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Newest Google Search Update Seems to Make GEL Work Perfectly on Nexus 7

Even though Google’s GEL or Google Experience Launcher is currently an exclusive to the Nexus 5, we’re all well aware of its capabilities on other devices running Android 4.1+. In fact, the last Google Search update from mid-November brought compatibility with the new launcher to all sorts of devices, assuming you had the new GoogleHome.apk sideloaded. But compatibility is one thing, functioning correctly and not looking like garbage is another. 

For example, if you loaded the GEL onto a Nexus 7 you could enjoy some of the experience, however, flipping the device into landscape didn’t exactly show that the launcher was ready for anything outside of a phone. If you take a look at the image below, you’ll see the Google Search bar overlapping widgets when flipped landscape. But if you look up top to my Nexus 7 running the newest version of Google Search, the search bar actually slides to the left side to make the experience appear as if it has been made ready for the N7. The grid also seems to have been adjusted to 5×5 instead of the 6×6 it previously carried.

There is still at least one bug, though. If you grab an app from the drawer, you’ll now see an App Info option to drag to when in landscape with system apps, but still a semi-broken double-option experience of “Uninstall” or “App info” with non-system apps.

These little touches seem so minor, but if you were wanting the transparent goodness that comes with GEL on your Nexus 7, you can now experience that without all of the major bugs.

For those new to GEL, you’ll need to install the GoogleHome.apk from the Nexus 5, followed by the newest Google Search. We have both .apks for you below, including the Search update that rolled out yesterday.

Download Links:  Google Home (0.10.1) | Google Search (3.1.24)

nexus 7 GEL

Cheers Jeremy!

  • John Huie

    My problem is that when scrolling through widgets quickly, Google Search quits and I get kicked out of the widget drawer. Anyone else?

  • Keven

    Does the landscape mode for GEL works on a phone?? How do you activate it?

  • Cory Wilson

    Damn I hate the side search bar. Wish Google would just being back the damn honeycomb launcher for tablets, landscape mode has sucked on 7 inch tabs since android 4.1 launched. Still think a dock is absolutely useless on a tablet

    • Barry Smallwood

      i use the dock as a bedside charger and have the clock as my daydream so it acts as a bedside alarm/clock….its worth having just for that reason

  • moe6

    A wee issue I’ve been having with GEL on my N4 and N7 has been apps on the homescreen going missing after it get an update. Not all apps do this though. On the annoying side, the last GEL/Search update also pretty much cleared my homescreens hahah

  • mikeym0p

    I dont really like the transparency on the tablets. It makes horizontal look weird.
    If this is the Tegra 3 N7, does it fix the lag when sliding to the left most GNow screen?

  • Pat Leck

    Looks soooooooooooooooo coool man


  • Storm Jones

    It doesn’t look like any of you use Action Launcher, which is hands down the best launcher out there, in my opinion…

  • Barry Smallwood

    i downloaded the GEL apk and installed it after the update of google search and it worked great .yesterday google search did a new update and my nexus 7 home screens went haywire and it was only after some time ruling all upgrades and changes that day that i realised with the search update GEL made my home screens lose a full column of icons and all my widgets disappeared. after switching to the nexus 7 native launcher things went back to normal.in the end i deleted GEL will have to wait until google actually release it for nexus 7 if they ever do.

    • NexusMan

      Yes. Same here…I had the EXACT same problem. It was actually perfect for me on the Nexus 7 BEFORE this update. Now it’s broken.

  • coolsilver

    yea I installed the previous version google search update when I lost icons and widget. Got them back with my titanium backup just restoring the app, data stayed so they came back right away.

  • Simon Belmont

    It’s still kind of messed up on the 2012 Nexus 7. The icon in the quick launcher area in the lower right corner gets deleted after every reboot.

    I usually keep the Google Play Store in that slot, but I’ve just moved it to my main home screen for now, until it gets fixed. Hopefully, that’s soon.

    • Captain Spaulding

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one having this issue, that’s where I keep my Chrome shortcut.

  • NexusMan

    This is good to hear. I had been rocking the GEL on my Nexus 7 since it got Kit Kat with NO PROBLEMS, until yesterday’s Search update, then everything got wonky, so sadly, I had to drop GEL. Now I can go back! Yay!

  • Scott Kart

    Need smaller iconssss

  • Matthew Rose

    It skunks the formerly great N10 experience though 🙁

  • gtg465x

    They still need to make icons look less blurry on 720p screens like the Moto X and Nexus 4. It scales up smaller icons on those devices. It needs to scale down larger icons (the same ones used on 1080p phones) instead.

    • Chrizow

      / this

    • klyonawesome

      This would be nice.

  • Yeah, it’s awful on my Nexus 10. Not only are things way too big, but swiping through home screens and the app drawer produces very slow transitions. It’s not laggy, it actually looks like a smooth 60fps movement, but the animation takes way too long. Kills productivity.

    • KingofPing

      set transitions to .5. Does wonders on my nX.

    • NexusMan

      I heard it was bad on the Nexus 10, which is why I never even bothered to install it. Loved it on the Nexus 7 though (while it lasted).

  • The_Omnix

    If you really must have transparent notification bars then Nova Launcher FTW!!!! Although I always have issues dragging and deleting stuff because the area you have to move it to is so ridiculously small. Besides that it works great though. And Icon Packs are always a plus as the icons look consistent for once.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    Been a reader since the OG droid days. Finally I got my name from a tip submitted!!! Glad I could contribute. Long live DL

    • TheDrunkenClam

      Now I wish they would fix the issue of Chrome’s bookmarks widget not properly capturing/displaying thumbnail screenshot previews. The stock browser used to do this properly, instantaneously. Still not sure why this is overlooked. The widget would be so beautiful if it worked as desired.

      • ferrari187

        absolutely, and its been soo long that people have been complaining about this. im not sure why they wont fix this as it seems fairly easy to do and would make such a big difference

  • Hothfox

    The fact that the Google Home apk is version 0.10.1 tells me that at some point it will reach version 1, and then it will probably come to the Play Store as an app. Sweet!

    • Michael

      The fact is that google home apk is only a “placeholder” – the function is in google search apk

    • Barry Smallwood

      i’m looking forward to it too ….the apk has problems especially after the latest search update and i have had to delete it.
      i’m getting more into the mindset that downloading apks before official upgrades is nothing but trouble and i wont be doing that again

  • Nova… ’nuff said.

    • KingofPing

      Can you Nova fanboys please stop posting in every GEL topic how much you love Nova?


      • Dane Carpenter

        Active Launcher… ’nuff said.

    • Gobaktoapple!!!

      Stick your Nova Launcher and your Active Launcher in your slot and rotate. Google Experience Launcher FTW!!!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    What about the LG Tab? Using the Nexus 5 with the laucnher I prefer it over the Basic stock launcher….when I had my N7 (sent it back) first thing I did was put the GEL on it.

  • Cael

    On Droid 4: The update stopped the Launcher from force closing but now I get an error saying “PLACEHOLDER TEXT: Google Search not Found”…and after 3 clicks now Google Search is force closing….
    Sad face!

    • GoBlue

      Join the Razr club. Mine hasn’t worked since day one on Razr HD.

      • Cael

        Oh I’ve been there…get disappointing when each search update fixes every phone but yours LOL. I’m going to join the Moto X club soon I think…

  • webmatt01

    Sadly.. It makes it look awful on the Nexus 10. Icons are way too HUGE. Plus, it goes from 4 icons on each side of the launcher to 3, so you get less dock icons, (and huge ones there too)

    • Ryuuie

      The Nexus 10 will probably not get this launcher officially because it can’t handle transparency due to the GPU. So, it’s no surprise it’s so broken and incorrectly spaced on it.

      • Matthew Rose

        I’m hoping for a “tablet optimized” version that brings it back to correct layouts. I use GEL not for the transparency but for the Now integration….

        • Michael

          There will be no “tablet optimized” version – in the resource of the search.apk are alle resolutions (including tablets). It’s a new bug because the old version was working.

      • Simon Belmont

        You’re right about the transparency on the N10. But, I think Google will probably allow N10 owners to still use it.

        They just won’t get the benefit of the transparent navigation and status bars. That’s about it.

        • Ryuuie

          They might, we’ll have to see…but it looks like they’ve been mostly setting things up for the 7 and 4 so far.

      • Michael

        even my huawei mediapa / T-Mobile Spring Board can do this. It’s a bug in the 3.1.24 google search and effect a lot of devices. Icons bare bigger – rows disappear, widgets are resized or disappear. With Version all this things worked perfect.

        • Britt Lewis

          my&nbspneighbor’s&nbspaunt&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­83&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rly&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspwithout&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­K&nbspfor&nbspten&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­Уment&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­20883&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspհ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­е, ….Perfect23.Com

          ▲▉▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▉the nexus 7 native launcher things went back to normal. in the end i deleted GEL will have to wait until google actually release it for nexus 7 if they ever do.

    • coolsilver

      Even on Nexus 7 they look too big. Back to Nova Launcher for me. Don’t use the hotword much anyway.

  • turdbogls

    almost 100%….breaks the far right Docked icon. keeps dissapearing. And I’m not the only one.

    • Edit: It seems to upon initial launch, but I just put an icon there and it’s sticking.

      • Adrynalyne

        The takeaway message here is, if there were no plans to release GEL outside of Nexus 5, these changes would have never been worked on.

        • Michael

          if you expand the apk file of google search, you will find resources for hdpi.mdpi,xdli and xxdpi.
          This shows that there are plans to release GEL on different devices.

      • turdbogls

        Just give it some time. I installed it yesterday and was playing around with it….Chrome icons went away. i replaced it….no more than 10 minutes later it was gone again.

      • checazola

        It is during intial launch. Any app or folder in the right spot of the dock goes away. I tried to clear the data for GEL but it doesn’t give me that option like the stock launcher does. Something I noticed too is that even if you uninstall GEL, and install it again, it keeps the settings from the previous installation. It doesn’t use the stock launcher settings like it did the first time I installed GEL on my Nexus 7.

        • v3n0m

          GEL is built in google search so you must clear the data of google search to do it

          • checazola

            Thanks.. For letting me know. I didn’t know.

          • Michael

            but clear of cache does not change the behavior

          • checazola

            No it didn’t.. But it was worth the try.

      • Simon Belmont

        It sticks. But it goes away again if you reboot.

        I’ve tried adding it back through three reboots and it keeps getting removed. I just dragged it up to my main home screen until this bug gets fixed.

    • fartbubbler

      here also. :/

    • TheDrunkenClam

      It went from being 6 icons wide to now 5 icons wide.. Is this what you’re referring to???

      • turdbogls

        i think that is refering to the grid above the dock. the dock has always been 7 icons wide for the Nexus 7.

    • Def breaks it when you reboot. You have to set that folder up again. Now before I reboot or flash a nightly, I move that folder up out of the dock.

    • Braden Abbott

      I am on the original home.apk vs 0.9.6 and it works great now, does not delete the right icon on reboot

    • Zeacho

      Having the same issue. Every time I restart the bottom right icon in my docked tray gets deleted. Any updates or resolutions?