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KitKat Launcher+ – Experience Launcher With Customizable Options and Enhanced Features

Kit Kat Launcher

While the Google Experience Launcher found on the Nexus 5 is great, and adds quick access to Google Now among other nice features, it isn’t very customizable. Grid size options are non existent, adding and removing additional homescreen pages is a pain, so at times it can be a big downer. A developer has released a new version of the launcher called KitKat Launcher+. With this launcher, users can tweak the grid size, add and remove pages without having to place widgets or icons on the page, plus you can hide the Google Search bar. It’s definitely worth a look if you need more options for your launcher.

The app is free to download and use, but if you buy the Pro version, you can will see a backup and restore option added to the Settings menu within the app. If you find yourself constantly changing up your homescreens, this is a handy feature to have.

Make note, if you do plan on using this launcher, you won’t see Google Now integration any longer, and unfortunately, there is no custom icon support as of this moment. Maybe that will come with time.

What launcher are you using these days? Stock? Nova? Let us know down below.

Features

  • Hide the Google Search Bar
  • Change grid size
  • Enable a set amount of screens (do not automatically remove empty screens)
  • Change grid size
  • Automatically center home screen
  • Configure home button behavior
  • Backup and Restore (Pro feature)
  • Access to App Ops to manage app permissions

Play Link

  • Blue Sun

    I’m totally interested in this app once Google Now gets integrated. Until then, I’ll pass.

  • Andy Stetson

    Stuck on Smart Launcher

  • Jayfeather787

    NOVA.
    gel is not laggy on higher end devices, like my Nexus 7 2013, but my Samsung Galaxy Exhibit cant handle it, even though its running kit kat.

  • Rob Fetterhoff

    I tried the “GEL” on my Galaxy S3 but I didn’t like it. No customization, giant grid size, can’t use custom icons.

    Nova is the best out there and will be way to go for a long long time.

  • gorkon

    I don’t care about tons of launcher configuration. The less the amount of configuration the better…but not as little as an iPhone. I am good with the Google Experience Launcher.

  • TC Infantino

    I am loving the GEL I loaded on my Droid Maxx. I am excited to see what 4.4 will do for my phone, but everything is running smooth as butter right now, so no need to change.

  • DJ SPY

    My RAZR Maxx HD is not compatible with it.

  • opels

    Kitkat launcher without the + is the best 4.4 launcher

  • Jason Smith

    Tried and uninstalled. Wanted Google Now and it would be nice to customize colors. Importing from GEL would be the deal-sealer.

  • Cesar

    Without Google Now integration, there’s no reason for me to switch from Nova launcher. Maybe if Google updates GEL with some of these settings, I’ll consider switching.

  • Adrynalyne

    Cease and Desist from Google in 3…2…

  • Daniel McKenzie J.

    Waiting for CM 11 very patiently :-)

  • Clift

    Yep, using the GEL for the Google Now integration

  • G Guy

    KitKat launcher by Ovidos Creative is the best GEL replica out right now. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ovidos.android.kitkat.launcher3

  • B!

    Nova on the GS4 & Holo on the Moto X & Droid Razr Maxx.

  • tzoller

    NOVA

  • livin

    Nova

  • Drome

    really dig this but the google music widget is 3×1 instead of 4×1. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    I’m using Apex. Works great. I’ve been using it for a long time. I have no complaints or reasons to want to find a new one. But I am a little jealous of being able to activate google now by voice from the home screen on the N5

  • elpeterson76

    I am stuck on Aviate. I miss some of the customization that I had with Nova, but it is just convenient. Mix Aviate with Moto X’s touchless controls and it is simply a great experience!

    • Abgar Musayelyan

      I was using that until it kept insisting that I check in at a gay bar that’s by my office.
      *I know I’m asking for it with this comment *

      • Rob Fetterhoff

        “office”

    • calculatorwatch

      I’m almost surprised I haven’t ditched Aviate yet since these simplified launchers don’t usually last long with me, but I’m hooked. It’s very responsive and the collections make it really easy to get to the right app (after I did a little manual sorting). Using it with DashClock on the main screen looks nice and is really convenient.

    • nineback

      Anyone have an invite for Aviate?

  • Pomacat

    I am using the Apex beta 2.2.0 it has the transparent status bar and all have to do is long press menu key to pull up Google Now, on Galaxy S4

    • artsr2002

      Same for me on a Galaxy S3. :D

  • Dave S.

    With Google Now being such a main part of the Nexus 5, it’s kind of a shame you can’t simply get rid of the Google Search Bar on its own, without having to download/run a third-party launcher. I mean, if all I have to do is say, “OK, Google”, then why do I need an actual search bar taking up valuable real estate on my home screen? That’s the only thing I hate about my Nexus 10…the fact I can’t turn off the Google Search Bar.

  • Rodeojones000

    No Google Now integration? So it’s essentially a less customizable and less useful Nova or Apex. Got it.

    • zurginator

      We’ll never see GNow integration unless Google decides to open it up (which could end badly if they did). GNow is the reason the GEL isn’t open-source or included in AOSP.

      • Rodeojones000

        Not true. Google Now integration into 3rd party launchers is not only possible, but has already happened.

        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nick.kitkatlauncher

        And this launcher even had support for icon packs.

        • joseph barrientos

          thanks for that link, will check out!

          • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

            Don’t get excited, it’s not real integration, it just launches the Google Search app and looks slick. A clever workaround, to be sure, but it’s not true integration.

          • joseph barrientos

            i see that now, just used it, sucks lol, stock it is, i just cant let that GN go

          • Rodeojones000

            No problem. I still prefer Nova for some of the gesture options, but it’s good to know GNow can indeed be baked into 3rd party launchers. I imagine it’s just a matter of time before we see it in other launchers as well.

          • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

            It’s fake integration. Don’t get your hopes up. It just launches the app.

        • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

          That’s not real integration. It launches the Google Search app. Fooled me for a few seconds until I realized I couldn’t swipe back to the home screen.

        • kashtrey

          That’s not really integration of Now as it is in GEL. All that does is launch the Google Search app.

  • Doug Jones

    Aviate! Love it!

  • Droid Ronin

    I’ve been using Themer since it’s been in beta and it’s quite nice to be able to choose custom themes right out of the box.

  • RacingManiac

    I am still running Nova on my Nexus 5. I am too used to simple gesture based stuff like swipe down for notification and swipe up for app drawer, and I like the scrolling dock. I just wish they can add the Google Now integration like the GEL does to Nova. use the hold and drag on the home key.

  • Jeremy Martin

    There is another one called kitkat launcher (no +) that is much better then this crap. It even had Google now integrated.

    • Walter Partlo
      • Cesar

        Tried it. The Google Now integration is half baked. Seems to just be a gesture on the leftmost homescreen that opens up Google Now. Swiping back the other way doesn’t take you back home the way it does in GEL. There’s also no “OK Google” voice activation on the homescreens.

        • Walter Partlo

          But there is icon support.

        • Rodeojones000

          So because you have to hit the home button rather than swiping right to get back home makes this half baked?

          • Cesar

            Yes, because it’s not true Google Now integration like GEL has. The GNow page in GEL is just that, a home page. You can swipe in and out of it just like any other home page. The same is not true of this launcher. Swiping left does get you to GNow, but it’s nothing more than a gesture that shortcuts you to it. I can set a gesture like that in any other launcher. This launcher doesn’t integrate GNow any more than any other launcher in the Play Store.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Hey i have an idea…why dont you email the dev and ask him about it instead of pissing all over it here? I have emailed him a couple times and he has fixed some issues pretty quick. I honestly dont have an issue with hitting the home button to bring me back.

  • Zach Davis

    Although I would love some more customization, I’ve been very happy with my Gnex on 4.4 with the Google Now integration with GEL. Only thing I ended up changing was the DPI from 320 to 270, so the icons are smaller and looks quite a bit cleaner (to me of course). Although the app drawer pages have a huuuuge amount of icons per page now, I don’t see it as a problem :p

  • Jeremy_Bowling

    I agree with most of the others. No Google Now makes it no better than the other launchers available.

  • gpaine

    Running Buzz Launcher. I might try Nova soon though.

  • Captain Spaulding

    It’s not compatible with Moto X, but I don’t want it anyhow. Well at least not America Movil version, which is still on 4.2.2.

  • Austin_tacious

    I use the Google Experience Launcher for that sweet Google Now integration.

  • Mark Duenas

    Doesn’t work on Droid Razr Maxx HD – What’s the point?

  • Corey Foltman

    Even though i paid for Nova, I’m using Stock GEL. The only things I dislike are how Google increased to size of the icons and the grid size need to be up’d a bit

    • Aaron Clow

      I like the larger icons. The only thing that I don’t like about GEL is that Google has their militant stance against homescreen rotation.

  • BRIAN MUENTER

    Do you have to be running 4.4 to be able to put this on your phone? I have a VZW GS3 4.1.2

    • martyjones100

      Yes

      • BRIAN MUENTER

        Thank you

  • jeff manning

    Is it possible to integrate google now in third party launchers? That’s the only thing that is keeping me with GEL.

    • jdhas

      I highly doubt it.

    • Travis Walls

      From what I understand, this would probably not be possible. Basically, the Google Search app (which includes Google Now, Voice Search, etc.) actually IS the launcher, or at least GEL depends heavily on it. The APK that you download to get the launcher to work is like some sort of passthrough to the actual Google app. That’s why when they updated the Google app recently, GEL started working properly on other devices instead of just the Nexus 5 (keyboard popping up, search bar sizing, drawer icon zoom/spacing, etc.). Hopefully, I’m wrong and there’s some undocumented way to hook into it like Google did.

      • zurginator

        AFAIK there isn’t. Google Now is actually the reason the GEL isn’t open source or in the AOSP – they don’t want to expose any of the inner workings.

    • Rodeojones000

      Yes. Not only is it possible, it’s been done. The launcher reviewed here is pretty worthless. This one
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nick.kitkatlauncher

      has swipe left to access Google Now built in and the simple “OK Google” command also works.

  • Ben Murphy

    Nova…. I don’t care for the GN integration. I get transparent status and navigation support with Nova and that’s all I need.

    • jeesung

      what he said

      • Matthew Rebmann

        Nova has this already on the Beta… which is stable. For 4.3+ only though.

        • jeesung

          if you’re talking about the Transparent Nav, that’s what he said ;-)
          or are you talking about Google Now integration?

          • Matthew Rebmann

            I apologize, I misread that saying “I WANT the transparent status and nav…” That’s a definite oops on my part :P

          • jeesung

            Darn, I was hoping you found some hidden GN settings :-)

  • Anthony Tyson

    Meh. I was expecting Google now integration somehow. No go for me that’s the only thing I want.

  • Captain Spaulding

    I love GEL specifically for the Google Now integration, switching to this would be pointless.

  • Pete Arado

    If you download Nova on the Nexus 5, do you lose that quick swipe to Google Now? I’m assuming yes, but want to confirm.

    • z

      yes

    • jbegs

      I have a Galaxy Note II running Nova. I have a swipe action from my app drawer launcher that gets me right into Google Now.

    • Cesar

      If you mean having Google Now be the leftmost homepage, yes you lose that capability. But, it’s very easy to set any number of gestures to bring up Google Now in Nova. For instance, I have it set to launch GNow when I swipe from my app drawer icon. It’s arguably more convenient than the GEL.

  • subiedude85

    Loving the Google Experience Launcher on my Moto X, if this gets the ability to use custom icons I don’t think I’ll be able to resist.

  • Chris

    Great if you have ZERO social and ZERO love life and the only job you have is working 16-20 hours a week at mcdonalds. For us who work 40-60 hours a week and still ahve a social/love life stock is the way to go.

    • Z

      what? what on earth does the launcher you use have to do with social life and work???

    • j

      wait.. what

    • Corey Foltman

      are you talking about the time a few people take to switch/customize their setup every other day? Nova is the way to go once they get GEL features. Set it and forget it. One time deal. like 15minutes max.

    • jdhas

      This…this is…this is the weirdest comment I’ve seen in some time.

      • Adrynalyne

        I wonder who upvoted him, LOL.

    • a3uge

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself… ???

    • David Henry

      You angry bro?

    • KG

      dafuq I just read?? 3rd party launcher = part-time job at McD’s = ZERO love life? We need to spread the word… 3rd party launchers are downright dangerous!

    • Cesar

      What is this? I don’t even

      • Adrynalyne

        LOL

  • Matthew Greenbaum

    Action launcher is the best one I have ever used. Shutters are the greatest launcher feature ever.

    • Stephen De La Rosa

      Seriously! Plus Covers keep the app drawer to a minimum.

      • cjohnson481

        I use Pop Up Widget as a swipe action in Nova, does same as Shutters. Nova has swipe to open folder, does same as Covers.

  • litobirdy

    Nova still rocks

    • Mark Duenas

      Yep…Does it have a KK theme?

      • Ray Gray

        it supports trans status bar and nav bar so basically

      • Droidzilla

        You can have your icons themed stock, so yes.

      • Elliot Kotis

        Actually, the other replies are not the best way. Get the beta version, has KK yes.

  • ddevito

    Awesome – can’t wait to use this on the Moto X I can’t order!

  • http://profiles.google.com/thelolotov Jacob Davis

    I’ll have to pass. Only reason I’m using the KK launcher is that sweet Google Now integration.

    • joseph barrientos

      this