Google Now launcher pops up in Play Store for all Nexus devices

Now you can get the Nexus 5's useful Google Now home screen features on other Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, thanks to this launcher.

The Google Now Launcher on a Nexus 7. Google

While the Nexus 5 ships with Android KitKat, the phone's home screens and app drawer get their unique and refined designs from a custom launcher. Now, if you're rocking a Nexus 4, Nexus 7, or a Google Play edition HTC One, you can get your hands on that launcher too, straight from the Play Store.

Dubbed the Google Now Launcher, this home-screen replacement gives you two useful Google Now-centric features. From your home screen, you can swipe right to bring up Google Now, where you can view your weather, sports scores, traffic, and reminder cards, and anything else you've added to Google Now. You can also say "OK Google" from your home screen to start a voice search, without even touching your phone or tablet.

The launcher also includes new wallpapers, a transparent app drawer with large app icons, and a transparent status bar. Launchers replace your phone's built-in home screen and app drawer, but most of them don't alter your phone's settings menus or notification drawer.

The Google Now Launcher is available in the Play Store now, but only for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices with Android KitKat 4.4. That means it'll work on the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, the Google Play editions of the HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy S4, to name a few.

If you don't have any of those phones or tablets, and still want to use the Google Now Launcher, there's a reliable workaround.

About the author

Sarah Mitroff is a CNET associate editor who reviews Android software and mobile hardware. In the past, she's also written about consumer tech, startups, and business news for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

CNET's Christmas Gift Guide

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.