Now undoubtedly some of you have already flashed your first Ice Cream Sandwich ROM onto your phone, and it was probably in either an alpha or beta stage. This comes true to me, after flashing two different alpha and beta ROMS, I have had my share of problems. The second ROM I flashed had everything working pretty well excepted that the launcher would crash anytime I would scroll through it. Many moans and groans came out of lips, so I went through the XDA forums to find a solution.

The solution came with the name Nova Launcher. Nova Launcher is a stock ICS home launcher replacement, and has way more features. Thank God for that. Some of your ROMs might already have this built inside it, but for those that just have a the plain old stock home launcher, check out what other goodies you can have:

  • Custom grid size (default 5×4 on the Galaxy Nexus)
  • User setting for auto-rotate
  •  Resize any widget
  •  All/New/Downloaded categories in App Drawer
  •  Widgets-in-drawer (requires install as a system app) or from system picker
  •  Shortcut or resizable information in Widget Drawer
  •  Edit App Shortcut icon and label (Supports ADW Icon Packs)
  •  Wallpaper scrolling options (Disabling scrolling improves performance of live wallpapers)
  •  Cube desktop effect
  •  Various other smaller tweaks/optimizations

One thing I absolutely LOATHED about the new ICS launcher (please don’t hate me) is the way you have to place a widget on your home screen. You have to click the widget tab, and then scroll through all your widgets to find the one you like. Now yes, it is nothing to really complain about but I am a widget freak and have a ton of widgets on my phone. So getting to the ones at the end just got annoying. With Nova Launcher, you get to the traditional hold down on the home screen and the pop-up window appears letting you easily (and quickly!) find the widget you want. Of course if you do happen to like the widget-in-drawer feature, there is a separate add-on for that.  I know it is dumb to complain about that feature on the stock ICS launcher, but I am glad this launcher gives me the choice not to have that. I must say as well, the launcher is really flies. I moaned and groaned again, but with a satisfied feeling this time. It has not crashed since I have been playing with it, so I am a happy little Android boy with stable ICS.

So if you are having launcher problems with your newly flashed ICS ROM, give Nova Launcher a shot. It is still in a beta stage but it is pretty rockin’. Head over to the XDA thread to download.

Link: XDA Thread

  • MikeGoff

    GO Launcher works flawlessly for me on ICS, and is way nicer than NOVA and has more functionality.

  • kp

    I can’t get go launcher to work with my galaxy nexus. What phone do you have?