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One of Android’s main characteristics is a customizable interface design due to an open-source code. However, while the Android TV interface differs slightly depending on the TV’s brand, the overall layout and functions are alike. Unfortunately, this means that every new update affects all Android TVs regardless of the brand. The recent update has left many users devastated by how inconvenient navigation has become. Furthermore, the native Android TV launcher doesn’t support sideloaded apps and doesn’t offer many design customization options.
We’ve created this guide to help you find a worthy alternative to the official Android TV launcher. We strived to include options to fit any preference, from highly customizable and functional to minimalistic. Some of the launchers focus on design and interface layout, and others are dedicated to opening any non-Android TV apps. Read on to find your perfect Android TV launcher.
The TV Home Launcher’s layout will be familiar for those who own an LG or Samsung Smart TV running Tizen or Web OS. Minimalist lovers will appreciate the streamlined way the icons are presented along the bottom of the TV screen. You can also personalize the background to your liking.
The icon placement makes it easier to navigate your destination and scroll through the list using the remote control’s left and right arrow buttons. Unlike other launchers, the TV Home Launcher doesn’t drain the system’s resources because of its simplistic design and functionality. Overall, it’s a straightforward yet pretty stylish launcher.
Simple TV Launcher is another option if you favor simplicity over flashy interfaces. It features a user-friendly interface with only six large icons on the main screen. If you rarely use the full functionality of your TV, preferring only to watch YouTube and browse the net, this may be the perfect option.
If you hate scrolling through endless icons, with Simple TV Launcher, you can add the most used apps to your home screen and cut the time spent searching for the correct icon. To access the complete app list, you can click a square icon in the upper left corner of the screen. You can also instantly access the settings by pressing the icon in the lower right corner or check the time via a digital clock in the upper right corner.
You may think the uncluttered design is “limited,” but its smart yet simplified design may appeal to those who want to un-clutter their life. For interested users, the launcher’s code is open-source and can be accessed through GitHub. If coding is your forte, you can customize this launcher further to meet your needs and preferences or check how safe it is. This launcher was designed to fit 720 and 1080p screens and is free.
HA Launcher is among the most aesthetically pleasing Android Launchers the Google Play Store offers, though that’s merely subjective. By default, it features a colorful interface in turquoise, green, and coral tones, a vivid and stylish combination. However, if the default interface is not your style, you can change the background image, icon color scheme, and graphic style.
The layout is very similar to the previous native Android TV launcher, which many users loved. If you don’t like the last Android TV update and preferred the first version, we highly recommend this launcher. To tailor the user experience to your preference, HA Launcher lets you create shortcuts of apps and set which ones appear on the home screen. You can also enable or disable the side panel.
HA Launcher, unlike the official Android TV launcher, supports sideloaded apps on the home screen. Thus, you can access apps designed for smartphones and tablets without a fiddly workaround. It also lets you open non-Android TV applications through Nvidia Shield, Razor Forge, or Nexus Player.
Unica Android TV Launcher introduces a unique interface design. However, its uniqueness isn’t the main reason to check it out. This launcher is for users who wish they could navigate their TV with their remote control’s D-pad. It’s optimized specifically for these controls. All the apps appear in four columns based on their category. You can set the categories yourself and create custom ones.
You can view the categories through one of the shortcuts at the bottom of the screen. Aside from categories, the bottom menu features favorites, music, videos, camera, and settings shortcuts. Through the favorite’s shortcut, you can access the most-used apps along with custom wallpapers. At the top of your TV’s screen, you’ll find a digital clock and weather based on your location.
The launcher is only free for the first 14 days. Afterward, the launcher’s interface will go into a restricted mode, and you’ll need to buy the full license. The restrictions include disabled weather location, inability to edit app categories and recently used apps, and a reminder about using the free version. While this may be annoying, Unica TV Launcher is one of the most convenient launchers for D-pad remote control owners.
The Top TV Launcher 2 offers a unique interface design along with complete control over your TV’s home screen. While the new design and customization options may be overwhelming, it’s the best choice to tailor everything to your needs.
With the help of a built-in layout editor, you can locate the app icons on your screen in any order. Plus, you can create and add shortcuts and widgets and customize app titles. You can personalize the icons, too. Select any image from your gallery or an ICO file instead of the default one to personalize your icons. If you prefer less clutter on your home screen, you can separate the apps into categories using the folder feature. This way, you’ll see multiple apps in the same tile rather than each on its own.
Of course, the wallpaper is also customizable. You do have to pay for this launcher, and it doesn’t offer a free version. However, it is ad-free and will suit most users’ needs. After all, the interface is so deeply customizable that the same launcher may look like two completely different things on different TVs.
ATV Launcher is one of the most advanced Android TV launchers with a beautiful, professionally designed interface. It’s like the native Android TV launcher in its comprehensive functionality but is even better, offering numerous customization options. You can set your background image, change the color scheme and tile appearance.
For instance, you can set a custom image from your gallery as an app icon or make the tile transparent. The widget support lets you quickly access the most-used apps and essential information, such as time and weather. You can also customize the widget scale to fit your needs.
Navigation for the ATV Launcher is optimized for D-pad remote controls, so it isn’t the best launcher for remotes that only have left and right arrow buttons. However, if you’re on board with a D-pad-centric control scheme, the layout is also customizable.
Users can set up how apps are divided into rows and change the row height. For users who like to have the best of both worlds, this launcher supports non-Android TV apps designed for smartphones and tablets as well as standard TV apps.
Ugoos TV Launcher is yet another minimalistic Android TV launcher in our selection. Its interface is very distinct, featuring a clean layout with no unnecessary elements. Instead of a list of apps, the Ugooos Launcher introduces a scrolling wheel on the left side of the screen and nine tiles on the right.
The scrolling wheel features broad categories, such as Apps, Music, Settings, and so on. The tile layout is customizable and enables you to access the most-used apps quickly. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the local time and Wi-Fi indicator. This launcher supports both remote control and air mouse. By default, the interface has a grey-blue color scheme, though you can easily change the background and icon colors.
You can also edit the icon border size and scale. The launcher offers nine pre-designed color themes for the main elements. If you want a free launcher with a user-friendly interface and minimalistic design, this is one to check out.
The Taotlus interface may seem a bit complex at first, but learning how to use this launcher may be worth the effort. By default, all the apps in this launcher are displayed on the same page without any order. Seeing a launcher like this may seem daunting to some users. However, that’s only the beginning.
You can customize the interface fully to fit your preferences. The apps can be sorted by custom categories or by pre-set parameters, such as “Most Used,” “Recently Opened,” or “Name.” You can also change the icon size and hide specific icons entirely from the home screen, making the interface more minimalistic. A quick search feature enables you to find the necessary app from the long list instantly.
The Taotlus Launcher utilizes the Android TV recommendations feature to suggest content you may like. Plus, it lets you open any apps, even those not designed for TVs. For example, you can open apps from your phone onto this launcher. While this launcher has many innovative features, it also includes basic information like Wi-Fi status, time, and account information at the top of the screen.
Sideload Launcher offers a beautiful interface and the ability to open just about any app – even apps not designed for a TV. While using sideloaded apps not intended for a TV may not look the same, they should still work the same. The launcher shows you the entire list of Android apps you would typically see on your phone or tablet without limitations.
As for the interface, the Sideload Launcher has 10 icons on the home screen by default, but you can customize them to suit your needs. You can add more apps or remove ones you don’t need through the Settings app. Overall, the interface is clean and may even seem overly minimalistic to some users.
There’s no built-in widget support and no time or weather display on the home screen. However, as the launcher supports any app, you can add widgets by installing dedicated software. The background picture is customizable, too.
Kicc.Tv is a customizable Android TV launcher with a clean, beautiful, and user-friendly interface. The starting screen displays two large icons—one with local time and date and the other with settings and a manual guide. You will find tab navigation at the top of the screen that lets you access the complete app list. The app list includes all installed software by default, though you can add or remove icons according to your preferences.
You can also set added apps as favorites to access them quickly via the starting screen. All your most-used apps are displayed at the bottom of the main screen, right under the two large icons with time and settings. Some users reportedly don’t like the inability to change the contents of these two large icons, though that may not be a deal-breaker for most users.
You’ll see four shortcut icons at the upper right corner – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, and Settings. While you can’t customize the app icon appearance, you can change the interface color scheme and background image. The launcher is free and doesn’t drain system resources.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is