Tag Archives: Google Now launcher

New Google Now launcher available for Android 4.1+ devices

The good folks at Google have just made a new Google Now launcher available for all phablets, tablets, smartphones and what have you that run Android versions 4.1 and up. Not sure if this is something you should be taking advantage of (or not clear what an application launcher is)? This article’s right up your alley then.

Google Now Launcher at Google Play
Say it with me, “OK Google.”

The 4-1-1

The Google Now Launcher replaces the home screen and application drawer of devices it’s installed on, with the same home screen and drawer that Google debuted on the Nexus 5 in 2013. You get unique wallpapers as well as voice controls that can easily and quickly be activated when you say “OK, Google” when you’ve got your home screen activated.

Like many tech experts have mentioned, the new Google Now Launcher isn’t really an application launcher per se. It’s only a replacement for your home screen and application drawer. Any modifications that your phone’s manufacturer or that your carrier have made – to the notification center, the settings menus or the quick settings panel, for instance – aren’t going to change. The Launcher merely ties in to code that’s already been shipping with the Google Search app.

Why does it exist?

So why is Google releasing this new app? Well, given the vast array of Android devices available and how different one can be from another – even within the range of devices sold by one brand, such as Samsung – Google wants to try and ensure a consistent experience across devices, at least as far as launchers are concerned. By having folks with compatible devices install this new Launcher, Google wants to try and make sure their devices feel closer to the stock Android that ships on the Nexus devices.

Of course not everything will feel stock, given that – at this point at least – Google can’t make everything look and feel the same; it’s just a launcher after all. But this is an interesting start.

So, are you going to download and install the new Launcher? Search for it on the Play Store and install as you like, and then see if the stock Google experience – as far as launchers and application trays go, at least – is for you.

source [Ars Technica]

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