Google's Pixel lineup hangs its hat on smooth software and a polished UI. At the core of this experience is the Pixel Launcher, a home screen app that is often imitated, but never perfectly duplicated. That is, until developer AmirZ released the latest version of his Rootless Pixel Launcher port.
This simple APK will install on any phone running Lollipop or higher, so virtually anyone can get the Google experience on their phone — and even better, none of the features require root. One of the standout features from this latest version is the inclusion of Google's "At a Glance" widget, which resides at the top of the primary home screen and shows the current weather along with any upcoming calendar events. It's a nice experience, really, so I'll show you how to try it out below.
As I mentioned, this mod doesn't require root, but you will need to be running Android Lollipop or higher to try it . We've tested it on the Galaxy S8 and the S6 Edge , and it runs flawlessly on both devices. However, not all features are available to all Android versions.
For example, App Shortcuts require 7.1 or higher, the automatic light and dark theme requires 7.0 or above, and notification badges only work on 6.0 or higher. For the full list of feature discrepancies, check out the developer's release thread on Reddit.
Finally, to ensure that all features work properly (particularly the "At a Glance" widget and the Google Now integration), make sure you have the latest version of the Google app and Google Calendar installed.
Before you get started, make sure you have Unknown Sources enabled. After that, just tap the following link to download the latest version of the Rootless Pixel Launcher. From there, open the APK from your notification tray or using any file browser, then press "Install" when prompted.
Worth noting, if you get an "App not installed" error or a message stating that the file is corrupt, go through Settings –> Apps –> All and uninstall any previous versions of the ported Pixel launcher.
After the Pixel 2 launcher is successfully installed, tap on the home button. From there, you'll be prompted to choose a new home screen app, so select "Pixel Launcher" from the list, then choose "Always" if prompted. To make sure the Google Now page is working, go ahead and restart your phone at this point.
You're now free to enjoy the Pixel 2 launcher experience — most notably, the "At a Glance" widget and a new search bar that's easier to access, along with an app drawer that you can access by swiping up from dock at the bottom of the screen. There are a few more finishing touches, like some nifty bounce animations and the new Google calendar and weather widget, so there's lot to like.
How are you enjoying the new Pixel launcher so far? Let us know in the comment section below.