6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Get the Android KitKat launcher now

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Get the Android KitKat launcher now

2:59 /

Can't wait to get Android KitKat on your older Android device? Here's how to get the home screen launcher now.

The Google Nexus 5 is one of the coolest kids on the block right now, especially since it comes with the KitKat version of Android out of the box. But just because you have an older phone doesn't mean you can't get the look and feel of KitKat right now. I'm Donald Bell, and today I'm gonna show you how to put a little KitKat in your Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, the first thing you'll notice about KitKat is the clean look of the new home-screen launcher. Compared to the look of Android 4.1 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, it's a huge change and one that I am ready for. Thankfully, the XDA Developers Forum has the APK files you'll need to install this new launcher. You can find the link of the forum on the original CNET post for this video or on our interactive player. The launcher comes as a zip archive containing three APK files. My advice is to download these to your computer for now. Now, while those download make sure that your phone is ready to use these files. First, you'll need to be running Android 4.1 or later. You can check that by going under settings and then clicking the About Device option. Next, you'll need to make sure that your phone is able to install software from unknown sources. Back out into the settings menu, select Security, and check the box for Unknown Sources. Now, let me take a minute right now to say that you should always back-up your phone whenever you're gonna get to tinkering like this. Worst case scenario, if this thing gets bricked, I don't want you emailing me with sob stories of losing your precious pictures of your newborn baby. Back it up, my conscience is clear. All right, now, going back to your computer, open the zip file you've downloaded and you should see three separate APK files. My advice is to send each one of these in a separate email to yourself using the account that you can check on your phone. Once you've done that, refresh your email on your phone and you should see the three APK files as individual attachments. The first one to install is pre-built GMS core, tap it, install it, and hit done. Next, install the Velvet APK, then hit done. Finally, install the Google Home APK, and then hit open-- with any luck, you should see the introduction to the new Google launcher. Now, a couple things to note here-- first, to change the wallpaper, configure home-screens or add widgets, now you're gonna tap and hold on the home-screen. You'll also see a settings option here that is specific to Google Now. If it's not already activated, this is a good time to do it. Once this on, swiping all the way to the right will reveal your Google Now cards. And that's all there is to it. Head over to howto.cnet.com and you can find even more tutorials on KitKat including how to install the new keyboard on your older phone or even just where to download the new wallpaper for that Android 2.3 tablet I told you not to buy. I'm Donald Bell for CNET, breaking off a piece of that KitKat.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

BlackBerry Classic tempts hardcore fans with keyboard
2:58 December 17, 2014
A new BlackBerry arrives with signature features, Sony's ready to show off a new take on smartglasses, and TAG Heuer goes after the...
Play video
HP's Omen offers high design, high performance
2:05 December 17, 2014
A slick midsize gaming laptop from a company not known for being on the cutting edge.
Play video
The $449 BlackBerry Classic offers a great keyboard, but a cramped screen
2:59 December 17, 2014
BlackBerry's latest smartphone has a familiar form factor, but a four-row keyboard makes for a smaller screen.
Play video
Websites stuffed with holiday recipes
1:02 December 17, 2014
Whether you're celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or another winter holiday, food will certainly play a central role in your gathering....
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 101: A Wikigalaxy full of 'stars,' Britain's first sci-fi film restored and more
24:49 December 16, 2014
On today's show, we check out a website that visualizes 100,000 Wikipedia articles as a galaxy of "stars," a detailed restoration of...
Play video
2014 the year of the Geek? A CraveCast discussion
42:49 December 16, 2014
We landed on a comet the same year that the hoverboard became a reality. Does it get much geekier than that?
Play video
Sony leaks reveal Google was a target of the MPAA
3:40 December 16, 2014
Sony and others aren't happy with Google's piracy role, Xaomi is the new smartphone player and another Samsung Galaxy S6 "leak"
Play video
Make any gloves work with touchscreens
3:21 December 16, 2014
Sharon Profis shows how to make a do-it-yourself touchscreen-friendly pair of gloves that work seamlessly with your smartphone or...
Play video