Last night we caught our first glimpse at Google’s upcoming launcher experience for this year’s upcoming Nexus smartphones, however we didn’t get an APK at the time. Thankfully an enthusiastic Nexus fan over on Google+ (post since deleted) has given us a copy of the launcher for your sideloading pleasure.
The best gifts for Android users
Once downloaded, the Nexus launcher can be sideloaded on most Android smartphones. We’ve tested it with the Nexus 6P running on top of Android Nougat and also a Moto G4 Plus running Android Marshmallow. Just like in the leak, this new launcher features a redesigned app drawer which is accessible via a swipe rather than an icon. The search bar is also removed in exchange for a “G” button and tab. That button opens up the standard Google search option while the tab indicates the move over to the Google Now page from the standard Google Now Launcher.
Other changes include the folder design we saw in the second Android N developer preview and a permanent date widget in the top corner of the launcher, but only on the first page.
For this leaked APK a few things don’t work. First and foremost, you can’t swipe to get into Google Now like you will in the final version. Presumably you could get around this by loading the APK as a system app, but we have not confirmed that. Attempting to choose a wallpaper within the app also causes the entire app to crash.
It’s still unclear if this will be an exclusive to Google’s Nexus devices, but we should find out relatively soon. In the meantime, head over to Dropbox and get this APK for yourself!
Update: After the Dropbox link has been overloaded, we’ve mirrored the download to another service. Click here to download.
Please do keep in mind that since this is not a download from Google Play, we don’t know where the source got this APK from. From what we can tell this is the actual app from Google, but download at your own risk.