A little over a year ago, Google announced they would be retiring the Google Now Launcher. That decision appeared to be triggered by a decision on Google’s part to open up key pieces of the launcher to third-party app developers as well as Google’s decision to move some of the functions into the Google Assistant or, for those buying Google Pixel devices, into the company’s Pixel Launcher designed for those smartphones. After a relatively long wait, Google is no longer making the Google Now Launcher available for install on new phones via the Google Play Store.
One of the benefits the Google Now Launcher offered to non-Nexus phone owners was the ability to get a user interface closer to the stock Android look and feel. That was important to many users especially in the days when the third-party user interfaces were so much thicker than they are today. Thanks to Google’s decision to make the left hand panel and quick access to Google Now cards – one of the key features of the launcher – available for other launcher developers to include in their products and the decision by many phone manufacturers to lighten up on their interfaces, Google likely determined demand would not justify continued investment.
If you happen to have a phone with the Google Now Launcher already installed, you can continue to use it. Whenever you end up replacing that device though, you will have to make a decision about whether to install a new launcher or just use whatever interface the phone comes equipped with from the manufacturer.
One change this new status could bring about is general availability for the Pixel Launcher for all users. We will keep an eye open for that possible announcement at Google I/O.
source: Android Central