The Nexus 5 launcher makes its way to non-Nexus Android phones
One thing that people particularly love about Google’s Nexus line-up is the ASOP build that comes with it. Besides being affordable and fast, the main advantage of the current Nexus flagship, the Nexus 5, is the fact that it comes with a raw Android version that is exactly how Google intended it to be. Phone manufacturers always use the core build and tweak it by adding custom skins and UI elements to it. If you’re not a fan of Samsung, Sony, HTC or LG UIs and want the real, unaltered deal, you’re going to have to grab a Nexus phone. Well, up until now that is.
Up for grabs in the Google Play Store, we now fin the Google Now Launcher, a launcher designed to bring the popular Nexus 5 interface to non-Nexus phones. All you’ll need to use it is a moderately new phone that runs at least Android 4.1. Once installed, the app allows you to enjoy the design and look of a non-altered Android. Unfortunately, the Google Now Launcher won’t be making your phone faster. After all, it’s just a skin, you’ll still be running your manufacturer’s OS in the background. It’s in no way a pure ASOP build, but it’s the easiest way to see what the fuss is about with the Nexus 5. In other words, you’ll still have your manufacturers tweaks and bloatware installed, but at least you’ll get the enjoy the visual appeal of an unmodified Google Android OS.
The Google Now Launcher is completely free to use. It also comes with the Google Now panel found in the Google Nexus 5. With a simple left swipe, you’ll be able to enjoy the same access to information as Nexus 5 users, such as temperature, stock reports, news, sport results and much more. The Google Now launcher is a good start in moving away from the UX provided by your phone manufacturer, should you be unsatisfied with it. The launcher might be unappealing to Motorola users (such as the Moto X), since Motorola generally provides software that’s extremely close to the raw Google Android, without too many tweaks to the standard UX, but might provide a nice change for Sony, Samsung or HTC users. In case you’re willing to give it a try, you can now pick up the Google Now launcher from the Google Play store.