Google’s new Pixel Launcher for the Pixel 2 recently became an APK that users with Android 5.0 Lollipop and above could install. This is great and all, but unless you install the app on a Google-branded device or as a system app on a rooted phone, you’ll have a pretty static experience on your hands. Luckily, developer paphonb over at XDA has taken matters into its own hands and has released a modified version of the Pixel 2 Launcher which enables the Google Now pane and a tweaked design.
As you can see, by installing this modified APK, you’ll be granted access to the Google Now pane found on the new Pixels which includes a tweaked and more transparent design. You’re also getting new search bars, app shortcut support, notification dots, the Pixel’s blue accent color, and a quick swipe-down gesture to bring down the notification center. The developer even says the app works on Lollipop 5.0 and above. The best part? You don’t need root for this functionality to work. Just install the APK and you’re good to go.
In the comments on the XDA thread, many users are reporting the app is working on a variety of devices. We can verify it works on a Moto Z2 Play, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and pre-production LG V30. If you’d like to test drive the modified Pixel Launcher on your own device, click here.
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