ZTE announces Google Now Launcher as default homescreen for its future devices

July 18, 2014
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Just yesterday I wrote an opinion piece asking if Android L and Android Silver could eventually drive a new age where more manufacturers embraced stock and stock-like Android in favor of heavily customized skins. While we still don’t know the answer to that question, one manufacturer has now announced plans to ditch its own custom launcher efforts for the Google Now Launcher: ZTE.

According to their official press release, ZTE will move to GEL on select devices, starting with the the Blade Vec 4G in Hong Kong — though it is unknown if ZTE plans to update the existing European version. Of course it’s always possible for these users to simply download the launcher via Google Play.

In addition to the Vec 4G, ZTE says they will unveil at least one other “premium” device on July 24th in Hong Kong with GEL pre-installed. As for ZTE’s future devices? ZTE says it will continue to pre-load Google Now Launcher onto all Android 4.4 and above smartphones that it releases, provided they also have Google Mobile Services and Google Play enabled.

For those looking for devices with a Nexus-like experience, this is certainly a welcome move. That said, we imagine the phones will still be loaded up with all sorts of “value added” goodies (bloatware), but it’s still a step in the right direction and one we applaud ZTE for.

Comments

  • abqnm

    Good move. It is a free way for them to be able to list the always on voice search from the home screen as a feature and selling point. Not quite as good as the custom implementation from Motorola on the Moto X, but for a budget manufacturer it can’t hurt.

  • Jayfeather787

    Hope their future ZTE devices are fast. Seems like the Google Now Launcher is a little slow on my devices, except on my Nexus 5 and 7 2013.

  • Carl Draper

    Typo ‘image’ should be ‘imagine’

  • Groud Frank

    Great news!

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      • Jayfeather787

        fuck off

  • Julian Andres Klode

    So, they got a license for it from Google? Currently, it’s only available on Nexus devices.

    • Patrick Davis

      Actually, anyone can install it. Most Kitkat devices run it with no problem
      http://lifehacker.com/how-to-get-the-google-now-launcher-on-any-phone-running-1568796521

      Edit: Link was wrong

      • Julian Andres Klode

        Just because you can do it unofficially does not mean it is allowed. It’s only available for Nexus devices on the Play Store.

        • Patrick Davis

          Google doesn’t care whether you install it, they just don’t support it. There are lots of third party launchers on play. I have been running Google launcher on my Moto X for about 4 months and have had no issues.

          The whole reason I got an Android is so that I am “allowed” to install whatever I want. If you don’t want it, don’t install it.

  • WestFiasco

    The first step is the best step.

  • Boonlumsion Piyapon

    I hope they move to android one to reduce cost. And faster update.