the most popular choice by far or what, found it curious no other launchers were mentioned at all in the comments.

This is awesome I updated it straight away on my gs4. I have the morena flat icon pack installed and it looks awesome.

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Excuse an ignorant question, but what is it supposed to do?
I installed the update and rebooted.
Am I supposed to be able to say "ok google" from a homescreen?

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Got it. After reading another comment about it being not turned on by default I went into nova options and turned it on.

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So there's an option to turn "It On" and "OFF'... Dear Lord people, do some inquiry...

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Lol I literally just did this as well, right before seeing this article. I think I'll keep the module anyway though... can set it up to use during any app you choose... pretty nice.

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GS5 running 4.4.2 and from home it still doesn't detect OK Google like it does from regular touchwiz. Restarted nova and rebooted phone still a no go. I have hot word enabled too... What's the deal?

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What if you have a Moto X which already has built in "OK Google Now" detection from the lockscreen? Keep using that, or activate hotword detection in Nova?