Get The Google Now Launcher On Any Android-Powered Smartphone [Tip]
Google finally brought its Google Now Launcher to the Play Store this week, breaking its exclusivity on the Nexus 5 and allowing anyone with a Nexus or Google Play Edition device to get their hands on it. But what if you have another Android-powered smartphone?
Well, you can download and install the launcher yourself.
While the Google Now Launcher may support only a handful of devices officially, the great thing about Android is that you can simply obtain and side-load the APK yourself. The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure your device has the ability to install apps from unknown sources — you’ll find this option within your security settings.
Now make sure you have the latest version of Google Search (version 188.8.131.529776) installed. This is the update that was released earlier this month to introduce the “OK Google” hotword to the U.K. and Canada, and make a number of improvements to existing features.
Once you have those things, download the Google Now Launcher APK, courtesy of XDA Developers. It’s easier to download it directly to your Android device, but you can also download it to your computer and transfer it later. Now open the APK and install it.
Once complete, you’ll have the Google Now Launcher installed, and you’ll be able to set it as your default launcher within the Settings app (providing you have Android 4.4 KitKat).