Google Now Launcher officially available for Nexus and GPE devices

By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 27, 2014 07:50 AM EST

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The much-touted Google Now Launcher is ready to hit more devices, as the company has released the application on its Play store.

Google launched its current Nexus 5 flagship smartphone with a new desktop user interface called the Experience launcher, which was recently rebranded as the Google Now Launcher. The new UI quickly grabbed everyone's attention and became very popular, and Google has now decided to make the application available directly through its Google Play store.

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The Google Now Launcher is available for free, but it's worth pointing out that it is currently limited only to Nexus and Google Play Edition (GPE) devices. It's a good start nonetheless, and there's a good chance that Google will release the new Launcher to more smartphones and tablets in the future.

"A few months ago we introduced an experience on Nexus 5 that made it easier to access all the goodness of Google Now directly from the home screen. Today we're making that same experience available to more devices when you install the Google Now Launcher on any Nexus or Google Play edition phone or tablet running KitKat," the company announced on its Android Google+ page late on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Users will be able to easily access the new Google Now Launcher simply by swiping to the left from their device's Home screen. From there, they can quickly activate the touch-less voice control by uttering the key phrase "OK, Google." This feature was previously available only on the Google Nexus 5.

The Google Now Launcher offers users a simple and more convenient way to send text messages, get directions, play specific songs, and complete other such tasks. Users can ever rely on this feature to launch apps and services such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and others.

"Google Now Launcher also gives you a beautiful, immersive, and simple experience. The full-screen, larger viewing area lets your wallpaper pop from every pixel. And of course you can place your favorite apps anywhere you like," Google further touts.

The full-screen experience will be possible by making the notification and navigation bars translucent, but it will only work if your device supports it. As Google mentioned in its announcement, you'll also need Android 4.4 KitKat on board. If you have a Nexus or GPE device and want to try out the Google Now Launcher, you can download it now from the Google Play store. 



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