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Google Now Launcher Arrives on Google Play for Nexus and GPE Devices

Remember when the launcher on the Nexus 5 turned into the Google Now Launcher? We told you at the time that its appearance on the Play store as an app for everyone was likely imminent as it included a way to import settings from your old launcher. Guess what? It arrived today, though it’s not yet for everyone just yet.

The app is indeed just like the launcher that exclusively launched with the Nexus 5 in that it makes Google Now only a swipe away. If turned on, a simple swipe from the left will bring over Google Now, so that you can keep track of your life.

At this time, the listing claims that it is only available for Nexus or Google Play Edition devices running Android 4.4. So yes, the Nexus 10 and 7 can now officially enjoy this new beautiful launcher.

Play Link

Cheers Paul!
  • N4User

    Every time i press the home button, Wallpaper in nexus 4 seems to re-calibrate to fit in after installing the Launcher!

  • Kevin Esser

    How do you add more to homescreen pages??? Anyone else have this issue?

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Is there any particular reason I would want this over Nova Launcher?

  • shecalledmejay

    I’ll try it out but man do I love Nova launcher.

  • M3D1T8R

    When I initially installed this I made the mistake of telling it to “start fresh”, I stead of copying my old screen layout. Now I can’t figure out how to copy it (from the normal launcher). I uninstalled and reinstalled but now it still doesn’t reprompt me. Any advice?

  • jimbob

    So, will developers be able to port the “OK, Google” from the homescreen to third party launchers yet?

  • BrianCherry

    Even though I already had the port for my Nexus 4, the official release is atleast a noticeable 25% smoother experience.

  • NorCalGuy

    Next: push out the new camera for the nexus 5

  • Michael Quinlan

    Google Now has always been just a swipe away – a swipe up from the home button, regardless of what app you’re in. Why/how is this any better? Apparently the icons are still cartoonishly large – 2 of the 3 reviews that appeared on the main page for the app mentioned it. IMO, the only thing this has going for it is the always listening feature on the home screen, but this pales in comparison for anyone with a Moto X, and the large icons make this a non-starter for me.

    • LionStone

      yep, the big icons pushed me to go back on Nova Prime on the N5… then when 4.2 hit my DNA, I took Nova off so I can have blink feed, not as my home screen but to the left as Google Now would be, works well for me.

      • Michael Zimmermann

        I really like the big icons but I agree that this should be customizable.

  • Jonathan Bunch

    What I really would like to see is the “OK Google” feature built into other launchers, the slide to Google now would also be neat if built into other launchers…looking at you nova. I hope they make the code available for that.

    • Gaboogle

      You can already slide to the Google Now screen in Nova by sliding up from the home button wherever you are.

  • MacNificent

    Do I need to uninstall and reinstall? Or should I just update it?
    I downloaded the .apk from months ago. But when I go to the playstore it said update.

    • Lynton

      Just update should be fine.

      • MacNificent

        Thank you. That’s what I thought. I just wasn’t sure

  • What’s the difference? Slide panel to left instead up slide up from home button? I don’t understand the point. (I have Nexus4 btw)

    • JSo

      All I can say is I use Google Now more now that its just a swipe to the left. The original way of swiping up from the bottom made me forget it was there.

    • Dutch

      Nexus 4 here also. Not a whole lot changes.. Bigger icons, had to reload my widgets, you get the Nexus 5 backgrounds, instead of a black background in your app drawer it is now transparent so you can see your background.

      • So I went ahead and downloaded it. I like it. Works well, I think it looks good and yes it does seem naturally easier to get to google now. Haven’t tried the new voice changes.

  • Steve B

    Sh*t just got real. Thanks Google and keep it up.

  • NCSUgolfer01

    Does anyone have a link to the .apk download for this latest version?

  • Severo Rivera


  • Chewy789

    Good news. But I’ll stick with Nova Prime for now.

  • Kurt Thompson

    Does anyone have a download link for the most reason version?

  • Sean

    I still don’t understand the benefit of this. Not saying it isn’t a good feature; I just don’t understand what it does. What will change on my Nexus 7 when I add it?

    • sagisarius

      It’s most just different. The bars at the top and bottom are transparent, google now is a little easier to get to, you can just say “ok google” to do a voice search… those are the big ones.

      • Sean

        OK. Sounds like it won’t change anything on the Moto X, but will advance the Nexus 7 a bit.

        • Travillion

          I think it will improve the wallpaper settings on Moto X, if nothing else. Since getting KitKat, setting a wallpaper has been awkward on the Moto X because you do your crop/positioning and then find that it placed the wallpaper off-center since it assumes your “main” homescreen is the left-most screen instead of in the center. At least that’s how it is with an AT&T Moto X.

          • Sean

            I have Verizon and do not have this issue. It centers wallpaper and you do not have to crop a photo in Portrait.

          • Travillion

            Interesting. When you restart your phone, does it zoom in on the wallpaper? Are you using a 3rd party app to set your wallpaper? These problems were introduced with 4.4, I assumed they were universal but maybe they are just AT&T’s build.

          • chris_johns

            whats funny is i had this exact issue…and seems to resolved itsself somehow…possibly gallery update?

          • Travillion

            Hmmm… are you also on AT&T?

          • chris_johns

            Nope verizon

  • Blue Sun

    I was able to push the update via the Play store to my VZW GNex running 4.4.2 ShinyROM.

  • David Dzado

    Also you can install it if you have previously installed the GEL via sideloading or other method. i just updated via Google Play on my LG G2.

  • chris_johns

    i hate lauchers that arent centralized…i dont want to have to swipe to the right right righ right only to get my stuff and then left is google now…its so…i dunno unbalanced?…..maybe im just unbalanced…

    • geedee82

      Yeah that definitely took me some getting used to. The fact that it was only like that on my phone and not my tablet made it even more difficult. But now that I can install it on my N7 as well should make things less confusing.

    • Orion

      Nah, I totally agree with you.

    • jimbob

      l agree to both points. I do not like unbalanced launchers, and you are also unbalanced 🙂

      • chris_johns

        lol…cant argue with u there

  • Dave Harrison

    Nook HD+ running CM11 is also compatible. Possibly anything running CM11.

  • Thomas O’Brien

    Can someone pull the apk so I can side load on my LG G2? I’m pretty sure the version on DL earlier was an earlier version…just want to make sure I’m up to date.

    • Kassidy Klink

      I was able to dl directly from play store to my g2

      • Nathan Bunn

        You must be running a custom rom or something

  • JohanV

    Ahh so refreshing and beautiful. Take that Samsung Tizen or whatever.

  • Guest

    Can someone post the link to the old Droid-Life article that had the links/files to install this on any device? Thanks in advance.

  • Miguel

    Actually this is big, Google keeps doing this things that might look little but they’re just taking control of Android one app at a time, releasing this core apps show cased in Nexus devices for anyone that don’t have one can install them.

    • Ray

      Anyone? Did you read the title?

      • sagisarius

        I think the general expectation is that it will be just for those devices for a month or so… and then be open to everyone else.

      • Miguel

        It might be only for Nexus devices right now but soon it’ll be available for every Android phone out.

  • KennyVeltre

    It downloads on my vzw GS4 running gummy.

  • nicholas cusmina

    Dont load it on the Moto X, the “ok Google now” function will stop working properly… 🙁

    • Kurt Thompson

      It’s been fine on my MotoX

      • Jonathan Ly

        On my X (4.4.2) if the phone is unlocked and I’m using NFL it recognizes OK Google. It’s actively listening just for OK Google. I have to lock my phone for OK Google Now to work.

        • nicholas cusmina

          Right, I hate the fact that you cant just pick a phrase, it makes it so the accuracy is way less

  • The Narrator

    That Nexus 10 makes me more sad that we still haven’t seen a successor.

    • Kevin

      I’m still really happy with my Nexus 10. I just got mine past November.

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    Been running this for a while on my Droid Maxx. What I really want is the Dialer that came with the Nexus 5

    • KingofPing

      They need to find some way to do this. I’d love to use it on my One. (I know I could convert to GPe, but I really like the Sense quick-settings).

    • brkshr

      It is pretty awesome. That’s one of the biggest reasons I haven’t ROM’d my N5.

      • Maciej Kaznowski

        You could always just flash it afterwards: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2397942
        OR you can use OmniROM – > they made their own version of it and it supports more countries (US, France and I think one more).

        • Jeffrey Tarman

          I’m still waiting to see if they will upgrade the Maxx from 4.4 to the .2. Any problems with the Dialer working properly after flashing it?

      • NorCalGuy

        Its actually built into a lot of custom Roms now most also give you a choice between aosp and the nexus 5 dialer

  • Kassidy Klink

    i was able to download directly from play store on my verizon lg 2 with cm11 installed.

  • jerflash

    Even my old verizon galaxy nexus can download it…that is full of win lol

    • cwillen

      Really?! It’s showing my VZW GN as not compatible… weird.

      • jerflash

        Ya dude. try it from online. i sent it to my old GN from there. i will see when i get home

        • Blue Sun

          I’m in the same boat. My GNex at home got it, running 4.4.2 ShinyROM. I’ll test drive it tonight.

      • bobbyp

        My guess is depends on how stock you are or if you have a 4.4.2 ROM going.

        • Michael Harrison

          KK is a requirement for the launcher, so yeah, would depend a lot on that.

          • Menelaus

            Well then I’m glad I snagged an earlier version ripped from the Nexus 5, running just fine on my 4.3 stock VZW S4!

        • Yes, it works on GN with KitKat

    • Franklin Ramsey

      My stock Nexus 2012 and Galaxy Nexus are showing as not compatible.

  • cwillen

    But no official support for the Galaxy Nexus? I know it works on there (because I’m running it) so I’m not sure why they didn’t officially list it as compatible.

    • The Narrator

      I’m sure they’d like to forget that lol

    • brkshr

      Because the Galaxy Nexus isn’t officially 4.4 compatible. 4.4 is a requirement for the Google Now Launcher.

  • Justin W

    It shows 5,000-10,000 installs on GPlay – does that mean there are somewhere between 5k-10k Nexus 5’s available, or would that include even the sideloaded versions on non-GPE/Nexus devices?

    • cwillen

      Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013) as well as the Nexus 10 can download it too. So between the sales of all those devices, I’d say that number seems reasonable for it just launching today.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Well right now it is telling me my Nexus 7 2012 isn’t compatible.

    • KingofPing

      Seems that quite a few ROM users are able to pull it as well. Probably anything closely tied to AOSP…

  • Detonation

    Are the icons still larger than normal? That was my biggest gripe

    • Xposed GEL Settings

    • C-Law

      Dang, that’s my favorite part! I love the way the larger icons look. It’s like when I was a kid and mortal kombat 1 was in the arcades and then it came to consoles. The characters were so much smaller on SNES and Genesis compared to the arcade, I guess from memory/processor constraints, and it didn’t look as good. I dunno why that comparison popped into my head, lol

      • JSo

        I’m with you. I think we are in the minority when it comes to liking the icon size.

        • Dustin Kear

          I like the larger icons too!

  • Colton

    one small step for Google, one giant leap for us peasants


    I might give it a try when it’s available for the Moto X.

    • Dominic Powell

      you can already sideload it pretty easily for Moto X. I use it and it works.

      • ERIFNOMI

        Of course. But I’ll just wait for it to be available on the Play Store. I don’t care enough to sideload it.

        • It takes about the same amount of effort to sideload as it does to make 2 comments on Droid Life.

          • bobbyp

            Maybe less.

          • ERIFNOMI

            Do you really think I can’t sideload an app? I’ll give it a chance when it’s officially supported on my device and I can get timely updates without any work. It’s not like it adds anything I can’t do now.
            Apparently it breaks Moto’s Touchless Control right now.

          • Jac

            It doesn’t. I have it and my touchless control works fine.

          • ERIFNOMI

            Good to know. Thanks.

    • bobbyp

      I side loaded it on my X for a few days. I just like my home screen in the middle and swipe left for main apps and swipe right for main widgets to use it all the time. Same thing for me with the Razr HD launcher. Love the circle widget but I didn’t like swiping for quick settings.

      • cjohn4043

        I wish they had a hybrid option or something. I want the bigger icons and the refreshed look, but I want my homescreen in the middle with Google Now a swipe from the bottom rather than the left.

  • Shamu

    Dat sexy