Google Now Launcher

Update: It's now officially available on any device running Android 4.1 or higher.

The Google Now Launcher has received a small update today, and while there's nothing obviously new in the app itself, we're seeing some interesting changes to the launcher's compatibility listings on Google Play. While the changes still seem to be rolling out, we're now seeing compatibility for devices like the HTC One M8, One E8, One Mini 2, Desire 816, Huawei Ascend P7 and LG G3, among others. Android Central readers on Twitter have said they're seeing compatibility with phones the LG G3 and Verizon Galaxy S5, too. Previously the Google Now Launcher, which brings Google Now to users' home screens as an extra panel, was limited to only Nexus and Google Play edition devices, though it was easy enough to sideload on many other phones and tablets.

There's been no official announcement from Google, and the description for the app still says it's only compatible with Nexus and GPe devices. What's more, certain devices are showing as compatible for some on the AC team, but not for others. So there's a chance this is just a momentary hiccup, however it's equally possible Google is finally letting its launcher loose. Such a development wouldn't be surprising — the Google Now Launcher works on most modern Android devices despite official compatibility being limited to Google-branded gadgets. And Google's launcher will soon be making its debut on certain ZTE phones as well.

We'll keep you apprised of any further developments. In the meantime, hit the Google Play Store link above and see if you're able to install the Google Now Launcher on any non-Nexus/GPe devices you own. As usual, be sure to share your findings down in the comments!

Thanks to everyone who helped us track this down on Twitter!


Reader comments

Google Now Launcher support appears to be coming to more devices


I have the XT1053 version off the Moto X with the sideloaded APK and got the update late last night from the Play Store. My girlfriend has the Verizon variant of the Moto X with the sideloaded APK installed but hasn't seen the update yet. I wouldn't worry too much about not getting it now. I have seen other people on Google+ claiming they have gotten it on the Verizon Moto X. It seems like it's another staged rollout in traditional Google fasion.

Yep. Me too. Vzw Moto X.

I followed the Google Play link that was in the post.

Posted via Android Central App

I've had it sideloaded on all of my phones, including my newer Moto X, but the Play Store says my device isn't compatible. Did you get it from the Play Store, or as Alex asks, did you sideload it?

Sideloaded it on my AT&T Moto X, just downloaded the update from the Play Store.

Android: It will make you a sexual tyrannosaurs, just like me.

I tried both through google play and through the play store in chrome. Both report my phone is not compatible.
Had you ever sideloaded it?
Posted via my LG G3

Nope, never side loaded it. A few of my friends did and they had issues with it so I never even bothered. I just clicked the link in this article to the Play Store and it worked.

I went to play store and said not compatible with my AT&T G3 also.
But I also have ART enabled. I'm wondering if it can tell ART is enabled and it's not compatible if ART is enabled.

+1 I'm gonna go back to dalvik, I'll let it be known if ART changes compatibility.

Posted on an ART blazed G3

I have side loaded an older version. Saw this post by Alex on my phone. Deleted/uninstalled side loaded apk. Click on the get it on google play icon before on the left of the article, and bam! Took me to the play store with install button ready to be pressed. Lol.

I don't know of side loading the app made it possible for me, but I uninstalled it and deleted the original apk. So it should work for you too

Tmo g3

I'm guessing you sideloaded it? I did on my Galaxy S4 several months ago now, but it's quirky and doesn't work all the time. And if you did sideload it, how did you work out the kinks?

I've never sideloaded it on mine and it's available to install from play store, now.

Barely posted from the shittiest device I've ever owned Samsung Lag-axy S3

Worked on my HTC One M7, I like blinkfeed better, switched back after a few minutes.

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Me, too. I already had the Google Now widget on one of my panels, and swipe up from the home button to launch Google Now, and now that Google Search has "OK Google" functionality, the new launcher doesn't really add anything. I would rather have Blinkfeed AND Google Now.

I had to install Google Now Launcher from the website. It didn't show up with a search of the Google Play store on my phone.

I had side loaded it on my T-Mo GS4 a few months ago and was able to update the Google launcher through the play store today.

Is it compatible for Micromax Canvas HD A116?? I searched it in the playstore but its not there. Can we get apk for this launcher and install it?

I have it on my note 3 but I had sideloaded it since March and did Uninstall it to reinstall this and worked fine... Give it a few days imo

Got the update to Google now launcher on my vzw moto x i side loaded it months ago. Looked up Google now launcher on my wifes moto x and it doesn't show the app on Google play. But if i use nfc to send the app listing to her phone it comes up and lets you install it.
Posted via Android Central App

If you've never side loaded it before and it says not compatible, try side loading it, removing it and then check compatibility. I think that's what Alex's comments are trying to get at

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Not compatible with my Verizon S5. Can someone explain to me why is this launcher better than Nova prime? It can't be because of "ok google", I have that on my Nova prime as well....

Posted via Android Central App

Because it has its own dedicated google now page that other launchers don't have. That's the only reason I gave up nova prime

Posted via Android Central App

I think the bigger icons look a lot better, especially on higher resolution phones. Higher resolution does not always mean "put as many things as possible on the screen" And I enjoy the bigger, more readable icons on the homescreen and app drawer.

Doesn't the same page show up on any launcher once you drag up from the home button? Not very different from swiping left... I've been using the Now launcher since I got my Nexus 5 but I'm thinking of switching for gestures now that Nova supports Ok Google.

Not working with my Venue 8 tablet. I had side loaded it in the past but un-installed because it had a few bugs with orientation adjustment.

I will try it again once it becomes available on my G2, but if it breaks my alarms like google now always listening does then its a no go for me.

i have to stick with Nova until GEL lets me remove the ugly obtrusive redundant Google search bar and let me free up that real estate which will prob be never. bastards.

Damn man...if it bothers you that much, you can always root and use Xposed GEL Settings. That lets you do all kind of stuff to the GNL, including removing that search bar.

Do the app icons get all huge like they do on the Nexus 5 when you load this on other phones? That's the only thing I don't like about the launcher is it makes all my icons gigantic like I'm using a jitterbug smart phone or something so I've actually sideloaded the stock launcher onto my nexus 5.

Maybe they're huge on some devices, but on the Moto G the big icons were marginally larger than stock. And it was a welcome increase. Nothing felt too gaudy to me.

Posted from my Motorola Moto G

Not compatible on my ATT HTC One M8. Going to sideload momentarily and try again.

Also going to try on my Sprint LG G3 and G2 when I get a chance.

Posted via Android Central App

It updated perfectly on my old sprint galaxy nexus on stock 4.2.1

I was quite surprised that it would upset on a device as old as this. I definitely think it's a device whitelisting mistake.

Posted via Android Central App

It worked on my Xperia Z1s! And yea, I previously side loaded the apk. I was now able to update it from the play store.

Posted via Android Central App

This is awesome news but Nova is still the essential launcher of choice for me.

Posted via Android Central App

It is compatible with those devices. Instead of downloading it on your phone, do it in the Google Play web page from a computer (it sends the request to your phone and will automatically download). Follow this link or the one in the article:

Had it sideloaded on my GS4, however got the update from the play store which hasn't happened before.

Posted via Android Central App

NOT working on Verizon htc m8 through play store. ( not yet anyway) I sideloaded it, and it works fine though.
still like blinkfeed and nova prime much better though.

Don't really care. I installed this on my phone when it first became available "unofficially," and quickly went back to Nova Prime. Nova is superior in every way, especially now that you can say "OK Google" from any screen. Even accessing Google Now is easier on Nova. I just set a "swipe down" gesture to take me there, which is easier than scrolling left through multiple home screens.

Works on S5 flawlessly. Now I nearly have the play edition I truly wanted but couldn't afford the unsubsidized price. Always loved my N5 and love the S5 even more now

Posted via Android Central App

Support appears to be widespread. Even my Walkman F (886 model), quite an unusual Android device, is compatible according to Google play.

It looks like it's only available for 4.4. I think I'm going to stay with 4.1.2 until my contract runs out so I might look around for something else. I'm still not quite sure what a launcher does but if it's something that will let me arrange the apps like I want to then I will give one a shot. Is Nova considered the best of the rest?

Nope, I have it on my 4.2.2 T-Mobile S II, "OK Google" everywhere even works.

As for Nova being the best, I prefer Apex, but there is very little between them.
Posted via Android Central App

I downloaded something called KitKat launcher but then had to uninstall it because I couldn't figure out how it works. I don't know if it was the same thing as Google Now launcher. Is there a tutorial anywhere to show you how these things work?

Too limited for me and the icons are huge. Maybe when Android L releases I'll try it again if it adds/changes some features.

I side loaded it a while back my my sprint note 3 and I updated it on the play store and it works

Posted via Galaxy note 3 4.4 kitkat

It is compatible. Instead of downloading it on your phone, do it in the Google Play web page from a computer (it sends the request to your phone and will automatically download). Follow this link or the one in the article:

That is funny, I've had the official GNL on my Nexus 7 since day one. Only ever side loaded it on my Nexus 4 before official release and my Galaxy S II.

Posted via Android Central App

Downloaded and working on Moto G, UK Retail on EE

Can't say I'm over keen though so will be sticking with Nova

Works fine on my VZ S5. The on device Play Store doesn't list it, but the web Play Store does and installed it without a problem. Looks pretty nice, but I'm so used to TW now that I don't see much point in changing, I can call up Google Now with a long press of the home button. I'll set it up and see though, I don't really spend a lot of time in the launcher.

Not working on my Verizon HTC One M8. I had it sideloaded, uninstalled, went to the Play link in the article, it says it's not compatible with my device. Eh. Re-sideloaded it.

Would not show when searching play store, but following the link didn't show the incompatible message. UK LG G3 on Three.

Posted via Android Central App

Well... 'officially supported' now. I got a G3 earlier this week and side-loaded the Now Launcher and it ran great... With the update, I can at least update it from the Play store now.

BTW... best launcher in the game... launchers aren't supposed to get in your way. I found myself easily distracted by all the fiddling I could do in Nova Launcher.. couldn't help myself. GNL just does its thing without much fuss and gives that oh-so-nice quick flick access to Google Now.

So to people who STILL can't get it from the Play Store.... your device may run it any how... download the APK from a trusted source and give it a whirl.

OK here is the scoop......sideloading worked fine on my TMo G3. Couple of disappointments:

1. Knock Off only works if you double tap the very top notification bar....tapping the home screen doesn't work anymore.

2. i was hoping with the GNow launcher would come the stock icons for the phone, camera, People, etc. No such luck. Same icons as in the stock launcher.

And so....I am back to using the stock launcher. I just don't feel like getting a google search bar on every page, stock folders, and swiping left to Google Now is enough to get me to switch over. If the icons were stock it might be enough..... but the stock LG launcher is not that different, and I can get to google now from a long press on the home button or a swipe up from the home button, so.......meh.

M8 people, I just installed on my T-Mo M8. I restarted earlier today and when it came back up, there were a few new updated apps waiting to be installed. I think Google Play services was updated too, so maybe that's why I got it now. Play services is now at 5.0.89. 1307510-038

Anyone who has downloaded (or side-loaded) the Google Now Launcher onto there LG G3, how does it look? Does it still take advantage of the high resolution?

Yeah, I am interested to learn whether the "Knock Off" feature works with the GNow launcher. if not, then that would be a big turn-off for me. I love the GNow launcher, but tapping twice to turn off the screen has gotten pretty habit forming.

I'm fairly certain that it won't work. Knock ON was designed specifically for LG's launcher, and won't work to turn the phone off in any other launcher. That said - a workaround that will work is to tap twice on the notification bar (since that is still part of LG's skin). That has worked well for me with Nova Launcher.

I can confirm that it is compatible with the T-Mobile Galaxy S II. I had it side loaded for a while then deleted it, just downloaded it from Google Play.

Not compatible with Verizon LG Lucid, not that I was expecting it to be.
Posted via Android Central App

Anyone who has downloaded (or side-loaded) the Google Now Launcher onto there LG G3, how does it look? Does it still take advantage of the high resolution?

Just installed it on my RAZR m. There may be a bug in "OK Google" from the home screen.

Posted via Android Central App

Working fine on VZW LG2. Anyone know if this is somehow icon pack compatible? One of the biggest reasons I use another launcher is so I don't have to look at the ugly stock LG ones.

Posted via Android Central App

Anyone who has downloaded (or side-loaded) the Google Now Launcher onto there LG G3, how does it look? Does it still take advantage of the high resolution?

My Verizon Moto X is supported. I just updated to the latest version as I had already side loaded it. Been using it since my Galaxy S4 days when it first came out.

Posted via Android Central App

How can I import home screens and folders from stock launcher (I have an S5, so TouchWiz) to the google now launcher?

Posted via Android Central App

No, because the GNL is set up a lot different than pretty much all other launchers.

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I have it on my Samsung Galaxy tab s 10.5 and definitely doesn't take advantage of the resolution which higher then 1080p and the amoled screen. Looks great on my note 3 but a bit off putting on my tablet

After it showing as not compatible with my T-Mobile G3 for a few hours I just checked it again on a lark and it's now showing as it is. Just installed it and will be trying it out shortly.

I sideloaded it on my Z2 (4.4.2) yesterday and now it shows up in 'my apps' and doesn't say incompatible on the apps page in the play store.

Posted via Android Central App on the Sony Xperia Z2

This morning I tried and wasn't compatible for my TMO G3. Just tried in the late afternoon and it is now! Just downloaded it.

Installed it on my G3. Although lost the knock to turn off functionality. I use that one a lot. :(

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