How To Video: Get the Android KitKat launcher now
About Video Comments (0 ) 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

Inside Scoop: Who is the Amazon...
2:55 July 24, 2014
Amazon's new Fire phone has three standout features, but it's lacking in apps and full Android offerings....
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 024: Art by chainsaw-wielding...
20:05 July 24, 2014
On today's show, we get weirded out by the robot who can learn a new gait after it's injured, discuss Sharknado's...
Play video
LG G Pads sport sleek designs and...
2:17 July 24, 2014
These 7- and 10-inch tablets are average budget tablets with a high-end look.
Play video
GE's new microfactory wants to...
1:54 July 24, 2014
See some of FirstBuild's earliest concepts and find out how to submit your own ideas.
Play video
Nyne Bass: Big sound from a $150...
1:40 July 24, 2014
Nyne's current flagship model delivers surprisingly decent performance for its relatively affordable price...
Play video
The 404 1,531: Where we take it...
35:04 July 24, 2014
Coolio takes to PornHub to release his next album, a drastic makeup technique to throw of facial recognition,...
Play video
Foursquare enters a new era of...
2:53 July 24, 2014
With a revamped app and logo, Foursquare focuses on local search and moves check-ins to the new Swarm app....
Play video
2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i
9:39 July 24, 2014
It's the original BMW SUV, now all-new for its third generation. Brian Cooley takes the BMW X5 xDrive35i out...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre