Best alternative launchers for Pixel Fold so far [Video]

As I approach my first full month with the Pixel Fold, the biggest issue I run into is home screen customization. Being an Android enthusiast, I find the Pixel Launcher serviceable but limiting in what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t remove At a Glance or the bottom search bar. With that in mind, here are the best Pixel Fold launchers for those looking to add a little flair to their home screen.

total launcher

total launcher It is a highly customizable home screen replacement that offers the greatest Pixel Fold compatibility today.

It doesn’t limit you to the standard row/column layout that most launchers adhere to. Upon initial installation, you’re greeted with a blank canvas and a handful of widgets strewn about. Edit mode, where you make most changes, is enabled by default. Pressing the plus button at the top right will open a menu where you can add layouts (or app grids), widgets (including custom ones), and graphics, such as images and icons.

Once you select a layout or widget, you can place it anywhere on the home screen just like you would on a desktop computer. Total Launcher is a “make your own home screen” type of launcher, and there are very few restrictions on where and how you can place these objects. With a basic level of understanding, you can put together a great home screen tailored to your taste.

The downside is that this player does not have the luxury “plug and play” offer. By default, you have a pretty ugly blank canvas that requires dedicated time and inspiration of some kind to set it up the way you want it.

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  • Almost unlimited possibilities
  • Free version is more than enough
  • Easy to use once you get used to it


  • The learning curve is steep
  • It does not have default home screen layouts to choose from
  • It can take some time to setup properly

Niagara Launcher

Niagara Launcher Provides a stable and optimized experience on the Pixel Fold that supports both screens. You get a simple and easy to use driver that requires very little setup. The design should be very popular among minimalists, due to its clean layout of white text, smooth animations, and polished experience.

Niagara puts everything on one home screen, similar to a social media feed. A customizable widget on top shows the time, date, weather, and battery percentage. Below is a circle of widgets that can be rotated with a horizontal swipe. Below that are your favorite frequently used apps, while the entire app drawer is accessed through a built-in global search or the alphabetical menu on the right-hand side.

Niagara also supports icon packs, notification summaries below app names, and a few other tweaks to customize the experience to best suit your needs.

The only thing I don’t like is the cost of upgrading to the premium subscription. The Pro version is a one-time $30 extra cost, which gives you access to a small set of features that are all about fine-tuning the experience: pop-up widgets, custom fonts, and deeper Niagara Elements tweaks.


  • Nice design
  • Many customization options
  • Well optimized for Pixel Fold


  • The professional version is quite expensive
  • Needs more facility options
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Apex Launcher

Apex Launcher It is a traditional grid-based home screen with a variety of customization options.

It works well on the Pixel Fold’s internal and external screens while giving you a solid foundation to work with. Opening the launcher will greet you with the default home screen, which looks like the original Google Pixel layout from 2016. Apex also embraces the older Android 7.1 design language that can be seen when you open Settings.

In Preferences, you can customize almost every aspect of the user interface, such as the app drawer, dock, scroll animations, home screen layout, and more. There is also the ability to apply your own custom icon packs and customize gestures to perform a specific action. These demos make it very easy to create your own custom home screen. It took about half an hour of adjustments to get it to look the way I feel good about it.

However, the immediate red flag was the demand to pay for the premium version. It starts at $3.99 for three months, $8.99 for a lifetime subscription, or a three-day free trial that costs $5.99 per year after that. Additional features granted with a premium subscription include additional app drawer customization, home screen transitions, app drawer folders, and notification badges. The most egregious feature – and one that shouldn’t be there – is the removal of ads that are said to appear when you open any web browser (I haven’t seen such ads in 2 weeks of use). While Apex Launcher is great because of its ability to customize, paying to remove such prevalent ads is a terrible selling point.

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Ultimately, Apex Launcher is a solid alternative for those who want to try something similar to Pixel Launcher but want additional customization capability.


  • Works well with both indoor and outdoor monitors
  • Highly customizable
  • Quick Installation


  • Subscription required to remove ads
  • glitch sometimes
  • Minor compatibility issues

The current state of Pixel Fold customization leaves users with very few options. Looking ahead, the Nova Launcher team said that “better foldable support is planned in a future update.” I’m looking forward to testing this out and adding other options to my already small pool of options. In the meantime, Android fans will have to wait for the developers to slowly update their launchers to support the Pixel Fold.

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