The Google Now launcher is available for almost all modern Android phones


One of the best features of the Nexus 5 — or any Google(s goog) Play Edition device — is the Google Now Launcher, which is a stripped-down homescreen that puts Google Now an easy swipe to the left, and puts voice-activated commands a simple “Ok Google” away. On Friday, Google opened up the launcher to any Android device running Android 4.1 — which, according to the latest statistics, includes nearly 75 percent of them.

Although the app has been on Google Play for a few months, it had been restricted to a small number of devices running the latest stock version of Android. Now that it works on most modern Android devices, pretty much everyone has the option to have a stock Google home screen. Installing the launcher on a skinned version of Android, like what you find on Samsung devices, can make your phone feel more like it’s running Android the way Google intended. Because it’s been broken out from the main Android code, it also means Google can add new Google Now features more easily.

If you’ve got a device running Android 4.1 or up, you can grab the launcher from Google Play now.





I like it, it’s cool. Much faster and responsive than Touchwiz of Samsung. The icons are a little bigger too.


It’s Stock Android for Everyone ! You can have 20 pages if you want. Like the response above all you need do is long-press an icon on your farthest right screen and slide it to the right and you’ll get an extra page. Want More? Slide another icon to the right. Short, Simple and Kit-Kat clean.


Any way to minimize false positives for launching it? I say “okay” a lot and it launches the program. Very disruptive.


Any way to keep it from launching when I say “okay” in conversion? It launches regularly and I say okay a lot.


It’s an alternative to Samsung’s bloatware launcher. I’ve been testing it, and haven’t committed to one launcher over the other permanently. When I press the Home key, I get a choice of three launchers: Google Now and two versions of Samsung. I’ve been choosing one or the other “Just Once” for test purposes.

The Google Now launcher will not preserve your home screen app layouts. And as far as I can tell so far, you only get three home screens, with two of them taken over by Google Now’s features. If I can’t add screens, this is a non-starter, since I don’t want to be limited effectively to one screen of icons.

Dave Navarro

You can actually add more screens you only need to have at least one app shortcut on the last screen and then drag another app to the right, this will create a new screen


So it runs on top of Samsung’s bloatware, it doesn’t replace it?


It replaces it, as an alternative. I’m trying it out, so when I press the Home key I get to choose which one to use, and I’ve been opting to use it “Just Once” until I’m ready to commit. The downside of the Google Now launcher is that you seem to get only three home screens, and two of these are fully occupied by Google Now and related apps. It doesn’t carry over your screen layouts from Samsung, so you will need to reconfigure. If I only get one screen for icons, I won’t find this attractive.

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