Google Now Launcher comes to all Android 4.1+ devices

by: Andrew GrushAugust 1, 2014

Google Nexus 5 black vs white aa 6

When the Nexus 5 debuted alongside Android 4.4 KitKat, new Nexus owners found that they had a special treat to go with it: a new launcher that was exclusively for their device. In February, Google finally brought this experience to Google Play, though with one caveat: it only worked with Nexus and Google Play Experience devices.

More recently, ZTE announced plans to pre-load the Google Now Launcher on many of its devices by default, signaling that the launcher would finally be making its way to even more devices. Now a new update is rolling out to the Google Now Launcher that finally ditches the Nexus/GPe requirement for good, allowing any device to run the launcher, provided they have Android 4.1 or higher.

Here’s a video showing off the launcher in action, though keep in mind this original review was written before it was available through Google Play:

Honestly, this really isn’t too surprising, especially considering the launcher had previously worked with many non-Nexus devices through sideloading. So what does the launcher bring to the table? With Google Now Launcher you can now find your cards by swiping to the left of your homescreen, and can also easily access Google Now with the awesome “ok, Google” voice command.

You can grab the Google Now Launcher through Google Play right away, though you may also need to update your Google Search if you haven’t been keeping it up to date. What do you think of the GEL, glad to see it on more devices or prefer another launcher instead?

  • Quinn Milton

    Says it doesn’t support my device. LG Optimus G running android 4.1.2

  • Will S.

    Meh, I side loaded the .apk ages, it simply lacks the basic customisation options of rivals and the entire concept sounds like a battery hog, so I haven’t used it for more than an hour…

  • Shark Bait

    Well about time google …….

  • Jonathan Kramer

    I honestly see no advantage since the latest Google Search version has OK Google from all screens. This combined with Commandr on my Galaxy S3 gives me all the gestures, etc. and voice control..

  • Jayfeather787

    It’s a little slow on my devices, so I prefer Nova.

    • Crutchcorn

      I prefer Nova anyway but it’s nice to see the support for some other guys

  • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

    I already got and Most people who wanted it simply sideloaded.
    Haleluah Google :D

  • Howie Eastin

    I would like to see them add gestures

  • Jesus

    …yes, it’s by google, but that doesn’t make it automatically good.
    Depending on your needs, google now launcher is SUPER simple. Wayy too kindergarden simple (and boring) for me.

  • Stefan

    Aviate Launcher is by far my favorite. Simple, functional and surprisingly fast.

  • bogtwist

    nah nova launcher for meeeeeeee

  • jim

    It should have been launched to all devices in the first place to win more non-android fans and gather more android enthusiasts…but nevertheless, its about time google! ;) hope it will get more updates for its launcher and google search more often to improve the overall performance, accuracy and experience… :O)


    Put it on my OnePlus ONE because i missed it from my Nexus. Now I am not so sure i want to keep it. We shall see…