Feb 05 AT 3:32 PM Dima Aryeh 21 Comments

Google Experience Launcher updated, renamed to Google Now Launcher

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The Google Experience Launcher came out with the Nexus 5, and so far, has stayed exclusive to the device. Sure, you can sideload it to many devices currently on the market, but officially, it’s a Nexus 5 feature. Could it soon be coming to more devices?

In the latest update to the Google Search app, which contains much of the Google Experience Launcher, the launcher has been renamed to Google Now Launcher. This may not seem like a big deal, as it’s just a launcher rename, but I can’t see any sort of point in renaming an exclusive launcher only Nexus 5 users see.

The only reason I can think of for renaming the launcher is in preparation for a large rollout. Maybe Google will be putting the launcher up on the Play Store, just like they did with many of their apps. I think that would be great; the launcher is pretty awesome and people should have a chance to easily install it. What do you think? Should Google widely release the launcher or keep it exclusive to the Nexus 5? Tell us in the comments!

Via: Android Central

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Stuart

    I’d like them to do the same with the smart dialler that is also exclusive to the Nexus 5

    • David

      Not really a nexus 5 exclusive. I have it on my Moto G which is almost like stock. My HTC One GPE has it as well.

      • stuart

        Im guessing you flashed the Google Smart Dialler onto the Moto G as it doesn’t come as stock

        • Paul

          On any device running 4.4 or higher you can put the dialer in, although it is tricky as you need root. You will have to place the APK in the priv-app section and then reboot the phone. Do not install the APK as you would typically do, just download and then put in the correct folder in root. It needs rw-r-r permissions and can run, I’ve done this in many cases of devices running 4.4 (Moto, CM11 rom, etc.).

          However, it would be nice if they could figure out how to get it to more users without the hassle of the user needing to know how to do this. It really is a great dialer in my opinion. The ability to have your favorites basically one click away and then eliminating the need to web search businesses is awesome.

    • Huh

      I am not sure what you mean!? Smart dial came with my 4.4 update on my nexus 4. It’s not exclusive to the 5

  • Hugh Isaacs II

    They should widely release it.

    It’ll help their bottom line and make the Nexus irrelevant which will be great for Android as a whole.

    It would also help them generate more ad-revenue by putting Google Now front and center on more users devices than just this minority of Nexus 5 owners.

  • Colton

    I think they should roll it out to other Nexus users, like the 7 and 10. But keep it exclusive to Nexus/ Google Play Edition devices.

  • twiztid_gamer

    I personally think they should make it available to all devices as I currently use these apps to make my RAZR M resemble the Google Now Launcher

    Apex Launcher Pro
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anddoes.launcher
    KitKat 4.4 Launcher Themehttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=brionicthemes.kitkat.launcher.experience

    • Paul

      Why don’t you just download the APK and install it, it is pretty easy. In fact the easiest way right now is an app called Kit Kat Launcher in the Play Store that links a download to the launcher. Do that, it is a much better launcher than Apex in my opinion.

  • SGB101

    I have it on the note2 cm10.3, nexus 7 stock, nexus 4 stock and moto G stock.

    In all cases I installed the offical apk unofical leek via sideload, but all of then have now been updated via play store.

    Love the Kk now skin.

    • Ryan

      I think you are mistaken but if you care to prove me wrong, can you point us to the app on the Play store that was updated? GEL (now Goggle Now Launcher) has never been in the market. I have installed the leaked APK on my phone/tablet and have never been prompted to update them.

      • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

        The APK for the launcher has to be sideloaded, but big portions of the launcher are built into the Google Search app. I think what he meant is that he sideloaded the Search app and the launcher APK back when both were necessary from the Nexus 5, but now the Search app from the Play Store works with the launcher and is updated officially, changing the launcher even though the launcher APK is unchanged.

  • adhamXD

    can i download it

  • wizardpc

    I’m pretty sure this update hosed my phone….

    about 3 hours ago I looked down and saw “Google Search has stopped working” and that’s all I could see if I tried to get to a home screen.

    Futzed with it for a while and then ended up wiping the phone back to factory

  • Pedro Ortiz

    I think there’s some confusion in the comments. Smart Dialer = Not Exclusive, GEL = Exclusive.

    • James

      At the end of the day everything is not exclusive if you root your phone.

      If the Smart Dialler is not Exclusive could you a) tell me where it is in the Play Store and b) give me instructions to install without rooting or flashing my phone?

  • Haggie

    I can’t imagine that it could displace the Cover/Nova Launcher combo on my phone.

  • Paul Atreides

    Personally until they allow you to resize those app icons for phones I’m not that interested in this launcher. They are huge for now reason at all.

  • hp420

    I don’t think a wide release for all devices is a good idea, but at least put it in AOSP!! Give people a little more reason to want a Nexus! They’ve got to save some good features and apps for themselves or they would just be shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to hardware sales.

  • Craig

    I’d almost rather them upgrade the google search widget to have the always listening feature because I would like to try other launchers but love the ability to have the always listening feature of the Google Now Launcher.

  • donger

    Love Google now.