Stock Android is a beautiful thing. It’s clean, beautifully styled and looks WAY better than any of the custom skins used by Samsung, LG, HTC or Huawei.
Thing is: in order to get Google’s Pixel launcher on a phone, you kind of need to buy a Google Pixel… or download a launcher like Nova from the Play Store.
Nova doesn’t feature ALL of the Pixel Launcher’s features, however, as it is a design copy, not a full on clone of the software. This means, while it does look the same, it is missing some features.
There is now a fully functional version of Google’s Pixel Launcher, however, and you can download it right now – on ANY Android phone. This version features ALL the software attributes you get on a Pixel phone as well.
How did this happen? Simple: a developer named Amir Zaidi decompiled the Pixel Launcher and reworked it into a stable APK file that anyone can download for free.
The great thing about this way of doing things is that you don’t need to unlock your phone’s bootloader or perform any tricky workarounds. Simply download the APK and run the file and, BOOM, your phone is running Google’s Pixel Launcher.
This APK features the native Google Now feed integration, the Google search pill button, and the default weather widget. It even features the Pixel’s long-press function on certain, compatible applications.
If you’ve never used a Pixel phone before, believe me, the software is leagues ahead of what Samsung and LG and anybody else in the Android space is doing.
Google knows Android inside and out, it designed and built it, so it stands to reason that it will know what’s best for Android phones when it comes to software.
The Pixel Launcher is just about as perfect an Android experience you could wish for. Samsung and co. have improved their respective games in recent time, but for the most part Google’s approach is still number one. Mostly because it is just about Android and nothing else. But also because it looks and runs great.
The port works flawlessly on the Galaxy S8, according to 9t05Google, though it might not work 100% on ALL Android phones, so you’ll just have to download it and see whether it works on your phone.
Either way, it won’t cost you anything!
But if you just fancy a nice slice of Google Pixel action, then you’re best bet – if you’re in the US – is Verizon, where you can pick up the Google Pixel XL for as little as $32 a month.
In the UK, my preferred choice when it comes to selecting a phone and tariff is Carphone Warehouse, as they have the most and, on occasion, some very good incentive-based deals.