Here’s the Google Pixel 2’s latest Pixel Launcher with the Bottom Search Bar
Just last week Google officially unveiled the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. Hardware wise, there’s not much that would entice existing first generation Google Pixel owners. For anyone looking to upgrade their phones, though, the second generation Pixel phones are shaping up to be compelling purchases (if you can afford it). Though not all of the Google Pixel 2’s software can reasonably be ported to other devices, some things like the Pixel Launcher should be possible. We’ve already seen an app replicate the new Pixel Launcher’s calendar/weather widget (called ‘At A Glance’), though some are hoping to see the bottom search bar too.
Thankfully, it appears that the Pixel Launcher from the Google Pixel 2 can be installed right now on many Android devices. Theoretically it should install on Android Lollipop and above according to the minimum SDK version of the app, though none of us have an Android 5.0 device to confirm that. We did install it on more modern devices—the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 running Android 7.1 Nougat and the Google Pixel XL running Android 8.0 Oreo—to confirm that it does work.
We should note that the Google Now panel will not work if you install the official version below on a non-Google Nexus or Pixel device as the Pixel Launcher needs to be installed as a system app in order for it to show the Google Now panel. We have added a modified version of the Launcher, however, which adds support for the Google Now panel on Android Lollipop and above devices.
Google Pixel Launcher on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Android 7.1 Nougat)
We noticed a subtle animation when you swipe up on the dock where it bounces a bit after hitting the top. This feels reminiscent of an iOS-style animation, and is something you may not even notice unless you are paying attention. Here’s a video of that animation:
Install Google Pixel Launcher from the Pixel 2
Interested in grabbing this launcher update? All you have to do is download the Pixel Launcher that we uploaded below and install it onto your device. It doesn’t need to be installed onto the system partition (meaning it doesn’t need root), and if you already have the Pixel Launcher installed then it will just install right on top of it. Enjoy!
Alternatively, you can install this modified version of the Google Pixel Launcher by XDA Senior Member paphonb. His version works on non-Google devices running Android Lollipop and above (Android 5.0+) and allows you to use the Google Now panel. Here’s a video of it in action.
Want the Pixel Wallpaper app too? Check out our other article that covers a port of this app.