With the death of the Google Now Launcher just weeks away, many are looking for alternate options. Thankfully, there are several great ones available. However, there’s not a single launcher on Google Play that can truly replicate the Google Now Launcher’s best feature – a left swipe for Google Now. So, here’s how to add a Google Now gesture to Action Launcher 3.
The best gifts for Android users
Tie Google Now to a gesture on Action Launcher 3
Action Launcher 3 makes it simple to set up your device with a Google Now pane, and you can set it up in a number of ways. You can access the app through a swipe, a tap, or even a pinch. In this example, we’ll copy the Google Now Launcher’s gesture with a swipe from the left. Here’s how to set it up.
- Long-press an empty area of the display and tap Settings
- Scroll down to Shortcuts
- Tap Swipe Horizontal
- Select Leftmost Home Screen
- Tap App
- Select Google
Once those steps have been performed, head back to your homescreen and make sure you’re on the primary homescreen. From there, simply swipe from the left and the Google app will load up, showing you your Google Now feed. While it doesn’t quite match up with what the Google Launcher had going, this implementation is super clean and even the animations make it feel like a natural integration.
Do keep in mind, however, that you will need to be an Action Launcher 3 Plus user, which means you’ll have to pick up an in-app purchase of $4.99 (spoiler alert: it’s worth it).
Things are even better if you’re rooted
All of that is fantastic, but Google Now integration with Action Launcher 3 gets even better if you are rooted. This functionality was added back in version 3.8.1 of Action Launcher 3, and adds completely seamless Google Now integration into the launcher, identical to that of the Google Now Launcher. However, you’ll need to have Action Launcher 3 set up as a system app, which means the device will need to be rooted. Developer Chris Lacy explains this functionality in detail from the feature’s announcement.
Google Now integration has been by far and away the most requested Action Launcher feature over the years. The roadblock here has always been the lack of an API from Google allowing other apps to use Now integration. With the recent revelation that Sony’s launcher added support for Now integration, it seems Google are progressing in this area (yay!). But unfortunately at this time, Google have opted to only allow system apps to use Now integration. System apps are the same as a normal app you might install from the Play Store, except they generally come pre-installed on a device. Gmail and Google Maps are examples of system apps on a typical Android phone.