While we were expecting the first Android P Developer Preview to be announced in the middle of March, Google stole a march on everyone by unveiling it yesterday. This means that there are loads of new goodies to talk about such as the updated Pixel Launcher. As you might expect, Google hasn’t exactly reinvented the wheel here, but there are some small visual changes, and new is always better, right? Join us after the break for a brief run-through and a download link.
One of the more noticeable changes is the addition of a microphone button in the Google Search bar on the bottom of the display along with the shaded outline of the dock that moves in conjunction with the app drawer as you swipe up.
Something else you may notice once you’ve swiped up to access your apps is that the Home Settings, Widgets, and Wallpaper icons are visible behind the app drawer. It adds precisely zero functionality, but at least you know it’s the same for everyone and not a glitch on your handset.
The new Pixel Launcher installs perfectly fine on the few phones running Android 8.1, which is more or less limited to Pixel phones at this time. Droid-Life reports that it has had success installing the Pixel Launcher on an Essential Phone running the Oreo 8.1 beta, while I have managed to get installed and running perfectly well on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro running Oreo 8.0. Conversely, the new launcher simply force-closed on the Honor 7X that is also running Oreo 8.0, so your mileage may vary.
Update: As Rayman21186 commented below, the updated Pixel Launcher also works on the Moto X4 (Android One Edition).
Download and install this file to get the updated Pixel Launcher from Android P installed on your handset. Let us know which handset you get it installed and running on in the comments below, and we’ll update the post accordingly.