Highlights

  • Nova Launcher comes in as a knight in shining armour for older device users
  • Adaptive icons for Android 5.0+
  • Use and control the style of adaptive icons from the apps that support them

Nova Launcher, the Android launcher app is a fan favourite due to its frequent updates, an abundance of customization options, and for it brings new Android features to users who own older devices. This latter point is the most relevant to the app’s recent update, as the Nova Launcher version 5.5 beta is introducing a function from the latest Android software version.

A lesser-known feature in Android Oreo is the knack to customize the shape of the icons on your launcher. The feature has been seen in few launchers and icon packs but Oreo’s operation uses officially supported APIs to do this reliably. And Nova Launcher has now added support as it comes as a knight in shining armour for the older Android device users- as always.

Nova Launcher

The Nova Launcher 5.5-beta is live on Google Play for those who are signed up as a beta tester (or as an APK) and it provides support for adaptive icons. The functionality is not just available on Oreo but on every Android version all the way back to Lollipop as well. The update was outlined by Kevin Barry, Nova Launcher’s main developer in a Google+ post, who said that the “option to automatically scale and shape legacy icons for consistency,” had also been included.

Adaptive icons are pretty new and not all devices support them and to fill in the gap, Nova Launcher 5.5-beta offers the option to cover legacy icons with any adaptive shape that you choose. Adding to Kevin Barry’s statement, “As Android Oreo and Adaptive Icons are still in their infancy, not many apps are providing them yet. So we’ve also added an option to automatically scale and shape legacy icons for consistency. This is still a work in progress as there are some more ideas I have to explore to make this work a bit better.”

If you’re running the Nova Launcher version 5.5, you can easily access this feature by heading into the settings in “look and feel.” From there, just pick your shape through the “adaptive icon shape” setting and you are all set. Easy! Time to try the new feature then!

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