Changing the Launcher on Oppo R17

I recently bought a new Android phone, an Oppo R17 Pro. I chose the Oppo as the brand has rated well, actually top, in Canstar satisfaction reviews. It is a good looking phone, well finished and a quality feel. The last point is particularly noticeable when compared to my recently deceased Nexus 5X.

As good as the phone hardware is Oppo have for some unknown reason included their own and poorly developed version of Android called ColourOS. The launcher in particular has no improvements over the standard Android experience and feels slow and clunky. Previously I used the Nova launcher and decided to go back to it. It ran well and I was able to configure it how I like. It made a vast improvement to the whole experience.

However there was one problem. When unlocking the phone I would see the default launcher but then Nova would replace it. I had set Nova as the default so this was confusing. The answer was in ColourOS’s aggressive battery saving settings. By default ColourOS stops all apps running in the background. So when the phone is unlocked Nova isn’t running. The fix then was simple, if well hidden.

In settings – App Management select Nova launcher and in its App info select Power Saver and set it to run in the background. This solved it for me. ColourOS will giving a warning that one app is consuming power but that can be ignored.

This change is needed for any app that needs to run all the time. Data usage monitors are a good example. Despite the warning I find that the Oppo R17 has excellent battery life, certainly better than any other Android phone I’ve owned.