What you need to know
- After seven months of beta testing through Discord, Nova 7 is rolling out to beta testers in Google Play.
- Nova Launcher 7 is a complete rewrite of the launcher's code and features.
- To try the beta, you need to join the Discord channel to provide feedback, then opt-in through Google Play.
Nova Launcher has been one of the best Android launchers since the days when Google Play was still called Android Market, but it hasn't retained its king of the mountain status by resting on its laurels. While competitors like Action Launcher and Smart Launcher 5 has released major overhauls in recent years Nova has been biding its time, waiting for the right moment to tear it all down and rewrite the launcher with a new codebase and improved features.
That moment arrived at the beginning of the year as Nova Launcher announced that it was writing and testing Nova Launcher 7, a top-to-bottom overhaul of Nova Launcher with a host of new features. That beta began as a public beta run outside of Google Play in the Nova Launcher Beta Discord community.
Seven months later, we can finally kiss the manual updates goodbye and test Nova 7 straight through Google Play. Last night's changelog for 7.0.39 BETA announced that it would be the first Play Store Beta for Nova 7. Now, you'll still need to join the Nova Launcher Discord in order to provide feedback or report bugs, but instead of having to manually install the updates, you can instead join and install the beta through the Nova Launcher listing in the Google Play Store — or by clicking "Join Beta" on the Beta Test sign-up page.
I've been playing with Nova 7 off and on these last few months, and I'm happy to see it shaping up and getting closer and closer to a stable release. If you're a Nova Launcher fan, go play with the new version and give your feedback now, so the TeslaCoil team can make it as perfect as possible for the public at large.
Nova Launcher is preparing a whole new world.
Whether you want to build complex themes or you just want a smartly laid out launcher with excellent gesture controls, Nova has always been one of your best bets, and it's getting even better with the Nova 7 beta.
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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.