Nothing Launcher (Beta) is Now Available

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Uncategorized with 9 Comments

Nothing announced today that a pre-release version of its Android launcher is now available to download from the Google Play Store.

“Nothing Launcher (Beta) is a beta preview of Nothing OS,” the app’s description notes. “Experience Android combined with our iconic design language. Unique features include Max Icons and Max Folders, as well as bespoke Weather and Clock widgets.”

The Nothing Launcher (Beta) is now available for Samsung S21 and S22 series, and Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 series. It is coming to OnePlus soon, Nothing says.

And since I have a Pixel 6 Pro, I decided to give it a shot, despite my misgivings about this company and what it’s trying to do. (Call it misplaced OnePlus nostalgia.)

I’m not sure what to say: there’s no app icon, so you need to go into Settings to switch to this launcher, and when it runs, it’s just a very minimalist design. Almost what you would expect of “pure” Android but don’t actually get with Pixel.

What I’m not a fan of is Nothing’s weird dot-matrix font/branding, which appears on only some Settings pages (like Home settings and Wallpaper & Style, but not Widgets). It just looks bad and worse, it looks tacked-on.

Beyond that, there’s no access to the Google Discovery feed to the left of Home, which I like to have. And most key UI elements—like the Notification shade and the All Apps screen—appear untouched.

I just installed it, so I don’t have any understanding of reliability yet, of course.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Nothing Launcher (Beta) is Now Available”

  1. dftf

    I suppose you might say: Nothing to see here! ;)

  2. dftf

    I am puzzled by their wording Paul highlights though: "Nothing Launcher [...] is a beta preview of Nothing OS". No... it's just a Launcher; the OS behind-the-scenes is still Android.

    Are they actually making their own mobile OS also, or something? As that hasn't exactly worked for the likes of Windows Phone, Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch...

  3. polloloco51

    Something, will be Nothing's future competitor!

    It will be called, the "Something is better than nothing Android Launcher"

    Nothing will compete against it!

    LOL ?

    • sglewis

      Reminds me of the late great Norm Macdonald on SNL Weekend Update. He announced the band Better than Ezra as having the number one hit that week. Coming in at number two: Ezra.

  4. omegarazor

    Much ado about...Nothing. The dot matrix is horrible. It reminds me of papers written at university and printed on the community printer.

  5. Chris_Kez

    That home-screen image says "Help! Get me out of this conference room!"

  6. ontariopundit

    "Google Discovery"

    Blocking that truly awful feature makes it a win. If you are looking for a great lawncher check out Lawnchair. It's everything the default Google Pixel launcher should be. It's possible to remove the Google search bar and the 100% useless clickbait Google Discovery that renders the default Pixel launcher worse than using the iPhone's launcher.

  7. ontariopundit

    Speaking of what should be... Lineage OS should be supported by all the big Android players. It is so much superior than the low quality garbage put out by Google and the even worse stuff put out by other Android OEMs. Lineage is what Android should be.

    Unfortunately, even if your phone is supported by Lineage you lose access to the specialty features of your camera... So, I'm stuck using the lacklustre version of Android that Google uses (Android 12 is pretty bad when compared to earlier versions) because of that pesky photo app... If it weren't for that I'd be on Lineage :(