An unreleased version of the Google Pixel launcher shows up at Google I/O
Why it matters to you
Google’s Pixel launcher is already one of its most popular, and may become even more so thanks to major changes in an upcoming version.
The Google Pixel launcher is one of the more popular launchers for Android, largely because of how simple and clean it is, not to mention its emphasis on Google’s apps and services. Now, we have a second version of the launcher, which just showed up at Google I/O — a little earlier in the year than we expected. It’s also possible that someone at Google messed up and it’s not supposed to be on show at the event — but either way, we now have a better look at the direction Google is taking with the Pixel.
A video of the launcher was taken by 9to5Google, and if you’ve used the previous Pixel launcher, you’ll notice a few major changes. For example, the “G” tab on the left-hand side is no longer there — instead, the search bar has been moved front and center at the bottom of the main home screen.
It makes sense that Google would want to make search a little more prominent. While it was already very accessible, it did require a swipe to get to. Now, you can simply tap on the search bar and start searching. Hopefully, users will be able to move it around on the home screen, as many people prefer having apps on the bottom rather than on the top.
In the demo, it seems as though the top row of the home screen is used for the date, which is centered and easy to see. In the previous Pixel launcher, the weather was also present there — and hopefully the weather aspect will come back, as it can be pretty helpful.
It will be interesting to see if the launcher changes at all over the next few months before the Google Pixel 2 is released, or if we’re now looking at a final version of it.