Developer of Nova Launcher working on KitKat makeover, join the G+ community to beta test (when available)


Android 4.4 KitKat launcher

The new Android 4.4 KitKat launcher

Once Android 4.4 dropped onto the scene with it’s fancy new Google experience launcher (I prefer to call it the Google Now launcher), many were wondering what would happen to popular homescreen replacements like Nova Launcher. Well, Nova Launcher’s father Kevin Barry decided to chime in on his plans for Android 4.4 KitKat and what it means for Nova.


According to Barry, he’s been working hard to bring the “look and feel” of the Nexus 5’s homescreen to Nova Launcher, complete with transparent nav and notification bars, light folders, and circular page indicators (ew). Before you get too excited, keep in mind that some of these new features — like the transparent system bars — will only be available on Android 4.4 KitKat. Even then, performance issues may prevent lower-end hardware from using this feature, regardless if its running KitKat or not.

Nova Launcher KitKat proof of concept

When it comes to the persistent new Google Now page that rests to the left of the Android 4.4 homescreen, unfortunately this is a feature Nova wont be able to achieve. It’s not for a lack of trying mind you, it’s just that Barry’s hands are tied because of a lack of APIs. Kevin did mention that he’ll see if he can provide his own workaround, using a full screen widget or something along those lines.

The app drawer can also be reworked. In Android 4.4 KitKat, Google removed the black background and widgets tab from the app drawer, something easily achievable in a 3rd party launcher like Nova. Kevin’s already looking into.

As far as whether a KitKat inspired update will require another payment for those who purchased Nova Launcher Prime, Kevin flat out says, “No.” While a beta isn’t ready for users to test just yet, Kevin was able to provide a quick and dirty extremely alpha version just to show he is in fact working on an update. When a beta is available for testing, it will hit Nova Launcher’s Google+ community, so make sure you join of you’re hoping to try it out early.

Nova Launcher Google+ community | Nova Launcher Beta

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. This is great news! I just want a launcher that looks like the Google Now Launcher but without google now or google search (that bar!). Still don’t have a Nexus 5 yet but nova launcher will be the first thing I install when (if?) I get it.

    1. Same here! Google Now is totally useless in denmark. Even if i set Now to english, i still don’t get any cards, just plain google search results. My N5 is in the mail :)

      1. honestly I try to use google now but I hardly ever do I use the search bar to search the web but as far as the actual Google Now with the flat cards and such it has nothing I need ever.

  2. Nova is one of the greatest things to ever come to Android, along with Titanium backup

    1. Not only that but Kevin (the developer) is a pretty great guy and has amazing support considering his apps’ popularity. Definitely an example of how it’s supposed to be done.

  3. As much as I love the transparency (and I flashed AOKP on my previous device Gnex ,just to get that) , once I got my Nexus 5 ( don’t be hatin’ :-P ) ,I quickly realized I cannot make it without all the good stuff that Nova Prime has to offer…plus I can’t stand that ugly bar in the middle of my home screen.

    1. Same here got a Nexus 7 2013, but once you realize how limited it is I downloaded NLP and was happy after that, i love using gestures too.

  4. i would love to see him include the LG G2 “Knock Knock” Power Off/On feature via Gesture. would anyone else like this? is it possible???

    1. Its already sort of in there if you have tasker. Go into tasked and create new task for system lock. Then go into nova settings, gestures, select double tap, shortcuts, tasker and then select the task you made. Then you have double tap off.

      1. but i want a Knock Knock ON to WAKE the phone.

        1. I don’t think that can be achieved by a launcher. I know for my Galaxy Nexus to be able to do that it had to have a module for the kernel. It would be cool but I’m pretty sure it won’t be happening.

          1. actually with the new API in 4.4, that use accelerometer even when the screen is of it would be possible to do on the devices that support the new API, which mean at the moment you could bring it to the nexus 5. I could be wrong, since I don’t have a nexus 5 to test it on, but it should be possible, since at the moment you can already do it with a work around.

  5. Awesome news!

  6. Thank goodness, I need this cus as great as the new launcher is the functionality just isn’t there. I never realized how much control a launcher can give you over your phone.

  7. Ever since I got Google Experience, I’ve been checking on Nova Launcher to post some news about an upcoming update. Finally!

  8. The first thing I did when I got my Nexus 5 was put Nova Prime on it. I couldn’t figure out what was different, until I realized the persistent black bars. I am sure that he will get it done!

    Thanks for being so supportive of your followers.

  9. That’s great news.

  10. I LOVE my Note II’s stock (but rooted) Touchwiz ROM + Nova Launcher Prime. It is, to me, the best SW combination out there today HANDS DOWN.

    1. Until you pull down the ugliest neon green notification bar i’ve ever seen.

      1. …not to mention the most useful and feature packed one.
        Ugly or beautyful is totally secondary to me and totally subjective (it’s not ugly to me, it’s actually one of the better looking ones TO ME).

      2. It’s subjective.
        I find it not ugly. Very useful for me.

  11. 404 on the Play Store link.

  12. This should address my main gripe about the GES- the inability to alter the app drawer grid size. Excellent!

  13. Got to love this guy. Nova Prime is a great launcher. I look forward to seeing it on KitKat..

  14. Wow, good news! I’m looking forward to that updates, then! :D

  15. I love Nova Launcher it runs so fast snappy and smooth, even when I flash a rom I still run Nova Launcher Prime on top currently got Cm 10.2 on my galaxy S4, with Nova Launcher, got rid of the dock line and indicator and found the Kitkat app drawer icon png, I also got the Kitkat akp file for the camera app it almost looks like kitkat minus the transparent notifications the phone icon and the lack of white folders.

    1. I’m already rocking AOSP KitKat on my Xperia Z, its really sweet!

  16. Does anyone else get the Feeling google is slowly pulling away from ASOP? I mean they killed the browser then SMS now you can’t use Kitkat Google Launcher Features inside other Launchers..

    1. Nah its just that the newer features integrate Google services more and more into the OS.

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