Google Now Launcher is the default launcher found in Nexus and Motorola devices. It is completely vanilla without the addition of any skin or any type of bloatware. Although the whole Android OS is built around the concept of customization the stock launcher of Android A.K.A Google Now Launcher is very restricted when it comes to customization. You cannot resize the home screen grid, no gestures, no icon resizing, no themes, no icon pack, etc. No matter how awesome, smooth, and simple it is, the lack of customization can easily kill a large portion of Android users who are crazy for customizing the heck out of their devices.
Thanks to some third-party apps, like Xposed GEL Settings, in the Google play store we can customize this launcher to its core. But such apps require a rooted device. Now, you can’t do much without rooting your device but with the help of Awesome Icons you can at least apply custom icon packs in Google Now Launcher.
Before I continue there are 2 things that you must know:
- The beauty of Android is that you don’t have to stick to one; there are lots of awesome third-party launchers that you can try. But if you are anything like me (not much into customization) then you must like Google Now Launcher despite its lack of customization.
- Awesome Icon can apply third-party icon packs to the apps that are available on the home screen. What this means is that it won’t apply icons to apps in the app drawer.
- Awesome Icons is not limited to Google Now Launcher, it works with almost all the launchers including the default one that came with your smartphone.
I hope everything is clear up to now. So, Awesome Icons is a nifty tool that creates shortcuts for apps on the home screen and also offers the function of applying a custom icon to these shortcuts. Since it only works with shortcuts custom icons can’t be applied to apps in the app drawer. Here’s how to set it up.
- Make sure that you have already installed a custom icon pack. For this article, I am using TOXIC icon pack by Mowmo.
- Launch Awesome Icons. On the main page, you’ll see a list of all your apps and available alternatives for all icons.
- Tap the alternative icon of the app of which you want to create a shortcut and then press OK on the next screen. You can also use an image from gallery as an icon by tapping the gallery icon which is right next to the icon from the icon pack.
- The same process can also be done by tapping the plus icon on the top and then selecting the app shortcut and the respective icon for that app.
During the testing phase, everything worked fine. The only problem I have with Awesome Icons is that custom icons are not applicable for apps in the apps drawer but I am sure there is a strong reason for that code-wise.