Update, September 11, 2018 (05:02PM EST): Google pulled Rootless Pixel Launcher from the Google Play Store after only a week. However, the launcher is back with the removal of a feature that caused it to get pulled in the first place.
That feature was a prompt which connected you with a way to install aspects of the launcher from outside the Play Store that don’t come pre-installed, specifically features that emulate the At-a-glance widget and the Google Now feed. Going forward, users will have to install those features on their own.
It’s not clear if these changes were vetted by Google which allowed the app to reappear on the store, or if the launcher’s creator is just hoping Google won’t pull this version now that he’s changed it.
Click below to give the new version of Rootless Launcher a shot!
Original Article, September 4, 2018 (06:07AM EST): There are plenty of great launchers on the Play Store, but there’s one less today after Google unceremoniously pulled Rootless Pixel Launcher from its digital storefront.
Rootless Pixel Launcher first debuted on the Google Play Store just over a week ago, but has become a popular launcher alternative for many users as a third-party APK via GitHub. Now, however, the launcher’s creator, Amir Zaidi, will have to go back to the drawing board and fix a “mistake” that prompted Google to act.
As the name suggests, Rootless Pixel Launcher attempts to replicate the UI and experience of Google’s Pixel phones.
Most of the Pixel-like functionality is ready to go as soon as you install the app from the Play Store, but to recreate the “At a glance” widget and the Google Now feed users had to install a separate APK called Rootless Pixel Bridge.
Before it was taken down, the launcher would bring up a notification box asking if users wanted to install the APK. When selected the app would then begin downloading from an external source. The problem? Google doesn’t allow apps on the Play Store that can lead to users downloading or installing other apps from unknown sources.
[Google’s policy] means I cannot have the Bridge installation popup as it is right now and need to find an alternative solution.
Also, it seems like my package name might be permanently banned which means people will have to install the launcher again and setup their home screen again when I republish it. This happened because of a mistake from me and I will try to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Zaidi also noted that he has sent an appeal to Google with the aim of removing the download prompt. If that doesn’t work he reportedly plans on starting from scratch with a new app listing.
For now, you can still grab the Rootless Pixel Launcher from APK Mirror here. Zaidi is hoping to have a fix in place for the Play Store version later today.