We knew it was only a matter to time until the Google Now Launcher (aka Google Experience Launcher) landed in the Play Store, and that time is now. However there is one caveat: It’s only for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running KitKat. If you think about it, that is really not that limited since the launcher does require KitKat and there really isn’t that many devices with KitKat other than the Moto X, Moto G, and a few Samsung devices. I would expect it to be expanded to more devices in the near future.
There are some really cool things about the Google Now Launcher that I like such as that Google Now is all the way to the left most home screen, it’s easier to install widgets, add an unlimited amount of home screens, and the always listening “Okay Google” command. However, I am not a fan of the default home screen being all the way to the left (just right of the Google Now page). I do know that a lot of you do like it, so if you have one of the compatible devices, give it a try.
If you want to see more of how the launcher works, check out our guide here. Hit the break for screenshots and download links.
- Google Now on your home screen – it’s easier than ever to get just the right information at just the right time.
- Just say “Ok Google” – when you’re on your home screen, just say “Ok Google” to trigger voice input. Then say your search query. Or tell your phone what to do, like send a text message, get directions, or play a song (available in the US, UK, and Canada).
- Faster search – tap the search box and you can enter your query immediately.
- Easy access to your favorite Google products and services, like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.
- Larger viewing area – the status and navigation bars are now translucent, so your wallpaper pops from every pixel, and is even visible when you expand your apps drawer (when supported by device).
- Intuitive wallpaper picker – select any image that’s stored on your device, or in the cloud. Position and preview your wallpaper before you set it.