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The Google Now Launcher has been the go-to alternative for Android customers searching for a easy, inventory dwelling display screen since its common availability in 2014. If you happen to had a skinned telephone and wished one thing that appeared a bit extra like “Google’s Android,” you would hop all the way down to the Play Retailer, set up the app, and get a dwelling display screen with Google’s predictive Google Now playing cards built-in.
Sadly, the Google Now Launcher will most likely be gone quickly. In line with Android Police, Google is sending out letters to OEM companions declaring that the Google Now Launcher might be retired in Q1 2017. Gadgets which have the launcher put in will have the ability to proceed utilizing it, however the app will now not present up on the Play Retailer.
Google really has two dwelling display screen apps on the Play Retailer, the Google Now Launcher—which is extensively obtainable and the inventory launcher on the Nexus telephones—and the Pixel Launcher, which is unique to the Pixel and Pixel XL. Neither app really incorporates the code for the house display screen; they’re simply small “enabler” apps.
The code for each dwelling screens is definitely contained within the Google Search app, with just a few inside configuration flags separating the 2 launchers. Is killing the Google Now Launcher a transfer to make the “Google Android” look extra unique to the Pixel telephones, or is Google simply working to consolidate its two launchers, with the Google Now Launcher going away and Pixel Launcher opening as much as any telephone that wishes it?
By sticking the launcher code within the Google Search app, Google has enabled deep integration of Android’s main interface and Google Search. For the reason that Google Search app is already operating as the house display screen, the voice response system is all the time able to deal with a command. On the Google Now Launcher, that is the common Google voice command system, however within the Pixel Launcher, the voice command system is the Google Assistant. We have heard rumors that Google will lastly open the Google Assistant as much as extra Android telephones than simply the Pixels quickly. A report from CNET says the LG G6 would be the first non-Google telephone with the Assistant, and 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall claims the Assistant is coming to Nexus telephones with the following “main” replace. Maybe the loss of life of the Now Launcher and a Pixel Launcher rebrand can be part of a large Google Assistant rollout.
Taking the “restricted completely” route would observe the unique path of the Google Now Launcher, which existed as a Nexus unique for a while earlier than opening as much as the broader ecosystem. Google is, in spite of everything, a search firm, and the Google Assistant is the way forward for Google Search. Google is accustomed to serving lots of of thousands and thousands of search outcomes a day, and limiting one of many flagship search interfaces to a single line of low-volume telephones makes little sense for the corporate’s future. With Amazon’s Alexa partnering with each producer below the solar, there’s much more stress on Google to open the Assistant as much as third-parties.
No matter what Google decides to do, superior customers will all the time have the ability to seize both APK from a third-party and sideload it.