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Google Now Launcher to be removed from Google Play by end of March
Soon, you will not be able to download the Google Now Launcher app. According to an email sent by the company to its Google Mobile Services (GMS) partners, it will remove the Google Now Launcher app from the Google Play Store sometime in the first quarter of 2017. That means the app will be gone from the store sometime before the end of March.
The email, sent to Android Police, indicates that while the Google Now Launcher app will soon won’t be available to download, the company still plans to support anyone who has already installed it on their phone or tablet with updates to the Google search app. GMS partners will no longer be able to offer new devices with Google Now Launcher after March 1, 2017. Existing devices can continue to use the app, and any new Android phones or tablets launched after March 1 will not be required to replace the app with something else.
The main reason for the change is that third-party Android devices can now integrate the Google Now panel on any launcher app, so there’s no need for Google to have a separate launcher of its own.
The Google Now Launcher was officially launched in February 2014, so its removal from the Google Play Store will come about three years after its first appearance. Even without the Google Now Launcher, Google still has its own launcher of course, in the form of the Pixel Launcher that went live in October 2016 for its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
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