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Nova Launcher Beta Updated With Transparent Nav Buttons and Notification Bar Support

Nova Launcher

After the launch of Kit Kat, it was unclear exactly when the developers behind popular third party launcher apps would update their offerings to allow users not on the Nexus 5 to take advantage of that sexy new “translucent” look that Google introduced in Android 4.4. Well, the developer behind Nova Launcher has gone ahead and updated the beta version of Nova, allowing users to get a transparent look, while also taking advantage of custom icon packs. 

According to the changelog, only a few devices are supported as of this moment, but it’s a pretty solid list. Users rocking a Galaxy S3 on Android 4.3, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z, Moto X, rooted HTC One, or any device running Android 4.4 (naturally) can support the transparent look, so that’s not bad at all.

There were plenty of other bug fixes and changes included, so be sure to check out the full changelog on this post here. If you are rocking Nova, but not in the beta, then go sign yourself up down below.

Play Link

Via: Nova Launcher

  • Brian Ruden

    My nexus 10 has kk, but nova won’t let me switch to transparent

  • dscott1027


  • Witness

    I have CM 10.2 on my S3 and it says my device is not supported.

  • ziplock9000

    I just sideloaded the KitKat factory image for my Nexus 4, then installed Nova Launcher beta.. Works perfectly.

  • Guest

    Anyone know where the translucent notification bar settings are within the Nova Launcher beta?

  • Simon Belmont

    I’ve seen transparent notification and navigation bars on custom KitKat ROMs for the G’Nex without any performance issues. It seems like it’s just APIs in KitKat that enable this.

    Any relatively modern phone should be able to do transparency in the UI. Great to see Nova supporting this for phones that aren’t yet on KitKat, though.

  • Alex

    How do I get the beta version if I already have Nova Prime?? Any help would be awesome.

    • Bigwavedave25

      Nova settings > Check for updates (almost all the way down) > then hit the 3-dot menu key in the upper right of the pop-up and select the Beta option. If available it will provide a link to download/site

    • Alex Mullins

      This is the same guy as above posting in my actual account. So i’m a noob with the google beta things, do I just join the nova launcher beta community that they posted the link to?

      • George Davis

        Follow the instructions here: http://novalauncher.com/beta/

        • AlpaXray

          Thank you! Just realized I can’t get the transparent on my rooted GS3 yet. Appreciate it though.

  • Aaron Clow

    Done! Take that Google, with your anti-Landscape homescreen BS!

  • avs

    I don’t see a option to make the notification bar on Version GS3 (not rooted) am I missing anything? Can someone help?

    • kafka7

      Same issue here on another Verizon GS3.

  • Janeta Barge

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  • Guest

    Nova Launcher with transparent bars + Axis icons = delicious.

    • Daniel

      nice. how were you able to get your battery and wifi symbols in white?

      • justin

        Nexus 5 has white status bar icons.

  • Gosh that phone is so damn sexy!

  • GJV

    Rooted LG G2 folks, if you want transparent status and nav bars (plus a bunch of other tweaks) try this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tinyroar.xposedlgg2 You have install xposed framework (no big deal to me) and buy the in-app upgrade to get the transparent options but it’s 99 cents and totally worth it. Dev has been awesome with updates and betas. There’s a thread on xda.

  • big ballsack

    I have a vzw s3, you can’t use the transparent nav bar

    • jbdan

      I do not believe the gs3 is supported. Saw the list but can’t remember atm

      • big ballsack

        “According to the changelog, only a few devices are supported as of this moment, but it’s a pretty solid list. Users rocking a Galaxy S3 on Android 4.3, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z, Moto X, rooted HTC One, or any device running Android 4.4 (naturally) can support the transparent look, so that’s not bad at all.” the article is incorrect then

        • Kiole

          We don’t have 4.3 yet for the GS3 on VZ, which is why it doesn’t work yet.

          • Steve B

            This. Transparency is supported on Touchwiz 4.3 but not AOSP 4.3.

        • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

          What’s up with the G2? Devs support not there?

        • I’m running cyanogenmod on my S3, which is JB 4.3 and I dont see the transparant nav bar either

          • j


        • Steve B

          The 4.3 they’re referring to for the GS3 is stock touchwiz, not AOSP. AOSP 4.3 doesn’t support transparency.

          • AlpaXray

            Son of a bitch

  • jbdan

    Sweet. I’ve been waiting for this! Love the gel it’s been a great experience, only thing I’ve missed from Nova is gestures.

  • Armus

    So I’m trying this thing out and these new settings Apex Launcher has had for a while now. And Nova doesn’t offer tablet mode ui. Sorry, it’s got a ways to go. Don’t know why purple like this one so much more than Apex

  • grumpyfuzz

    Off topic comment, but why does the camera icon and folders look different than everybody’s Nexus 5, including mine? Google’s photos show different icons, so I don’t know if its their mistake or they will eventually push those icons.

    • jbdan

      From the screen shot above? What do you mean?

      • grumpyfuzz

        Not from the screenshot above, but the official press renders of the phone. The camera icon looks a tad bit different, along with the folder icon. This has nothing to do with nova, though, or this post. On my Nexus 5, and people’s images of their nexus 5, those 2 icons look different.

        • Steve B

          Are you referring to the missing hump on the camera? And the smaller icons on the folder overlay?

          • grumpyfuzz

            Yeah. Not sure why that’s only in the renders.

  • dns2k

    i like the left swipe for google now. ill wait to go back if they figure out how to implement it.

    • Hothfox

      Same. I’m also hoping they can implement the OK Google touchless search from the home screen. I don’t think they can, so I’ll be on GEL for a while.

    • Steve B

      Don’t hold your breath. Doesn’t sound like they’ll be able to implement this.

    • crazed_z06

      Cant you just Put a home screen at the far left with a full screen google now widget? Isnt that essentially what the Nexus’s Google Now page is?

  • Brian Menius

    This is driving me batty; maybe someone can help me…

    When I use Nova, the stock N5 wallpaper is zoomed in substantially. No amount of changing wallpaper seems to correct it. Is there a way to keep it from doing this, or is it just the way it is?

    • Achal Srinivasan

      Turn off wallpaper scrolling. Should fix it.

      • Brian Menius

        Tried that; no good. I just went ahead and chose another wallpaper.

        • turdbogls

          what wallpaper picker are you using? when i choose “wallpapers” under the apps tab in the wallpaper picker, i get the stock wallpaper picker which does not mess with cropping or anything and i get the full image.

  • bassman418

    No support for my wife’s old Galaxy Nexus. I have it running on 4.3 wonder why it won’t work…….

  • Pete Arado

    Ha! I emailed the developer back when the Moto X debuted with the frosted nav buttons and I asked him if/when Nova could introduce that – he said it was impossible! Glad to see that’s changed.

    • Well probably because the Moto X was using custom API’s or something to achieve it. Now that it’s baked right into Kit Kat, it’s simple for any app developer to implement. I hope to see more/all apps take advantage of this!

  • John Clausen

    I nearly went into a deep state of depression after the Moto X camera update that made me lose my transparent buttons (silly, I know, but I LOVE little things like that). This is awesome. Nova Launcher all day erre day.

  • Kyle Cordiano

    Too bad not the Nexus 4. Would sure love some 4.4 goodness.

  • C-Law

    I got the update on my moto x and I have the semi clear nav bar now that matches the stock launcher. But I still don’t have a transparent status bar. Does anyone else? I also have GravityBox installed and while I haven’t messed with the transparency settings in there, maybe it could be interfering?

    Also, I was able to get it looking similar to the new 4.4 launcher by switching to the dot style page indicator, the font was already changed to condensed with the update, and then I just upped the icon size to 120%. I also have desktop width margin set to none, and messed with drawer transparency a little. Looks similar to me but I don’t have my gnex next to me at the moment to be sure.

    • wolfedude88

      It’s under look and feel, then scroll to the very bottom and checkmark it.

      • C-Law

        Oops I should have said transparent status bar IS checked but it’s still black

  • tharealoc

    I’ll keep my nav bar black until they can remove the shading completely. The black looks cleaner on the Moto X than the grey.

  • Eric

    Awesome. Was making a kit kat theme on my G2 last night and was missing the dot page indicators.

  • NorCalGuy

    What about swiping to the left to get Google now…that’s the main reason I am still rocking the stock 4.4 launcher ( the one from the n5). Also in case anyone is wondering ad block still works with nova and ROM toolbox combo on 4.4 ( had to use supersu tho superuser did not recognize ROM toolbox)

    • Eric

      Rom tool box doesn’t have that feature anymore from what I saw…you can get an app on xda though. Also I believe Nova is still working on it.

      • NorCalGuy

        It does that’s why I said you have to have nova so that you can set a shortcut to romtoolbox which then has the option to open the ad blocker

    • Joseph Barrientos

      im with you, keeping google now on the side is a deciding factor for me!

      • Elliot Kotis

        people have complained about it, and I see why, but I really like it! I use google now a heck of a lot more. Amazing tool I just forgot about.

      • rutgersjaffo

        On my Note 2, I almost always have to start Google Now twice to get voice to work. It makes it less than user friendly and negatively impacts my choice as to whether or not to use it. Sux.

        • Joseph Barrientos

          oh well in that case, it sucks lol, but im using it on my Nexus 5 and the swipe to google now from the home screen makes my life a lot easer tbh

    • Hothfox

      I decided the easy swipe to Google Now and the “OK Google” touchless search was too useful for me to give up the GEL for custom icons.

    • Aaron Clow

      The ONLY complaint I have with the default launcher is one I have had for a long time now — no Landscape on the homescreen. Grrrr. 50% of the time I’m using my phone, it’s on a car dock. I hate having to use third-party launchers, but until Google lets us do this, I have to.

    • Vezquex

      You can set a different gesture. In Apex, I set it to 2-finger swipe up. (down: notifications, 2-down: quick-settings, up: drawer)

  • MichaelFranz

    i wish i could use the droid command center widget for this….moto doesnt allow it with 3rd part launchers….boo that noise

    • tharealoc

      download One More Clock Widget, it will give you the same look just not all the features.

  • Danny Dodge

    Updated but don’t find the setting.. Help?:)

    • Sean Bello

      peep the changelog

  • B!

    The buttons I could care less about. I’m all for the translucent notification bar. My Razr Maxx is rooted to 4.3 so I’ma try & see if it works. If not hopefully Holo Launcher will support it.

    • Mike

      you could care less or couldn’t care less?

      • B!

        Lol. Oh you’re one of those guys. I guess I’ll entertain. C-O-U-L-D. That’s how err say it in L.A.

        • Mike
        • Bob

          I live in LA, and I really couldn’t care less about this.

          • B!

            LMAO! Good one.

        • j

          well err one in LA is an idiot.. seriously.

          • B!

            The err was a swype-o. A for the rest of your comment, I’m sure you’re just saying that because it sucks wherever you live.


    Thank you! My Verizon Moto X nav bar has been solid while using Nova ever since the camera update. Bothered me a lot. Fixed!

    • Larry Wei

      On my Moto X it’s not completely transparent…there’s still a bit of alpha shading. Is yours completely see through?

      • Mark Peden

        Nope, still has shading for me.

      • JRUIV

        right, it’s not completely transparent. Its just like the native launcher Looked.

    • deadpenguins

      Did you have to do anything? I just installed the beta and my notification bar is still black =(. I have the option checked off in look and feel settings! Wahhh

  • duoexo

    Support the LG G2!

    • Eric


      • I signed up for Nova beta, downloaded the new apk from the Play Store, but it doesn’t show up anywhere on my G2. Granted I’m running CM10.2 so that may be why

        • Eric

          I’m running Paranoid Android on mine so I don’t even need the feature built into the launcher.

    • kixofmyg0t

      How about someone support the Nexus 7 FHD? this is getting ridiculous.

  • You have to be rooted for the HTC One? 🙁

  • joejoe5709

    Weird… I was literally just looking at Nova for my G2. Sucks it isn’t supported yet.

    • ReturnOfTheMack

      Download it from their website and sideload it. Works perfectly.

      • DJ SPY

        Do you think it’ll work on my Maxx HD using that method?

      • duoexo

        are you rooted? or stock? i installed the beta and im not getting the option for the transparent feature.

        • ReturnOfTheMack

          The transparency will work with KitKat because of the new API’s that allow an app to “request” transparent navigation and status bars. With older versions of android it depends on the particular OEM’s private API’s. To my knowledge Samsung and Motorola are the only ones that are currently supported and even then it should only emulate what was transparent before, not the way KitKat does it necessarily.

          I don’t have my own G2 to test it on btw.

          • B!

            What about a rooted Droid Razr Maxx? I tried it from the playstore but the transparent notification bar option isn’t there. I haven’t tried to download it directly from their like you said earlier.

      • joejoe5709

        Good thinking! I installed the beta apk from their website, but still no go unless I’m just blind.

    • deadpenguins

      I recently saw a link to the nova site which had a statement from the dev that lg doesn’t allow any modification of the transparency of the g2. I wish I had the source link but I know it was xda.

    • Same, haha

  • Mike Sims