Upcoming Google Nexus Launcher ditches the app drawer icon in favour of a swipe gesture

Usually Nexus leaks involve photos or technical specifications of the device or devices, as we have seen so in the past. We have already come across multiple instances of those for the HTC Nexus Sailfish and Marlin.

nexus launcher new

But the new leak, once again courtesy Android Police, is about the software aspect of the devices.

Remember all those rumours about the app drawer icon becoming obsolete in Android ? Well, LG did remove the app drawer from its 2016 flagship, the LG G5, but did include an option to re-add it to the homescreen. Google apparently is the next one to do so.

The Mountain View company is allegedly redesigning the UI of its new launcher, Nexus launcher to be more specific, which removes the app drawer button. But fret not, your app drawer itself is not going away.

According to the leak, the bottom portion of the screen, aka as the Dock, has a frosted glass background. Swiping up on this area or on the arrow above it, will bring the app drawer into view. Tapping the arrow does the same, and you can navigate away by swiping down or using the back key.

This is better than having no app drawer unlike MIUI which dumps all the icons on the homescreen, another example of how Xiaomi copied Apple’s iOS UI, which also does the same.

Hopefully we won’t see this on the new Nexus launcher,  and even if the dreaded thing does happen, we won’t be stuck with it, thanks to popular third party launcher apps like Nova, which do have the option to add/remove a proper app drawer icon.

Oh, and Google is also doing away with its large search widget, in favour of a smaller G button, tapping on which brings up the search function. Swiping on it seems to bring the Google Now UI, so it basically does nothing. The leak also hints that Now on Tap will be greatly improved, with Assistant features, which is actually why the search widget is being done away with.

Rumours about the previously reported new White navigation buttons and the Flower Home button continue to persist as well.

The fact that the launcher is branded Nexus launcher is a bit intriguing, and is sure to annoy non-Nexus users, although chances are you will be able to sideload it.


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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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