This is a really good, but also tricky question. Nova Launcher, in addition to other third-party launchers, wasn’t initially supported on Android 10. Thanks to persistent pressure from the community, Google has resolved the issues which were in the way.
The fix first arrived for Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones, but it seems that Google has now resolved the issue for older Pixel phones in the December update. Even if Nova Launcher isn’t compatible with your phone, we have a workaround.
Keep reading to learn how to enable the Nova Launcher on your Android 10 phone.
What Is Android 10 Gesture Navigation
The biggest issue people had with the Android 10 software update were problems with gesture navigation. This led to many third-party launchers not working – Nova Launcher being one of them. Thanks to the vocal community, who really disliked this, Google has resolved many of the issues at hand.
The first time Android 10 launched, gesture navigation in third-party launcher software was impossible. At the time, you would be prompted with an error and there was nothing you could do about it. Nova Launcher developers said that Google was at fault here.
As mentioned, if the community hadn’t been so persistent, the issues would probably remain. The developer of an alternative third-party launcher called Action Launcher commented that Google should work on implementing the support for their launchers sooner rather than later.
He’s even hopeful of Android 11 having initial support for these launchers. In our book, that’s wishful thinking, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
How to Enable Nova Launcher Gesture Navigation on a Samsung Phone
What we’re about to show you isn’t exactly easy. Therefore, if you aren’t tech-savvy perhaps wait for Google to fix this. If you know what you’re doing, however, you can use the developer options for your Samsung phone and enable gesture navigation for third-party launchers yourself:
- First, you need to start using your phone as a developer. Tap on Settings, and choose About phone.
- Then choose Software Information and keep selecting Build Number until you see this on your phone: “You’re now a developer”. The exact number of times you need to do that is seven.
- Now, go to Developer Options, and ensure that USB Debugging is On (move the slider next to it).
- Download SDK tools from the following link. You need to do that on a computer.
- Extract the tools to your desktop.
- Connect your Samsung phone to the computer using a USB cable.
- Enable the file transfer mode.
- Now, go back to your computer. Open the SDK tools folder. Hold Shift and right-click simultaneously. Choose Open Command Prompt Here (or Powershell, depending on your platform).
- Type in adb devices in the command prompt. Wait until your Samsung is identified. You’ll receive a random code if this is working.
- Run the following command to finally enable the gesture navigation on your Samsung:
adb shell cmd overlay enable com.android.internal.systemui.navbar.gestural
- Finally, you can go to your phone’s Settings. Then choose Display, followed by the Navigation Bar.
- Tap on Full-Screen Gestures. Then, select More, and choose the back key feature.
Nova Launcher vs Action Launcher
The Nova Launcher and the Action Launcher are both great third-party launchers. Nova is certainly more popular, and it’s the way to go if you can enable it on your phone. If you can’t, consider using the Action Launcher instead.
Note that you’ll need the security update for Android 10 to be up to date for either of the launchers to work. This update took place last December on most phones, so you should already have it.
These launchers don’t only support navigation gestures, they offer much more. They allow you to customize many elements on your phone. Nova Launcher is very fast, it has night and dark themes, and lets you customize all the icons on your phone.
Action, on the other hand, has even better widgets, wallpapers, many great shortcuts, themes, covers, etc. We can’t say which is better, you ought to try both out and select one that matches your preferences.
Have Fun with Your New Launcher
Google’s native launcher is sort of boring. Whilst the Nova Launcher is really fun and smart. In case you can’t get it, consider the Action Launcher instead. Both offer great customization options for your smartphone.
Do you the navigation gestures on Android 10? Which launcher is better in your opinion? Tell us in the comments section below.