There’s a lot to love in Nova Launcher.

Nova Launcher has a lot of great settings for you to explore, and plenty of potential for awesome themes and customizable layouts. First things first, though, you have to actually download the launcher and get yourself used to it. Now, there is a learning curve to every launcher out there, but we have a few simple tips to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Import your layout

You do not want to have to put everything back the way you had it on your old launcher, and Nova gets that. That’s why before you go futzing with element styles and shaders, you should import your old launcher’s layout so that you’re starting out from what you had rather than scratch.

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Backup & import settings.

Tap Import.

Read the warning that comes up and tap OK.
Tap the launcher you wish to import from.

If the data summary from what Nova Launcher found looks correct, tap Import.

Now, given the limitations on how launchers read and share widget data, you might have to re-create a few of your widgets on your newly imported home screen, but if you’re lucky, the placeholders will be the same size. Starting from the layout you had means that instead of fussing with getting back to speed, you can hit the ground running in Nova and start experimenting.

Desktop grid size (and subgrid positioning)

When screens were 4 inches, a 4×4 grid made sense. Screens are not 4 inches anymore. Home screens do not need to be confined to such a small grid. They waste space. They significantly limit the amount you can fit on a single screen. Here’s how to change that.

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Desktop.

Tap Desktop Grid.

Slide the row and column numbers to the size you want.

Tap Done.

While 5×5 will allow your icons to better line up with your dock, don’t be afraid to try out even bigger grid sizes — I use a 8×6 grid on my HTC 10 and it’s worked out quite well for me. Also, did you notice the setting hiding in the Desktop Grid screen?

Subgrid-positioning allows you to place things between the regular grid spaces, helping you better resize widgets and line things up to your desires. You might not want it on right this second, but once you turn it on, placing elements on your home screen gets a whole lot easier.

Icons

Icons on Android have always been kind of a mess — that’s how it is when you don’t force everyone to be the same rounded rectangle. That doesn’t mean we have to settle with the mishmash of icon styles that inevitably happens between your various apps. No, we have – Source