According to multiple sources, Android Police has gotten an early look at a new Launcher from Google that is expected to launch with their new Android devices, Marlin and Sailfish. As with all rumours what we’re got here may not be final, or even released. However, everything we’re seeing here gels with Google’s current strategies and all feels like a natural evolution for their Launcher and Google now/ Assistant functionalities.
The big ticket items are:
- The app draw has been replaced by a slide up pain, indicated by the ^ above where the app draw icon is typically found, simple drag anywhere on the lower bar or tap on the ^ icon to bring up the new app draw.
- The Google search bar has been removed and been replaced by a non-removable calendar widget and there is now a pull out ‘G’ tab that takes you to a combined Google Now and “Ok Google” interface, or tap on the G to bring up a search box.
With previous rumours pointing to a redesign of the nav buttons it’s likely what we are seeing here isn’t the final version of the new Launcher. When Google assistant is launched later this year we are expecting the new home icon to be updated and the current Google now functionality either enhanced or replaced.
It is unclear at this stage if this launcher will replace the current Google Launcher in the play store and be available to everyone or if it is going to be exclusive to Google hardware. Google CEO Sundar Pichai did indicate in a recent interview that they would b adding software exclusive to Google into their future hardware efforts. Could his be the first such example?
It’s also unclear, and unlikely, if these new services will have API access for 3rd part developers to integrate into their launchers. As someone who “needs” an extra row of icons on their homepages I just can’t move off Nova Launcher but also don’t want to miss out on the new hotness. Not having had the swipe left for the Google now page has been a serious frustration for the past few years, and I think it’s about to get a whole lot more frustrating.
How do you like the look of the new launcher? Let us know below.