While checking out the all-new Android P Developer Preview available for Pixel and Pixel 2, a new Pixel Launcher had been discovered. The new version of Google’s in-house Pixel Launcher has been stripped from the first Android P preview, and can now be side-loaded on devices without the yet-to-be-released software via an APK download linked at the bottom of this post.
Android P, which doesn’t name a name nor number yet, has arrived a little earlier than last year’s Android O (8.0 Oreo) and when we expected the release. We’re currently digging through the software to find what’s new and exciting, and there appear to be some nice changes, though Google might be saving something for the next preview expected to be the beta release in May. The final release is due out after five preview in late Q3 of 2018.
You no longer need the Android P Developer Preview to run the latest version (version 3 we believe?) of the Pixel Launcher. This has been one of the most popular Android launchers out there ever since it released with the first gen Pixel phones, following the Google Now Launcher that came on Nexus devices. Since the Android P preview that Google outed last week is primarily for developers and those who don’t mind flashing, having access to the upgraded Pixel Launcher is pretty sweet and will give you a taste of Android P without having to upgrade. It’s super clean, simple to use and has a few minor changes since the last release of the app.
The launcher attached is version 9-4623511. Doug was able to install it on his Pixel 2 XL running Android 8.1, but I could not load it on my OnePlus device with Android Nougat. Therefore, we’re not exactly sure as to what the cutoff is in being able to run the software. My guess would be any device running Oreo or an Oreo beta would be eligible. Sideload the app to install it via your browser or update your existing app from the Mediafire APK download below and let us know whether or not you get it working and on which device you tried.
If you’re familiar with the next newest version of Pixel Launcher, this will be very familiar. The biggest visible change is associated with the dock, which is now a larger 3D panel that’s more frosted with rounded corners. The arrow indicating you can swipe up is no longer present, but the swipe gesture still operates in the same way as the last version of the launcher. Another change is a design tweak to the menu containing widgets, wallpapers and home settings. A Google Search mic is now present in the app drawer and on the homescreen as well, this way, users have yet another way to access Google Search or the Google Assistant. There are also some new icon shapes such as a rounded square and squircle. In addition, there’s a sliding animation that shows what page your on. It’s a little glitchy right now, but Google will have plenty of time to carve any bugs out. As a reminder, only Pixel phones will get the launcher once Android P rolls out officially.
Android P in general introduces other new features including UI tweaks, a new Markup feature for screenshots, a relocation of the clock, notch support, a refreshed notifications panel, a new settings menu, updated volume controls, indoor positioning with Wi-Fi RTT, enhancements for notifications and notification channels, and more. If you find something we have not yet mentioned in our coverage, drop it in the comments and we’ll update one of our articles. We have you fully covered at Droid Turf.
More Android P Coverage:
View our full Android P guide at the link below.
SOURCE [Mediafire – APK Download]