Nova Launcher 6.1

Nova Launcher 6.1 brings a small number of fixes, as well as two notable features. You can get the beta APK here.

Dark mode for the Google Discover page

Note: Requires our Companion APK and Oreo or above.

Google has been using dark cards on the feed page for a while, and Nova is now able to take advantage of that. Currently, there are three available "Theme" options in Settings > Integrations > Google Discover > Theme: Light, Dark, and Follow (Nova's) Night mode.

Numeric Dots

Notification badges have been available in Nova for years, with the original feature requiring our TeslaUnread app. The original goal of TeslaUnread was to provide total unread counts for all apps, regardless of their current status in Android's notification shade. For example, Gmail could show a persistent unread count of five messages even after the original notification had been dismissed from the shade.

Unfortunately, the experience was inconsistent. The only available API related to notification content is only for what's currently found in the shade. Other methods of gathering unread counts vary from app to app, but mostly that information is not available (or chock-full of errors). Nova was the first to move away from numeric badges with the introduction of Dynamic Badges. These provide a badge with a smart preview of the notification itself. For example, the SMS app will show a small preview image of who a message is from (as long as that notification remains in the shade).

In Oreo, Google introduced Dots, which is similar to Dynamic Badges in that it mirrors notifications found in the shade. The difference, however, is that the Dots feature simply shows a Dot instead of something more meaningful. It really just serves as a reminder that you have a notification for that particular app. Dynamic Badges and Dots differ from TeslaUnread's approach in that the badge is always tied to the notification in the shade---dismiss the notification and the Dot or Dynamic Badge goes away. While this isn't great if you want an iOS-like experience where the badge shows a full unread count even after the notification has been dismissed, it makes for a much more consistent and predictable user experience.

Numeric Dots take that consistent and predicable experience and provide it with a number instead of a dot or stylized badge.

TeslaUnread will continue to be an option and work, but because it uses (and relies on) the SMS and CALL_LOG permissions, it will no longer be allowed in the Play Store after March 9th. However, you will still be able to download it here.