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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Make Nova Look Flat and Act Like the Pixel Launcher in 2 Minutes «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Make Nova Look Flat and Act Like the Pixel Launcher in 2 Minutes «Android :: Gadget Hacks



Nova Launcher can be customized to do just about anything, but that can get overwhelming. If you’re primarily interested in getting a Pixel-esque experience, you should normally spend all day tweaking everyday settings like dock padding and drop shadow placement. Well, we already did that for you.

By downloading a simple Nova backup file, you can turn your home screen into the Pixel’s in no time. You just need to install an app behind the scenes and then import the backup into Nova to replicate the Pixel’s layout. This works regardless of whether you’re using the free version of Nova or Nova Prime, although you get a few extra Pixel features with the latter.

Step 1
: Install Pixel Icon Pack

First, go to the Play Store and install Pixel – Icon Pack from iEvil Dev. The Nova backup file is set to use this particular icon pack, but if you prefer another one, you can install it and set it manually later as your default icon pack in Nova.

Step 2: Install Nova Google Companion

Then long press the link below from your phone and choose ‘Download’. When it’s done, tap on it Download complete notification in your system tray to launch the file and then hit “Install” at the prompt. If you don’t see an “Install” button, you must enable the “Install Other Apps” permission for your browser.

Step 3: Download a Nova layout file

Then tap one of the links below from your phone to download the Pixel-style Nova layout file of your choice. Unfortunately, this theme cannot be adapted to the dark mode of your system with Nova’s current options, so you’ll have to pick a side.

Step 4: Install Nova Launcher (or clear data)

Install Nova Launcher from the Play Store if you haven’t already. Bonus points if you also buy Nova Prime as that allows for a few extra Pixel Launcher features. Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll want to set it as your default launcher:

If you’ve already installed Nova, it’s best to start over before loading the layout file. Go to Settings -> Apps and notifications, select Nova Launcher from the list, then go to “Storage” and tap “Clear Data”.

Step 5: Import the Nova layout file

Then go to your home screen and Nova will ask you “Choose your original layout”. Here, tap the “Browse” button, then go to your device’s download folder and select the layout file you downloaded in step 3. From there User selected tab should be highlighted – if it is, tap “Apply”.

Step 6: Fine-tune your new Faux Pixel Launcher

Now tap the widget placeholder at the top of the main home screen, check the box next to “Always allow” and hit “Create” in the popup. This will add the Pixel’s At a glance widget to your home screen, and you can manage the settings or tap “Got it” at the prompt that follows. If you are having trouble with this part, make sure the Google app is installed and up to date.

Now you want to replace the gray icons on your dock with whatever apps you want, and at that point you’re all set! Nova’s home screen, app drawer, search, folders, gestures and leftmost page are now perfect replicas of their Pixel Launcher counterparts.

(1) The main home screen in dark mode. (2) The app drawer. (3) The Google Discover page.

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Cover image and screenshots from Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

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