Yesterday, it was discovered that Google may be planning a new launcher for their 2016 Nexus devices simply called ‘Nexus Launcher’. Now, thanks to a tipster on Google+ to 9to5Google, we now have access to the leaked APK file of the launcher.
9to5Google says that the launcher works on Android Nougat and Marshmallow, while we’re able to validate that the app works on Android Lollipop 5.1 since we successfully installed it on a Moto E 2015. We’ve taken a few screenshots of the app for a hands-on look at what the Nexus Launcher brings to the table.
As you can see, the launcher looks pretty much exactly like what you’ll find in the leaked GIFs and screenshots of the Nexus Launcher provided by Android Police. However, there are a few missing features…
For starters, you can’t set your home screen to automatically rotate when auto rotate is on, while a swipe all the way to the left of your home screen won’t bring up the Google Now pane like in the Google Now Launcher. This is likely because this app isn’t finished yet, however nothing is confirmed as of now.
Trying to change the wallpaper from the Nexus Launcher’s home screen options will result in a full app-wide crash, so don’t try it people.
Other than that, though, everything seems to be in line with what the rumors indicated about the Nexus Launcher. The little ‘G’ button will activate the overlaying search bar, while the Android N DP2 folders are yet again present. Swiping up from the dock of the home screen will bring up the app drawer, and you can now add up to 5 different app icons to the dock. All in all, this launcher does look promising and will (in my option) see a future on Google’s handsets and various Android devices.
If you want to get your hands on the Nexus Launcher, download the APK from Dropbox here. Be sure to have ‘Unknown Sources’ enabled on your Android device so you can install it properly. We also should warn you that this APK isn’t confirmed to be official, so simply take caution.