Nova Launcher is an app that millions of people use and it’s full of tons of features and options that allow the user to do so much customization to their devices when it comes to their homescreens, docks at the bottom of the screen, gestures and even icons. The list is nearly endless and while a lot of people know about these features and options and how to use them, there are still a lot of folks out there that don’t know. That’s why we’re starting a new series on how to get the best out of Nova Launcher so we can show you some stuff that you might not know that the launcher can do.
We’re going to start the series talking about icon sizes and how you change them in a couple of different places and in various ways that gives you quite a few choices of how they might look on your device(s).
Icon Sizes on the Homescreen
Most everyone uses icons on their homescreens in some form or fashion. There are many that change their entire homescreen setup around daily, or even several times per day. So something that might be useful would be different sized icons on the homescreen. Some people aren’t aware that this is something that is very easily accomplished thanks to Nova Launcher.
To get started, once you have Nova Launcher and Nova Launcher Prime installed (Prime costs $4.99 currently, but it’s a must have app for everyone in my opinion) then go to Nova Settings -> Desktop -> Icon Layout and let’s take a look at what we have waiting for us there.
Now, as you see in the screenshot above, there are several options for you to choose from and all of them make your icons display slightly different on the homescreen depending on which you have enabled or disabled. We’re going to start at the top and work our way down.
Icon Size: As you see above, my Icon Size is currently set to 100%. What this means is that they are displayed on the homescreen in regular size. They aren’t reduced or enlarged in any way. I keep it this nearly all the time as I really have no use for making my icons larger or smaller.
You’ll also notice that to the bar with the red slider on it is filled in half way, then the rest of it has dashes. What this is telling me is that I have the possibility of making my icons larger than what that solid bar shows, which if I slid it all the way to the end of the solid line would be 124%. You’ll see in the next screenshot that it tells me “Further increase icon size by reducing grid size or disabling labels”. Grid sizing will be another post all together, but I currently have mine set to 10 x 9, so that’s why I’m limited to 124% icon size.
If I change my grid size to something like 5 x 4 for example, I can then increase my icon size up to 150%. Again, just not something I have a need or use for, but others might.
Labels: In the screenshot above you see I’ve now turned on the Labels feature. What this does is allow you to show the app name of each icon such as you see above with the Calendar, Clock and so on. This is very helpful if you have icons that are somewhat close or similar in looks to each other and you aren’t sure which icon belongs to which app.
Again, you see quite a few options that we’re able to change once we turn the Labels feature on such as the weight of the font that’s used, color of the font, if the fonts have shadows and if the text is on a single line or multiple lines.
Font: Here you have 4 choices: Normal, Medium, Condensed and Light. What these represent are the font weight that’s being used. Normal is just as it states, normal font with nothing added to it. Medium is a bold font, Condensed is slightly thinner than Normal and Light is even thinner.
Once you have your desired font weight set, then you can change the size of that font using the slider under where it says Size. The further you slide that bar to the right, the larger the text gets. So if you have a problem reading small text, then chances are you’ll want to slide it pretty far to the right.
Also note that the larger you make the text, the smaller your icons will get. This is important to note if you’re focusing on icon size itself for various reasons.
Color: This is where you can select any color you desire for the color of the font itself. When you first tap on the circle to the right where you see mine as white, it will come with a screen that has 19 pre-selected colors. Then there is one circle that has 3 dots on it. If you click that one, that’s where you can select any color you want by sliding the circle around to the color you want or by simply entering a color code of your choice.
Shadow: This option allows you to have a shadow on the label text or to not have a shadow on the text of the labels. It’s one of those either on or off settings. I know some folks have requested that there be a choice of how much shadow you can use here, but currently that’s not a feature, though could be in an upcoming update possibly.
Single-Line: This option tells the label to either be placed all on a single-line, or to use multiple lines. Of course depending on the name of the app will depend on how many lines the text takes up. Another thing to note here is that if you deselect the Single-Line option then your icons will reduce in size.
I would recommend you play around with the combination of all of these settings to see what works best and looks best for you. I prefer to not have labels showing because I have my apps arranged in an order that I know exactly what they are just by looking at them and by where they are located.
There are other places in which you can change icon size as well, such as on the dock which is at the bottom of your homescreen as well as in the App Drawer. The options are all the same for all three places which makes it very simple to make them all uniform across the board if you are like me and like to see your icons the same size every place they appear.
There is so much more that you can do with Nova Launcher, but this was just the first little tip and how-to of many to come. Stay tuned next time as we dive into the Dock and show you what all you can do to it to make it look different. You’ll be shocked at the awesome things you’ll see in the follow-up post to this one.
If anyone out there has any issues, questions or suggestions, please feel free to email Nova Launcher support via [email protected] at any time. You would actually be getting a response from me personally as I handle support for Nova Launcher as I just recently joined the team working directly with Kevin Barry, the creator and developer behind Nova Launcher.
Google Play Store: Nova Launcher
Google Play Store: Nova Launcher Prime