The app formerly known as Google Experience Launcher is now officially called the Google Now Launcher in honor of its most prominent feature, Google Now. Only problem is, this launcher is still exclusive to the Nexus 5 smartphone.
Thankfully, "exclusive" in the world of Android means anything but, as we've shown you with the previous "exclusive" Google Experience. If you're looking to check out the latest and greatest Google Now experience, we've got you covered.
In order to get the newest Nexus 5ish launcher experience, you need to install the Google Now Launcher and Google Search APKs onto your device. Together, these make up the Google Now Launcher. Make sure you have "Unknown sources" enabled, then download the two files from the direct links below.
Google Home will replace your current version of Google Launcher (if you had one installed already), and Google Search will replace its counterpart on your phone.
You may run into a problem with installation where the Launcher does not install properly. If that's your case, uninstall Google Launcher and Google Search, then reinstall Google Search from Google Play, and reinstall the Launcher again from the link above.
Pressing the Home button should now bring up the option to choose a default launcher. Select the Google Now Launcher and hit Always.
This can be changed at anytime in the App Manager in your Settings app. Just select the Launcher from the list and tap on Clear Defaults. The next time you hit the Home button, you'll be asked to pick a launcher again. Use TouchWiz home if you want to go back to normal.
The Google Now Launcher is undoubtedly cleaner and right off the bat tries to de-clutter your home screen with automatic smart folders. The black Status bar at the top has also been swapped out for a transparent one.
If you have noticed that your widgets have been removed, they can be added by hitting the Menu button and selecting widgets from the new menu screen.
You can also add apps to the pages by dragging and dropping them from the new app drawer, which has a darker background and subtle animations when scrolling the pages.
And don't forget that Google Now is embedded into the launcher. You can say "OK, Google" and the voice-activated search will launch from any home screen.
The Google Now Launcher is very simple and clean and will help keep the clutter to a minimum. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions.