While the ‘Google Experience’ was initially reserved to the new Nexus 5, it was only a matter of time before the new launcher and voice-assistant features were to be extended to other devices in the family. Now, more than six months later, it’s finally possible to install Google Now Launcher on any device with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher, bring the ‘purest’ experience of the Google operating system to many other models.
When you install the Google Now Launcher app and run it for the first time it will ask you if you want to use it to replace the launcher you have installed by default, and can also customize it using a welcome assistant if you wish to activate Google Now so you can consult it directly with a horizontal swipe on the device’s desktop. In certain cases the app will tell you if you need to update other Google services such as the search app, meaning you don’t have to use any manual ‘tricks’ as you do now.
Its disadvantages are few and the advantages everything you could want, best among them for many users being the fact that you can remove in one fell swoop any of those custom third-party launchers obsessed with including all sorts of widgets and features that duplicate tools you already have. Users of HTC or Sony devices will know what I’m talking about here.
Now you can access all the Google voice commands, which are also integrated into cards with information compiled from your browsing habits and location. You can also activate the assistant by saying ‘OK Google’ with your own voice. Not to mention the changes at the visual level to the icons and transition effects. This update might seem a bit late in arriving, considering that Android L is just around the corner, but it is indisputably good news in terms of giving your smartphone a more attractive look without having to use third-party applications.