Evie Launcher is a performance-oriented Google Now Launcher alternative that’s always been about unique features, but its latest update adds in a news feed and apes two of the most popular features that other high-end solutions like Nova Launcher have had for a while – the ability to turn off the search bar, and customizable gestures. The simple, lightly customizable launcher suddenly has a whole new degree of usability, and now makes a perfectly serviceable replacement for the late Google Now Launcher or even a compelling alternative for diehard fans of the aforementioned Nova Launcher or contemporaries. The only real damper on the party is that the feed in question is not the Google Feed that you know and love from the Google app, but instead an alternative made by Evie that you can actually customize yourself by telling Evie what your interests are and what news sources you follow.
Evie’s tightly integrated universal search function has spent quite a while building its capabilities out, but for many, Google’s own universal search option may prove superior. For these users, the presence of Evie’s relatively irrelevant search bar may have been an annoyance in the past, but now it can be toggled off with a single tap in the app’s settings. As for customizable gestures, users can set up their own functions for swipes up and down with one or two fingers, as well as a press of the home button, double tapping the screen, pinching and expanding. You can set these actions to do nothing, open the app drawer, open up Evie’s universal search, launch Google, do a voice search, or bring down your notification bar.
This change allows users to customize Evie Launcher just about any way they like, within the limits of the app. One of the first examples to jump to mind would be getting rid of the Evie universal search bar and adding in a Google search widget, or just foregoing a search bar altogether and embracing the other features of the app, including its lean performance. Evie Launcher made a name for itself on the scene by being different from other launchers, but now it’s using a few very common features to extend its usability, making it one of the easier and more accessible launchers out on the Play Store today.