Nova Launcher has been a favorite within the Android launcher scene since its debut 6 years ago (we even featured it in our coverage of the best Android launchers out there right now), and one of the ways it's managed to stay at the top of the game for this long has been by keeping up with the game with frequent updates. And today, we get yet another one; Nova Launcher has been updated to version 5.5-beta3.

Excuse us for bombarding you with letters and numbers, but we assure you that's the most boring thing about this update. As for the most exciting thing, you're spoiled for choice as this update brings quite a few hotly demanded features. For starters, TeslaCoil has added the Pixel 2-style rounded, in-dock search bar which you've all been clamoring for since the Pixel 2 reveal. That's right; you don't need to switch to Action Launcher to get your Pixel fix anymore; Nova has got your back.

As you can see from the image above, they have also added the dot-style notification badges that are a staple of Android 8.0 Oreo, which truly is a sight for sore eyes for those of us with devices which, sadly, will not be receiving Android Oreo. While Action Launcher also implemented this feature in a previous update, there is a key difference; the notification pop-up, which you see by long-pressing on the app icon, retains the larger and slightly more bloated looking modeling of the original Pixel's notification pop-up. Nova Launcher's new notification pop-up is modeled after the Pixel 2's updated version, and looks sleeker and more compact. Regardless of which design we may prefer, we're glad to see these features finally grace Nova Launcher.

Please note that you'll need Nova Launcher prime to take advantage of these new features. The full changelog can be read below:

  • The searchbar in dock is now available (Nova Settings - Dock - Searchbar in dock - Above or Below Icons)
  • The Android 8.1 style popup menu can now be activated in Nova Settings (Nova Settings - Look and Feel - Popup menu - Blocks)
  • Adaptive icon animations during drag and drop have been implemented
  • Improved speed of applying a new adaptive icon shape or icon theme
  • Lots of under the hood bug fixes and additional optimizations

To get this version, you'll have to sign up for the Nova Launcher Beta, which you can do from the Play Store link below.

What do you guys think? Are you excited for this Pixel-packed update? Let us know in the comments, or post over in the forums with your thoughts.

P.S. Do you want to try the additional features and functionality of Nova Launcher Prime for free? We're giving away 40 Nova Launcher Prime codes, in partnership with TeslaCoil software! Find out more here

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