A new launcher should debut on Google’s 2016 Nexus phones

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Paired with the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat this year will be two devices developed by Google and HTC under the Nexus name. The phones, known internally by their makers as Sailfish and Marlin, are going to ship with high-end specifications and the latest version of Android. It’ll definitely be the phones to get during the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

What’s going to be different for these phones? Google is going to overhaul the stock Android launcher once again. We’re getting our first look at it right now courtesy of Android Police.

Hit the break to see what’s coming.

Before we show you what Google is planning to do, let’s remind everyone that nothing is set in stone despite the information provided being back by a good level of confidence. Google, as everyone knows, likes to make changes at a whim.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Google is no longer utilizing an app drawer icon for devices running stock Android, but the app drawer does indeed still exist. Google’s app drawer is activated by swiping up from the bottom of the display where your pinned apps are. Speaking of which, that pinned apps area is now highlighted by a frost color representative of the swipe-ready boundary. There’s an arrow above it, too, so that you can just tap instead of swiping to open the app drawer.

After opening the app drawer, you’ll get all of your apps sitting below a featured section for the apps you use frequently. Google also implemented a search bar which is above everything in the app drawer.

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Google’s current layout in Android 7.0 isn’t too different from what you see in the original report. What you’ll definitely notice, however, is the removal of the Google Search widget. Rather than having a widget, Google shifted its capabilities into a tab that, when tapped, launches Google Now. The space formerly held by the Google Search widget now belongs to a calendar widget.

David Ruddock of Android Police added that “we still expect the new nav buttons to launch, including some form of the ‘flower’ home button.” The new on-screen buttons he’s referencing were leaked by the same publication in June. Their purposes are the same, but the buttons different as they’re filled with white and the home button as Google’s colors on the perimeter.

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The catch, though, is that everything you’ve seen here could change between now and the time Sailfish and Marlin become official. We’re not even sure when those phones are going to be announced, either. It’s possible Google goes live with its 2016 Nexus phones at the same time Nougat rolls out to existing Nexus devices, but Google has delayed hardware launches after software in the past. In 2015, Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released before the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P were in the hands of consumers around the world; however, there’s a strong feeling among many people that Nougat and the 2016 Nexus phones are going to show up all at once.

Source: Android Police


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.


  • Akash Patel

    No more ugly app drawer icon!

  • Eric Nicholls

    It looks very functional.

  • Erik

    I quite like the look of it. Simplistic as usual from Google but stylish and no app drawer button or search tab. Great IMO.