Modified Pixel Launcher adds Features to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Modifying the Pixel Launcher, the default home screen on Google’s Pixel-branded smartphones, isn’t a new idea. Launchers like Lawnchair add custom icon support and other extras to the Google Launcher for the Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launched with a newer version of the Google Launcher, though, and crafty XDA Senior Member sharkie405 has modified it with features not found in the original version.
Here’s what’s different:
- Always colored Google G in home screen search bar regardless of wallpaper (optional)
- Slightly smaller icons
- Removed text from home screen icons
- Removed text from app drawer icons (optional)
- Removed page indicator
- Removed home screen app drawer up arrow
- Added two more rows of icons to the home screen (this automatically adds those extra rows to the app drawer as well)
It’s specifically made for Pixel devices running the Taimen 8.1 Developer Preview 1, and you will need root access to install it. Thankfully, Magisk, one of the newest rooting exploits for Android devices, was recently updated for the Pixel 2.
Installing the modified launcher itself is pretty simple, but you will need a root-enabled file explorer. We recommend MiXplorer on XDA Labs.
You will also need to grant root access to MiXplorer. The prompt will automatically appear once you try accessing the /system partition. Once you’re ready, follow these steps:
- Extract the APK from the zip file
- Using your favorite root file explorer make /system/priv-app/NexusLauncherPrebuilt rw (read-write)
- Copy the APK from the ZIP into /system/priv-app/NexusLauncherPrebuilt, overwriting the existing APK
- Reboot your phone
Each of the ZIP files contains different versions (numbered 1 through 5) of the Pixel 2 Launcher with different mods in each. Here are the differences between each:
- Always-colored Google G in home screen search bar + no home screen icon text + no app drawer icon text
- Always-colored Google G in home screen search bar + no home screen icon text
- Stock Google G in home screen search bar, no home screen icon text, and no app drawer icon text
- Stock Google G in home screen search bar and no home screen icon text
- One ZIP to contain them all
Pixel 2 Launcher Mods