Nexus Launcher renamed to Pixel Launcher, leaked APK available for download

Google’s new homescreen app, the Nexus Launcher has been renamed to Pixel Launcher. This makes sense, considering that the Nexus brand of devices is being renamed to Pixel.

pixel-launcher

And renowned HTC leaker, Llabtoofer, has leaked the Pixel Launcher APK which is now available for download.

But it appears that Android enthusiasts crashed the server where the file was hosted. Thankfully, many people have uploaded the file to websites, so we have plenty of mirrors floating about. Here is one which a redditor uploaded.

https://puu.sh/r91Zb/e6fa290f35.zip

As you can see from the screenshot above, the calendar on the homescreen displays the day. There is no app drawer icon, but the swipe up gesture still works, and the app drawer itself has a white background.

pixel-launcher-app-drawer

For the left swipe screen (Google Now), to work, you must install the Pixel Launcher as a system file. If you already had the leaked Nexus Launcher installed as a system app, simply extract the Pixel Launcher APK and install it normally. This is because the file is still signed as com.nexuslauncher.

Else, you must flash the zip via TWRP recovery. Or instead of installing it via TWRP, you could also just use a file manager app and copy the APK to /system/priv-app/pixellauncher (by creating the pixel launcher folder), and set the file’s permission to rw-r-r (644) and reboot the device. This will make it a system app, but even this did not make Google Now on Tap work, and the option remains grayed out.

We speculate that this is because Google is working on its new Google Assistant feature, which will likely be released when the Pixel and Pixel XL (along with Android 7.1) are released.


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Ashwin Karthik
Originally a Business Grad, Ashwin is a natural at testing and reviewing apps & games for Windows and Android Apps, as well as flashing ROMs. A proud owner of a Redmi K20, he is also an avid gamer and loves playing on his Computer, PS4 & Nintendo consoles.

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