Google Experience Launcher heads to Google Play… but still only for Nexus/GPE devices


gel launcher

We were saddened to learn that the cool Google Experience Launcher that debuted on Android 4.4 KitKat wasn’t going to be a standard feature of stock Android, and was instead going to be a timed exclusive launcher for the Nexus 5. It looks like Google is changing that, though only for an exclusive club of people.

The app has launched in the Google Play Store, though only those with Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running KitKat will get to download and use it. The app comes with support for translucency, a Google Now panel when swiping to the far left of the home-screen, and more. You can say “OK Google” while on the home-screen to launch a Google Search, as well, which is a cool little parlor trick that can come in handy when you need your hands free.

Of course, many have figured out ways to get the Google Experience Launcher working on devices that don’t support it, but you’ll have to get your elbows a tad wet to get that going. If you’re lucky enough to have one of the devices that supports it, you can find the Google Experience Launcher as a free download in the Google Play Store.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Phase one, GPE/Nexus. Phase 2, everyone else?

  2. I have it on my GS3.. works like a charm!!!!!

  3. I’ll stick with the customization of Nova Prime.

  4. I prefer Nova over the GE launcher. I used the GE launcher on my Nexus 5 for a few days before I decided I didn’t like it.

    1. same thing here on my nexus 10. So many more tweaks with Nova. You can’t modify anything with the GE, not even canvas grid.

      1. And I really loathe that you have to keep each new grid populated on GE launcher for it to remain in place.

  5. I don’t like the GE launcher wallpaper setup.. I have a hard time lining it up the way I like or it’s always off center for me. Anyone else have that issue? Example: The nexus 5 wallpaper for me if always off center so you can’t even tell that it makes a “5” just looks like random colors and shapes.

    Also, lol I wonder why this took so long to come out for Nexus and GPE devices? Should have been ready by N5 launch.

    1. I had the same problem…I just went for the stock nexus 5 wallpaper and let it be….maybe when its released for all devices they will have this problem fixed..what phone are u using?

      1. Nexus 5

        1. oh snap! I guess its not the phone it is the left pane Google now that is throwing things I said I just settled for the stock nexus 5 wallpaper…its now OK…

    2. If you use custom wallpapers, try using Simple Image Wallpaper from the Play Store. Nexus devices tend to suck when it comes to custom wallpapers.

  6. Eh… I don’t like how the launcher forces me to have the far left screen be my home screen. I’d rather my home screen be in the middle. I grew attached to that.

    I do really like the “Ok, Google” command on the homescreen, though. Saves time from opening up Google Now.

    1. I’m on the opposite side of fence. I tend not to clutter my homescren with icons, just a few most necessary widgets. So I love that I don’t get lost after an accidental swipe. What I do hate about it that somehow icons disappear from folders after an app update. Anyone knows a setting for that?

      1. Does it always happen or just once in awhile? I know they will sometimes disappear from the homescreen when an update changes the icon or title of the app.

        1. Aha, that’s why it doesn’t happen with all of them! Thanks for the tip!

    2. I didn’t like the home screen at the left at first either, but I’ve gotten used to it and kind of prefer it now that I’ve used it that way for a couple months.

  7. Bingo bango bongo. I think the rumors are true that Nexus will launch for last time this fall then be discontinued. Gives Google a chance to work out kinks of GE Launcher and make available for all JB and up phones.

  8. What would be nice is if there was hands free when your phone is I by our pocket. And Google Glass is not the answer.

  9. I’m really loving this launcher I’m using it on my Nexus 4 as we speak. it makes my home screen look very clean with the transparent navigation buttons and status bar. It makes the wallpapers radiate.

  10. I would use it no problem, but the icons are huge on the note 3, when is tweaked enough to take advantage of the scena real estate im in

    1. not to mention my icons disappear on my homescreen folders after reboot. also note 3

  11. Oh yah, the “iPhone” Android launcher.

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