It has been a very marked and consensual work. After a period in which it has remained under the beta program, it has a final version that presents all its most outstanding functions and that differ from many of the alternatives that we find in the launcher category.
Minimalist and highly customizable
The aim of Niagara Launcher is to give a breath of fresh air to launchers for Android. For now, it is in the Play Store for official download, without external sources. The best thing is its small size (6 MB) and low consumption of resources. For the curious and fans of launchers, we sure have shared feelings when we first open its interface.
It has a minimalist aesthetic, which will allow comfortable use of it. An interesting aspect of the launcher is that we allows you to choose eight applications, which will be the ones that are displayed at all times on the home screen. They are all arranged in alphabetical order, with a slide-out column of letters to find apps faster.
If this launcher already meets your needs, it will also serve to improve our productivity with the mobile. Thus, we are going to have those apps that we use the most or most important in an accessible way from the home screen. This will allow you to reduce distractions and use only essential apps. If there are apps that we don’t want to see, the launcher allows us to hide them.
Another highlight of Niagara Launcher is the function of ‘Your agenda’ that has. It has a clock and weather widget at the top of the screen, where we can also see the calendar events, something that does not incorporate other Google Play alternatives and in which a separate widget is required. This is not the case, it even shows a menu if we click on said widget, where it exposes in an expanded way both the time and the upcoming events that we have marked. We have not talked about its distribution, in a kind of timeline vertical which is made very visual for the experience.
Assuming that it is not one of the most customizable launchers on the market, it does have very interesting details. We can switch between different icon packs, as well as delete them if we only want the names of the apps to make it even more minimalist. However, for minimalist it is its own icon pack called ‘Niagara Dots’, which basically replaces the app icons with points that can also be customized, as well as the font or font size. Not only globally, but also individually we can change aspects of a specific application.
Full integration with notifications
The notification system offered by this launcher should be another reason why a user should download it. It is true that the level in this regard is already high, but Niagara is exceeded. In a practical case, if we receive notifications from a specific app, the application icon shows us a signal that the notice has reached us. Everything normal until we slide to the right on that app, where we will be able to see the notification completely and without entering the application, as well as access to other options. What’s more, we can customize those options when we make that same gesture. A very useful function, especially for social networks.
By way of notification too, Niagara includes a widget on the home screen when we play multimedia content, whether from Spotify, YouTube, Twitch or any other platform. And it does it in a natural way and not at all intrusive in the interface.
Is Niagara the best launcher on Android?
We have compiled all this information after our analyzed and detailed use, and have come to different conclusions that the Niagara Launcher is minimalist, customizable and appeals to productivity. But, also, one thing that perhaps we did not have at the beginning, is the great fluidity in the launcher gestures.
We already know that the main problem of third-party launchers is to adapt to the gestures that the most current terminals are capable of doing with Android. This launcher includes a feeling that is not perceived in other options, since we take into account both the animations that it reproduces when we perform a gesture and their usefulness. There are none that are wasted or useless for the daily experience, quite the opposite. And we are referring to the quality of rendering gestures and animations, not the quantity that can be performed.
Obviously, not everything is perfect, although there are few nuances that can be attributed to it. First of all, we find, as in other options, a free plan and a paid plan. We must be calm because in the free we will not have ads, the only difference is in a lower level of customization. In terms of functional level, we miss some extra elements such as a side menu where to place a feed like Google, but everything is a matter of time.