Nova Launcher is one of the most popular 3rd party launchers for Android, and the developer TeslaCoil Software works hard to not only make it a super powerful tool but to also allow it to replicate the key functionalities as well as the look and feel of Google’s stock launcher. However, one thing that has bee missing from that equation, for all 3rd part launchers, was swipe in from the left to launch Google Now.
Long story short, the only way to achieve this integration with Google Now was to have root access, and thankfully Nova never went down that path. That all changed this week with Google doing some tweaking in the back end to allow the integration without Root. Unfortunately, the solution makes any app implementing it unable to be uploaded to the Google Play Store, so from a click a forget standpoint we’re not really there yet.
For those who just need to have the functionality there is a workaround TeslaCoil has developer, you just need to install another app to allow it, but of course, that app can’t be distributed via the Play Store. So if you want it you’re going to have to side load it. The trusted APK keepers at APKMirror seem to be hosting this little gem so if you want it, it’s easy to find.
If you do install the Nova Google Companion app, you have to leave it installed. Unlike some other feature-toggle style apps in the past this app needs to be present on the device for the functionality to work.
While Nova Launcher has actually enabled access to Google Now via gestures for years, it’s still nice for those of us who want to create a launcher with the power or Nova but the look and feel of Nova to have the option. If you’ve never tried Nova Launcher I strongly recommend it, and if you do use it try upgrading to Nova Prime, it’s well worth the $5.99 AUD.