ZTE will be using the Google Now Launcher on future hardware, it's a huge deal as previously this feature was limited to hardware within Google's own Nexus family of products with other select handsets. You essentially have to sideload to install Google's Now Launcher on most Android handsets.
The Blade Vec 4G by ZTE is one of the first devices from the company, running Android 4.4, which will provide owners with said functionality. This handset will be officially announced at an upcoming event in Hong Kong, but the move paves the way for other manufacturers to also bundle the Google Now Launcher on their hardware.
ZTE will pre-load the launcher on smartphones with Android 4.4 and above that have both Google Mobile Services and Google Play enabled We'd imagine that other manufacturers that have shown a light touch with customizing Android might also be interested in getting the coveted Google Now Launcher on their devices. While Android is a wide open platform that can be customized to the manufacturer's content (hello, Samsung, Google has also taken a firm hand with newer products and slapped down the prospect of custom interfaces.
Check out the press release below for more details.You probably don't have a ZTE smartphone, so what devices would you like to see get official support for the Google Now Launcher?
ZTE, one of the top global handset manufacturers, today announces one of the first few pre-loaded Google Now Launcher smartphones among non-Nexus and non-Google Play Experience devices worldwide to offer improved user experience and better value. The ZTE Blade Vec 4G smartphone with Google Now Launcher incorporates the Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor and furthers ZTE's strong relationship with Google and Qualcomm Technologies in growing the LTE market.
ZTE has worked closely with Google to pre-load Google Now Launcher onto several ZTE devices. The ZTE's Blade Vec 4G smartphone on Android 4.4 and Snapdragon 400 processor with integrated multi-mode 3G/4G LTE is designed to deliver a better user experience that is supported by 3 modes (4G LTE-FDD, 3G UMGS/TD-SCDMA) and 9 radio frequency bands.
The ZTE Blade Vec 4G smartphone along with one other ZTE premium device will be officially presented at a ZTE press conference held in Hong Kong on July 24, 2014. ZTE has launched the Blade Vec 4G and other premium devices in Europe and in China, and now will make them available in Hong Kong with the added benefits of Google Now Launcher pre-loaded.
ZTE plans to pre-load Google Now Launcher on all Android 4.4 and above smartphones that have Google Mobile Services and Google Play enabled. Having Google Now Launcher pre-loaded onto the ZTE Blade Vec 4G, the new device becomes the first systemic terminal voice control solution in the industry. Mr. Zeng Xuezhong, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices, and Executive Vice President of ZTE Corporation, commented, "ZTE's strong relationship with Google and Qualcomm Technologies is in line with our focus on developing affordable premium devices that has rich voice control function as well as multimedia solutions. ZTE is continuing to push the boundaries and brings its customers the very latest experience that mobile technology can offer."
On the ZTE Blade Vec 4G smartphone, Google Now Launcher is complimentary to ZTE flagship devices' voice recognition and control function. ZTE Blade Vec 4G strongly features voice command functionality, including phone unlocking, dialing / answering calls, playing music, navigational controls, taking photos, etc.
Visually appealing UI
The Google Now Launcher UI lets users add as many home screens as they like, and helps them quickly get to their favorite apps. Another feature is the method for user to add widgets. To personalize and embellish ones smartphone, a user can select any images stored in the device or in the cloud or adjust the position of the image and preview before saving the setting.
Quick and easy access to Google Now
Google Now gives users just the right information at just the right time. For example, if you've booked a flight on selected airlines Google Now can give you your boarding pass, or tell you if the flight is delayed.
Free hands with a hotword
Ok Google allows hand free voice command triggered by just saying "Ok Google" at standby mode. Tell the phone what to do, not only limited to search query, text a message, get directions, or play a song, but even setting reminders and alarms, opening apps. Google Now Launcher supports multiple languages without presetting language in phone. Google Now Launcher gives users a clean and simple user interface, and keeps Google Now and search just a swipe or a tap away.
- A visually appealing UI.
- Quick and easy access to Google Now.
- Fast and snappy.
- The "Ok Google" hotword for opening quickly accessing Google Search