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Niagara Launcher gets revamped weather widget, Android 11 animation support

The latest update to the popular custom launcher drastically improves the functionality of the weather widget and integrates more tightly with Pixel devices for better animations. 

Niagara Launcher now has a new and improved weather widget. 
Niagara Launcher now has a new and improved weather widget.  (Niagara Launcher)

The arrival of Android 10 may have ruined the third party launcher experience for users who also wanted to use the new swipe-based full-screen gestures, but hardcore customisation lovers have remained undeterred. The development of famous third-party launchers like Nova Launcher and Action Launcher is still going strong, while the increasingly popular Niagara Launcher recently picked up a slew of new features.

Read more: You can now ‘stack’ widgets on your Android homescreen just like iOS 14

The launcher’s developer Peter Huber posted about the new features on the Niagara launcher blog, stating that when Apple acquired the Dark Sky weather forecast service and shut it down, he and his partner Max took the opportunity to revamp the weather widget while switching to OpenWeather.

Niagara's revamped weather widget.
Niagara's revamped weather widget. (Niagara Launcher)

The new weather widget will now allow users in most regions (except in a few African countries) to view a 30-minute forecast which should come in handy when knowing about inclement weather in advance before leaving from home or office. Huber says the now-faster refresh rate for weather requests will not impact the device’s battery, as they are only a few kilobytes in size and the phone is never woken up from standby.

The new weather widgets on the launcher will now support forecasts for up to eight days instead of the previous three-day limit, while the hourly forecast also lets you scroll to see the next day’s forecast as well.

Other improvements coming to the launcher include better app closing animations (but you’ll need a Pixel or compatible “stock” Android 11 device for it to work) plus a battery charge indicator and a new settings sheet for widgets.

Also read: Android 12 could let you ‘stack’ widgets, inspired by iOS 14

There’s also support for a new feature called transparent screenshots that allow users to share mockups of their home-screens with the Niagara launcher community. Users can update to this new version via Discord, Telegram or Github - or they can wait until the stable update is released later this week, Huber said.

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