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Summary:

KitKat Launcher+ brings many of the features of KitKat’s new launcher to Jelly Bean phones. It isn’t quite complete, but it’s free.

KitKat Launcher+
photo: Google Play

With KitKat updates in relatively short supply, chances are you’re still stuck on Jelly Bean. But now you can get a taste of what Google’s latest OS has to offer, in the form of KitKat Launcher+. The app, which recently hit Google Play, brings a number of features from the KitKat launcher to all phones running Android 4.3 and above.

KitKat Launcher+ was compiled straight from the Android Open Source Project code. Here’s a quick rundown of the features it currently supports:

Screen
• Hide the Google Search Bar
• Change grid size
• Enable a set amount of screens (do not automatically remove empty screens)

Drawer
• Change grid size

Behavior
• Automatically center home screen
• Configure home button behavior

Advanced
• Backup and Restore
• Access to App Ops to manage app permissions

You’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t provide quick access to Google Now, or the “OK, Google” voice search feature. But the app is free, and it gives you a good taste of what to expect when KitKat finally comes your way. Not only that, but it gives you the option to hide the Google search bar and change the grid size on your home screen and app drawer, which you can’t do otherwise.

A paid version of the app is also available, which adds backup and restore options to your settings menu. Either way, it weighs in at just 1.3 MB, and is well worth a download for curious Android users.

  1. Does it enable transparent top and bottom bars? That’s why I’m using the nexus 5 launcher on nexus 4.

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    1. I checked it out myself and the transparent bars are there if the device is running kitkat already. It is much nicer than the Google experience launcher because of the icon size ability and hide gsearch bar option. 4 stars

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