Evie Launcher review: Still simple, stylish, and steadily improving

The world of Android theming is beset with big, bold, bombastic launchers that throw everything but the kitchen sink into their features, bells, and whistles, but sometimes you don't need all the pomp and pizzazz. Sometimes, you want a launcher that's light, lithe, and luxurious. If you're in the market for a launcher that's as simple as it sophisticated, Evie Launcher (opens in new tab) may earn its place as your next home screen, and as a free launcher, giving Evie Launcher a try doesn't cost you anything but a little time.

Evie Launcher's default setup is breathtakingly simple, featuring only four apps at the bottom of the desktop and one permanent search bar at the top. By default, Evie Launcher keeps the dock turned off, which definitely sets it apart from the pack, but it also leads to Evie missing the dock icons when importing a layout from another launcher during the initial setup.

Another break with tradition is Evie's default grid size. While 4x4 has been the standard since the 4-inch phone days, Evie Launcher has a default desktop of 5x6 and is willing to take on any grid size from 3x4 to 12x12. With extra tall screens becoming the new normal, having a wide array of grid sizes is important, as you're going to want a few more rows to take advantage of that real estate.

The search bar is a permanent part of the Evie Launcher home screen, and it features one of the two gestures that are permanently turned on: swipe down to search. I wish there was a toggle to switch this gesture from opening the search bar to the notification shade — especially for those extra tall screens I mentioned before — but for now, it's a constant reminder that "hey, you can search for stuff". It's cool, Evie, but I just wanna see who texted me!

Double-tap to happiness

The other permanent gesture fits in with the Samsung Galaxy line and the Google Pixel: swipe up on the desktop to open the app drawer, and swipe down from the top of the app drawer to return to the desktop. The app drawer has two modes: a traditional list style or a more customizable grid layout.

Getting back into Evie's settings, you have a bit more customization here than most light, speed-oriented launchers. Beyond setting an icon pack and adjusting your app drawer grid, you can turn back on our dock, unread badges or Android O notification dots, and even turn on a few extra gestures.

More robust gesture controls have been listed as "coming soon" for a year now, but there's still one gesture here I highly recommend turning on: double-tap to lock. There are even two methods you can choose from — just like Nova Launcher — a method that actually locks the phone and a method that just times out the screen in order to keep your phone unlocked via Smart Lock.

Still simple and sophisticated

Evie Launcher (opens in new tab) is definitely showing promise, especially for users who will be left wanting when Google Now Launcher is pulled from Google Play. (That is still happening right?) While I wish it was better at importing dock elements, the launcher has made steady, stable progress in the year since we first reviewed it. Once more robust gesture controls come to Evie, it should be quite the apt competitor in a crowded launcher market, but it's no slouch right now.

Download: Evie Launcher (Free) (opens in new tab)

Updated February 2018: This review was updated to reflect almost a year of development for Evie Launcher and update some links.

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

  • I love Evie launcher. It's fast, simple and clean.
  • This. I forget where I learned about Evie from but I love the simplicity.
  • I can't stand the Circle, Triangle, Square buttons. Anyway to make them more like Samsung's with any of these launchers?
  • You mean the system buttons in the nav bar? 'cause that's not something a launcher changes. Try Navbar Apps in the playstore.
  • Evie launcher reminds me of iOS iPhone. like Blur effects in app drawer, blur on search bar, search bar reminds me of spot-light.
    loving it so far
  • Very well explained ! I might try it out sometime.
  • Tried this a few months ago and a couple of weeks ago again. Its a nice launcher for those looking for something simple yet still have a unique feel to it. Still not my cup of tea. I have more hopes on Of Launcher. Edit: Its nice to see lesser known launchers getting some attention.
  • Looks interesting I'll give it a try for a week or so like I did with Arrow launcher but no matter how many different launchers I try I always seem to grow tired of them and return back to Nova in the end
  • This pretty much describes how I have Action Launcher set up on my phone and tablet.
  • It seems okay. Nano Launcher is the smallest and fastest, IMO. But I always go back to Smart Launcher Pro.
  • And here is Android Central's detailed community review on Evie Launcher - http://forums.androidcentral.com/wallpapers-ringtones-themes/785974-evie...
  • "Page not found"
  • Not sure what happened earlier! Try this link: http://forums.androidcentral.com/wallpapers-ringtones-themes/785974-evie...
  • Excellent review!
  • I've been looking for a good lightweight launcher for ages. While many people like to customize their Android devices to the end of time I just wanted something that can get Samsung's crap out of the way, let me do some theme changes, and also not a have so many customization options as to be overwhelming. I had been going back and forth between TouchWiz, Google Now, and Nova Launcher but never really loved any of those options. At first blush I dismissed Evie but came back and installed it. Ever since I put it on my Note5 I've left it and loved it. Great for people that want to get stock launchers out of the way and have a simple and flexible launcher.
  • I replaced nova launcher with this recently and i love it. It's nowhere near as feature rich as Nova of course, but really all I want to do is tweak a couple of things and apply a nice round icon pack and I'm happy. I was CONSTANTLY fiddling around with Nova just to try this-and-that set up, to the extent i was beginning to annoy myself. With this launcher, I have something that looks clean, feels lightweight, that I actually use rather than faff about with all the time.
  • So, Evie isn't even close to Nova Launcher, yet it's wonderful. How much did they pay you for the review?
  • *sigh* there's always one of you ...
  • Look, if we want to talk customization, it's no contest, but a lot of people want simple. Evie is simple without being stale. Also, have you seen my recent love letters to Nova?
  • https://howtoodo.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/my-android-test-your-taste/
    Test your taste and find the best launcher
  • I don't like software that decides for me how it should be configured and used. Nova Prime lets me decide whether I want a search bar or not. I can set up a gesture to launch search (or do many other things), and even better I get to decide what gesture does what. And so on and so forth. Nova Prime make take more work to set up the way you want it, but you can make it's look, feel, and operation as simple or complex as you want it.
  • Exactly. I set my 2014 Moto X up to have a Pixel look last fall, and I've never changed it, other than the wallpaper. Nova is the best, period.
  • Ok. Installed it.
    Made it display icons huge, with no text.
    Good enough I traditionally use the Google Now launcher.
    It's simple sensible, but getting a little old.
    I hope Google someday releases the Pixel Launcher for all Nougat phones.
  • Eh a wall of text doesn't really sell it for me.
  • ??
  • I'm waiting for a launcher that isn't just an icon grid with different icon packs. I want something entirely unique. I do like the idea of something simple like Evie though, just wish it looked different than android.
    Currently using SquareHome.
  • Have you seen Launcher Lab and Lightning Launcher? Arguably the two most customizable launcher atm if we're dismissing how capable Nova is if you pair it with KLWP.
  • Another shout-out for Lightning Launcher. Takes some work and learning but there is a crazy amount of customization you can do, including not being tied down to the multiple home screens accessed by siding sideways that seems to be the hallmark of nearly every launcher.
  • And another shout out for Lightning Launcher. It supports grid sizes from 1×1 to 50×50 and also has free mode (unbind anything from grid, resize, even rotate).
  • I love the launcher. It's simplicity and light design is just beautiful, although personally, I dislike the hideous folder design. I wish that that'll be able to be customized soon.
  • I love dis application
    no ads issue
    very good launcher
    very fast
    five stars
  • i love Evie Launcher best good looking, beautiful launcher. i personally i like the search bar that can find apps and also search contracts, search web sites, restaurants in a single search bar. also the search bar blur effects with your wallpaper and looks cool.
    eveytime you chnage wallpaper the search bar colour changes with your wallpaper with blur.
    simple, easy to use, fast,
    looks modern and futuristic, can't praise it enough.
  • I forced the entire family to use it, it is that good:)
  • Evie Launcher is hands down my favorite launcher of all time. I've used it for what feels like forever and it has been my ZTE Axon 7's main launcher since the Axon 7 released. I've never been confused or felt burdened by more features than I know what to do with. Everything just works, and just works in a way that is intuitive, and what I want is always there. Absolutely phenomenal launcher.
  • Evie launcher is pretty good but doesn't have enough features for me. Currently using smart launcher 5 it's really good :-)