February 27, 2014
Voice Search, Fingertip News and More All Featured
The countdown is over — Google has launched its Launcher.
It’s been anticipated for some time and, on Wednesday, the Google Now Launcher became available on the Play Store. Initially, the launcher was released for the Nexus 5 last year with promises at the time that the launcher would become available for other devices.
Really, it’s just an Android application package that links the device’s operating system to the Google Search app. Installing the launcher will add the Google Now Launcher. It supports transparent system bars and creates a new home screen that will become the Google Now interface.
The launcher has been the subject of both praise and criticism due to its bigger icons but another feature users will either love or hate is its deleting any home screen that is no longer used. This means users who only have apps on two home screens will only have those two, as well as the Google Now screen.
However, there are definite bonuses to the launcher. A simple right swipe, for example, brings up Google Now enabling users to see their weather, traffic, news and whatever else they’ve added to their Google Now.
A cool feature, too, is the ability to say “OK Google” at the home screen to launch a voice search. This means there’s no need to even touch the phone or tablet.
It will replace a phone’s built-in home screen and app drawer, but most don’t alter a phone’s settings menu or notification drawer.
W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.