Google Now Launcher officially launches onto Android 4.1+ devices

The Google Now launcher is now available on any Android device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher. The launcher places Google Now just a swipe to the right away on your home page. Additionally, when you're on the home page all you have to do is say "Ok Google" to trigger voice controls (the default setting is only from the launcher or when in Google Search, although you can set it to be from any screen or even the lock screen, so long as the device is turned on). The Google Now Launcher is meant to make it even faster to get into Google's services, with just a swipe, a tap, or a work to get things rolling.

It was just this morning that the Google Now launcher mysteriously started appearing as supported on new non-Nexus devices, and it's been released for a wider range of device's it's compatible with a full three quarters of Android devices between the various versions of Jelly Bean and Android 4.4 KitKat.

Apart from the enhanced Google Now features, the launcher also features some visual tweaks, including larger app icons, a translucent status and navigation bars, and a new wallpaper picker that makes it easier to choose and position your photos.

You can download the Google Now Launcher now for free from the Google Play Store, so long as your device is running Android 4.1 or higher. Check it out and let us know what you think.


Reader comments

Google Now Launcher now available on most Android devices


Checked this morning and it still said unavailable for my G2, now it shows ready to download.

Posted via the LG G2 Android Central App

With LG G2 you can root it, install G3 Rom. Better than the Google now launcher which I downloaded installed and deleted within 5 minutes (lack of options )

Posted via Android Central App

I whole heartedly concur. The G3 roms for the G2 are excellent. I haven't done much modification if at all to my G2 after installing it...well except for installing G3 tweakbox.

Posted via Android Central App

Did anyone else's Google voice command activate when he was saying "okay Google." In the video? Mine did it twice, gave me a good chuckle.

Posted via Android Central App

Nope. Mine is trained to recognize my voice or a voice similar to mine. Did get a toast that read "retrain voice recognition blah blah blah...".

I remember when I had a moto x last year it was stranger sometimes google now would activate instead of touch less control

As a Moto X user i am getting it. It looks more modern the the current Moto X's implementation.

Posted via Android Central App running on a XT1053

Installed it and then uninstalled after 5 mins. I prefer KK Launcher with it's heavy customisation.

Posted via HTC One on Sprint

I've played with it here and there, but I immediately miss gestures, and then I miss all the other customizations I've done with Nova.

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

Nova has a OK Google feature in it but I don't think it works from anywhere.

I've got a Moto X though so this doesn't really apply to me.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm running Nova and it does work from anywhere. The feature isn't dependent on the launcher, but the Google search app itself.

I'm only using Nova to take advantage of the teslaunread plug in which puts ios / blackberry / Samsung style notification badges on the app icons. If Google could put this in, I'd be back on the google now launcher.

My issue with it is the lack of customization vs Nova. GN is a fine launcher, but there's absolutely zero reason for me to switch from Nova. That said I'm glad it's out there; choice is good.

I have Nova and the "Ok Google" commands work from anywhere. I think there was a setting that you have to activate for it through Google Now.

Posted via Android Central App

Oh okay. That's cool that it isn't launched specific. Like I said I have a Moto X so I was uncertain if Nova did that. I use Nova but because of the customization.

Posted via Android Central App

Does it work at all when the screen is off? I just realized the Google Now Launcher's hotword works with the screen off IF you're charging, which makes some sense (you're more likely to use it this way while charging at the car or while on the desk/nightstand, plus it probably saves some battery).

I may be bragging a bit. But I prefer to think of it as an unnatural love for an electronic device.

Posted via Android Central App

This launcher uses your devices native package? That's somewhat surprising, but I guess I never used it on something that didn't use Google's icons natively.

Posted via Android Central App on nexus L - Android Central Moderator.

Used to work for me, until I got the update adding knock code for the G2. No reply from developers if it can be fixed or not.

Posted via Android Central App

Nova also let's you say ok Google from the launcher and swipe up to get Google now so I'm keeping Nova.

Posted via Android Central App

if you put cyanogen mod on it you would be correct or another good custom rom on it you'd be correct
Posted via Android Central App

yeah, ok.

Actually maybe now that it is several years old and apps have moved ahead. I would put the S3 up against anything that year...

Why would i need this when i can swipe up from the home button to get Google Now from any screen on my HTC One M7? Love Sense 6!

Bah Gawd... You don't. If you're perfectly happy with what you've got now, that's awesome! You don't have to switch.
It gives however, you know, choice to folks out there. And thats good. A good product for more people, that's what I wanna see. And if it's a Stock experience, even better!

I have a Nexus 4/5 and there isn't any difference in function and features from swipe up or swipe right. I do wish that I could disable the swipe up action as it's annoying how many times I hit accidentally when scrolling.

Posted via Android Central App

Same here ,using it on my one plus cause I like having Google now on the left page , now just trying to pair it with a cool cm11 theme .

Posted via Android Central App

So ELI5: Will this replace or augment my current setup with Dynamic Notifications and Aviate? (Had Nova Prime and playing with Aviate)

Thanks in advance.

Posted via Android Central App

Yes would be lovely if it could use icon packs or at least just skin then like stock android.

Posted via Android Central App

Someone above posted the app that works with the GEL launcher that allows you to use icon packs its called beautiful icons check it out in the Playstore.

Posted via Android Central App

Have you tried clearing defaults in the App Management section for your launcher, then hitting the home key and choosing Google Launcher as default?

Well, since you are here I am sure you did, and if so.......disregard my words!

It works with my LG G2...but I like the LG launcher better for this phone. I use the Google Now Launcher on my Nexus 5.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 5 or LG G2

This is a great move and the launcher is smooth. Unfortunately for them, Nova Prime is still much better.

Posted via Android Central App

Lol I literally watched the "incompatibility"message disappear when I clicked the link this time! Surprised it wasn't compatible from the off, seeing as how there's a gpe of my phone, uk galaxy s4.

Posted via Android Central App

It appeared for my moto g two days ago... I originally side loaded it and suddenly 2 days ago I got an update for it through the play store.

Posted via Android Central App

Not sure what advantage there is with the latest Google Now version. Along with Commandr my GS3 running TW will respond to any OK Google command. My $.02 :)

Google launcher breaks knock off on G2. Yeah it still works if you tap status bar but I prefer tapping anywhere.
Other than that I liked it, but I gotta have my knock off.

Posted via Android Central App

Completely agree. Does the same for the G3.

I loved the Google launcher sideloaded onto my moto g and I definitely used Google now more on that than my new G3 . But 4 icons across a 5.5 display and losing knock off just isn't worth Google Now being right there on the left.

Posted via Android Central App

I downloaded and used it. But I think I am going back to Nova launchers. I have the paid version.
Plus I am used to all of my customizations.

Posted via Android Central App

It's a good effort but its buggy with wallpaper and that gets annoying fast, for me the icons need to be resizable as they are huge and custom icons use would be good, but for now nothing beats Nova.

Posted via Android Central App

I sideloaded it quite a while ago and it worked for the most part but had some buggy things going on. It's still not listed for my Galaxy S4, but I'm hoping because I really did like what I saw.

HTC One owner. Tried it out and liked how it performed but I went back to my preferred launcher, Nova, for the customization and icons I can add.

I tried it on the G2, but it limits you to four app shortcuts horizontally, which seems like too few for a 5.2" screen.

I have not tried this, but can anyone tell me why I might want it in my HTC One M7?

Posted via Android Central App

It's ok but I removed it as don't fancy having to replicate all my folders again. If it kept them I would keep it

Posted via Android Central App

I would switch to this if it didn't force me to have a scrolling background. Sticking with Nova.

Posted via Android Central App

Nice installed on all my devices, only thing I don't like is can't back up the home screen settings. Every time I download on a different device I need to redo my home screen, folders etc.

Posted via Android Central App

They should've put this out for all much sooner, it didn't make much sense to me to keep it as a quasi Nexus 5 exclusive... Particularly not for this long.

OK running on galaxy nexus JB 4.3. Got larger icons with Google now to the left. However, the article is incorrect to say it provides translucent status and navigation bar. That's a kit kat feature and I don't see it on gnex

Posted via Android Central App

Downloaded. Now I won't have to wait because of slow lagging to see my Utah jazz news.

Posted via Android Central App

This launcher is awful. The Google now availability on any page or even the lockscreen is cool, but it's caused a lot of lag in apps and while using the keyboard that I didn't have while using Nova launcher.

Posted via Android Central App

Obviously it's available for my M8 but I am sticking with Nova Prime. Sadly that's not the case with my Nook HD+, says its incompatible with that device.

Posted via Android Central App

So I have an LG G3 and my ol' Optimus G. I put it on the OG (running 4.1.2). Don't love that you can't seem to add home screens or circle back around in the app drawer. Glad I tested it on the old phone first. The G3 has a nice launcher and KitKat ("Ok Google" works from all screens, even the lock screen). Still the launcher seems to run more smoothly than the default on my OG so I may give it more time.

You can add home screens. Just play around with it. I thought the same thing too. But then I realized how easy it was to make "folders" with like apps. And found I no longer needed 6 home screens.
Posted via Android Central App

It's available for my Note 3 but I still prefer Nova launcher. Glad to see it available on more devices though.

Posted via Galaxy Note 3

After installing Launcher, My Direct dial Widget is not working, it says app not installed.... I'm currently using a Galaxy S4 running Android Version 4.4.2... Can anyone help?

I have it running on my galaxy s4 that is on 4.4.2 its pretty cool too bad it did not change the stock icons to the normal ones like on the nexus. I still prefer nova launcher that way I can have the stock look and have more features.
Posted via Android Central App