The latest Google flagship phone, Nexus 5, comes with Android 4.4 out of the box. Android 4.4 offers a lot of new and innovative features some of which are exclusive to the Nexus 5. One such is the new Google Experience Launcher. However, it is compatible with android 4.1 and up. Interesting thing about this launcher is that it is more like a pseudo launcher. The main code of the launcher is in the Google Search (Google Now) app available for download from the Google Play Store (so the reason for compatibility).
Some of the features of the Google Experience Launcher are:
- The launcher seamlessly integrates Google Now. Just say “Ok, Google” on any home screen to launch Google Search. Formerly, the user had to long press the home button or drag the home button to the search ring. The leftmost home screen is also the Google Now interface.
- It supports transparent status bar and navigation soft buttons (only for Android 4.4).
- The launcher has persistent revamped app drawer icon. The app drawer boasts bigger launcher icons(a bit monstrous according to me).
- The app drawer has translucent wallpaper background instead of black one.
- There’s no link to Play Store in the app drawer.
- Widgets have been removed from the app drawer and can be accessed by long pressing on vacant portion of any home screen.
- Now you can have full-screen preview of the wallpaper.
- Faster, smoother animations and cleaner, simple interface.
We always crave to have pure android experience. Those on stock 4.4, can’t have transparency on home screen because of the stock launcher. With GEL you can have it. Those on Android 4.0.3-4.3, can have almost vanilla experience by the combination of Xposed Installer tweaks and the GEL.
Make sure you have the latest updated Google Search (Google Now) app from the Play Store.
- Now press Home button. Choose GEL (blue home icon) and opt “Always”.
A big thanks to the AndroidPolice team for extracting the apk for us. You now have the Google Experience Launcher. Explore, have fun!
Don’t like the new launcher? There are two ways to disable the launcher:
- Uninstall the launcher app from Settings > Apps > All > Google Launcher > Uninstall.
- Clear the Defaults of Google Search from Settings > Apps > All > Google Search > Clear Defaults. Now press home button and select your preferred launcher.