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Last week, Google released a massive update to the Search app for Android 4.1+ phones and tablets. Inside that refreshed APK, though, is a somewhat sneaky surprise: all the necessary bits for the Nexus 5's "Google Experience" launcher. All you need to get it working is the launcher app pulled from the Nexus 5, and you'll be up and running GEL-style.

nexusae0_Screenshot_2013-11-13-16-01-10 nexusae0_Screenshot_2013-11-13-16-02-35 nexusae0_Screenshot_2013-11-13-16-02-47

If you want a detailed look at the new launcher, be sure to check out the relevant sections of Liam's Getting To Know Android 4.4 post, which goes into crazy detail as to all the changes you'll discover over the old AOSP launcher.

While we know that Google doesn't currently have concrete plans to bring this launcher to a wide range of Android devices, the fact that all the necessary bits to run it are packed into the Search / Now app make that statement a little hard to take seriously. If you're asking me, it seems all but inevitable that the GE launcher is going to get a wide rollout once Google feels satisfied that users are liking it and major issues are ironed out.

So, if it does, will you use it?

If the Google Experience launcher comes to most modern Android devices, will you use it as your primary launcher?

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    Just as a note, if you have a Nexus 5 and are already using GEL (duh), what about your other devices? We asked about the Nexus 5 last week in regard to the GEL launcher, so this week is more about "everything else."

    • krisyadao

      Already have it on my 2013 N7.

    • Paul Hodgson

      After getting my Nexus 5, I quickly got it onto my Asus Transformer TF101 with KatKiss 4.3.1 custom rom!

  • jamesfuston

    I used GEL on my HTC One for a little bit and it absolutely destroyed my battery life. I was getting 1/3 of what I normally get. Had to switch back to Sense Launcher.

  • TSON1

    If it gets updated with new features, I'd be down... If it gets neglected, probably not.

  • Tyler

    Customisation + the fact that Google Now is basically useless outside of the USA.

    • George Av

      Bullshit. I'm in the UK and i have everything. Unless you're a damn Russian this app should work in most country's.

      • Tyler

        Saw this comment coming...UK is large enough that there is probably good support.

        In New Zealand all I get is the weather and lame ass cards the day a video game is released (even on consoles I don't own).

        • Chris P

          I got a different card the other day! But it was just the "updated sites" one. :(

          • Tyler

            Me too! A site that I already checked 3 hours earlier so I had seen the update :(

      • tay


        I'm in Sweden and I only get the weather cards and sometimes how long it takes for me to get home..

        So no it doesn't work in the majority of the countries.

        • George Av

          Well, i get weather, football scores, web history, stocks, places, recent places to navigate too and my emails in Google now just off the side.. I don't see your point about "USA" only. To me i have a fully functional app. I also can use almost all the voice commands..

          • Joshua Hill

            I don't see your point about Russia either. You're obviously prone to hyperbolic statements.

        • Albin Hermansson

          I live in sweden too, and find it extremely useful... I always get the latest updates on how to get home, the weather (ofc), football teams, it makes sure i don't miss my TV shows, I get suggestions of things based on what I've searched for etc. Public transport probably depends on where in Sweden you are though. I live in Helsingborg and it works great!

      • Bluewall

        Nope. I'm swiss, I speak french and beside weather it doesn't do much

      • sc4fpse

        As an American who just spent 9 months in Russia. You're right. As someone who enjoys Russian language and culture, fuck you. As someone who just taught English as a foreign language, you make me want to off myself.

        • George Av

          Well you don't play Dota 2 and now know every Russian swear word under the sun.. there's only russian kids on there -_-

          • Marcelo_

            Dude, EVERYBODY is showing to u that Google Now doesn't work well for most people outside US and u keep trying to convince everyone that they are wrong and you are right? If Google Now works wonderful for u, nice... But doesn't keep trying to convince other people that they'll get the same experience that u have cause there's proofs that they won't... Só stop replying the same things, it's just getting more and more shameful everything u write here...

      • wollac11

        I'm in the UK too. The functionality in the UK is a small fraction of what they get from it in the US. I still love Google Now but I wish all its functionality was available worldwide.

        • George Av

          Well, i get weather, football scores, web history, stocks, calender places, recent places to navigate too and my emails in Google now just off the side.. I don't see your point about "USA" only. To me i have a fully functional app. I also can use almost all the voice commands.. it seems like a very good app... I don't see what else i could have that i haven't already.`

          • med1vg

            You are just in denial. I know you love Google, I do to but you're in denial if you think we are getting it (in UK) even half as good as USA.

      • herbivoor

        Same, I'm in Europa and I've got loads: weather, stocks, travel time, busstop info, stocks, appointments, news I read, walking distance, flight info, currency conversion when travelling, language info when travelling, sports scores,...

        I've set the language to English US though.

        • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio royblumenthal

          I'm in South Africa, and the ONLY card I get is weather. I don't even get it telling me whenmy next appointment is. I also tried to use the 'ok Google' command. Tried it in every accent I could think of. No luck.

      • Marcell Lévai

        Your level of ignorance is over 9000. You must know the app works, because you live "in most country's", right? You, Sir, are full of bullshit and ignorance. Google Now's advanced functions don't work for me either, and I'm not in Russia.

    • Ugalde97

      I leave in freaking Costa Rica and google Now is very useful.

      • hot_spare

        That means Costa Rica is not 'freaking'..

    • thegermanguy

      Dude its not all about the country... Its mainly about your country's language

    • Blowntoaster

      not exactly true. change your default language to English US and it works most of the time for most things. tough titty if you don't speak some form of English though.

  • Ygor Vaz

    I just wish they make the icons smaller. Don't if it's because the current apk we have is ported from the Nexus 5, but the icon's on GEL (on galaxy nexus) look awfully big and make the icons look like they are on low resolution.

    • enoch861

      I wish Android had a native way of increasing the density.

      • David Sousa

        Just curious, what you mean exactly and why?

        • RajivSK

          He means pixel density (I think). Decrease the pixel density value and android would assume that your screen is bigger, hence giving you more rows and columns and smaller icons. If you'd like to see an example, check out Paranoid Android which has this feature.

          • David Sousa

            Yeah, that's what I thought. The build.prop setting. I'm not sure that would be good for the end user. It kills all the metrics we rely on when designing our apps... Small touch targets, weird analytics. It's a hack, and I think I prefer leaving it to pro and rooted users.

            I know it has its uses, but...

          • RajivSK

            Yeah I agree, it's not the solution. Giving GEL the native option of scaling the icons and setting rows and columns shouldn't be too hard though.. Setting those values and maybe one or two gestures for opening the notification shade and quick settings is all I need from any launcher really.

    • Blendi Krasniqi

      It looks horrible on my nexus 4, 4.3 too.

      • Walkop

        Am I the only one who likes the large icons?

        Not that I have bad eyes. I have good close vision. They just are much easier to pick out and see, especially in the app drawer.

        • CerealFTW

          I agree. 5x5 feels cluttered. New app drawer is perfect imo

        • NBM

          I definitely liked 5x5 on my Nexus 4 and I definitely like 4x5 on my Nexus 5

    • Ash

      I love the larger icons, and in fact I specifically paid for Nova because the tiny icons on Android drove me crazy. So much empty, wasted space between each icon. What's the point of a 1080p display if my icons are the size of tic tacs?

      • NathanDrago

        So you can see more of the background.

      • RajivSK

        Well, so you can fit more of them on a screen and be more efficient. I'm using GEP right now but I can't see myself using it for very long as I used to have tiny icons and loads of rows and columns. I'd say a 1080p screen is ONLY more useful if you actually make use of the extra space. Right now, it's just a bit prettier, in which I'm not very interested.

    • David Sousa

      It looks like they are on low resolution because they ARE on low resolution. >400 DPI devices may use so called XXXHDPI icons for the launcher. Sadly, only some apps provide XXHDPI launcher icons, let alone the required densityfor the N5.

      • dsp4

        I don't think that's the reason.

        I tried adding one of my clients web app which I know has a 1024x1024 icon, and it still looks blurry. Even Google's apps icons like Chrome look blurry. Also, comparing my homescreen to a native Nexus 5 screenshot, the icons look way sharper on the Nexus 5, even when scaling down the screenshot to 1280x720.

        Something else is probably causing the blurryness, like icons not being cached at the right size.

  • SickoPsycho

    I don't see the option "I didn't wait for Google- I used the apks I snagged off AP and already run it on my Galaxy Nexus"

    • Dave Molina

      I did the same thing! :D

    • George Av

      I know right? why can't AP polls have that option when it comes to apps!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Christian T


      • Michael Lee


    • Charles Miller

      Me 2!

    • Jeremy Powers

      Did the same but on my HTC One S

      • sibu

        And it worked? Because it doesn't on my One S.

        • Jeremy Powers

          Yes, However i am Running CM 10.2. I could not get it to run on my Fiancee's stock One S

    • Melissa Peterson

      I did the same, but on my HTC One.

    • Jaime

      I'm using it on a Galaxy S4, and is not even the Google play edition :-D

    • GeoffZoref

      haha me neither. I'm using the GEL right now. While I have beein using Atom launcher for a long time, and I'm still not sure that I won't switch back, but I just love sayings "okay Google."

  • Jonathan Grubbs

    I'm using it on my GS4, like it so far.

  • Mike M

    I am using gel on my nexus 4 when in the car.

  • briankariu

    Wait wait AP. Do you know something we don't know?

    • nicereddy

      AP has released the APK for the GEL and it works on all Android devices with 4.1+. Why optimize for so many different devices and screen sizes if they weren't going to release it for those devices?

  • Victor Loureiro

    Only if I can pick the middle home screen to be the main, as it is today.

    • pfmiller

      Yup, having to start on the left is ridiculous, makes accessing other screens so much less convenient. Basically they just need to get rid of the redundant Google now screen and let us add additional screens to both ends.

  • Luke Kallam

    On the Galaxy Note 3, I'd say they'd have to adjust the DPI in order for me to keep using it. The icons are pretty big, and it kind of looks ridiculous, but if they did that then sure, I'd probably use it

  • Willie D

    GEL is annoying and very iPhone iOS6-esque. Its not intuitive, counter productive, and the Google Now is being force fed like no other. I liken GEL to Facebook Home. Could be useful if I could customize it.

    • epsiblivion

      yes. the reordering of default home to the leftmost is the most irritating. as well as not remember where you were in the app drawer.

  • bondx99

    I hope they release it soon and get over it..coz after that google search update, my phone always prompt me to select default launcher every time i hit home button no matter how much time i set nova as default. i only have nova and touchwiz. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Willie D

      Go into Settings in Android. See HOME. Tap that and select NOVA. It will remain your launcher until you change it back to GEL

  • godutch

    I am using it on my n7 but I won't on my HTC One, I would miss blinkfeed too much

    • Patrick Zachar

      I did this move on HTC One and I am not regretting in, as much as I love Blinkfeed, I didn't use it that much compared to Google Now. It's kinda obvious that Google did get inspired by Sense 5 which is great! Apart from the massive icons, Google Experience launcher is probably the best one out there.

  • Deeco

    GEL has nothing over Nova!

    • Matt

      Well, it has the left swipe and the "Ok Google" response. I'm hoping if GEL is released in the Play Store, parts of it are open source or can be interacted with by other launchers to emulate said functionality. That's probably wishful thinking, but a man can dream...

      • pfmiller

        Parts of it are open source, just not the parts you want. Google now and voice recognition rely on Google's servers and so will never be open sourced.

  • creator78

    Running it on my vzw G2 I like it

  • Dave Molina

    I sideloaded it on my GSM GNex - love the new look and using Google Now with it is so much faster

  • Ivan Myring

    Depends what the final version of the KitKat Nova launcher is like.

  • cr0wnest

    At most I'll spend a minute or two fiddling around with it before I install Nova.

  • johnnievegas

    Can't live without the easy access of apps of Action Launcher Pro...

    • majorsquirrel

      Same here, Covers is the single best innovation ever, that's all I use! I barely go into the 'app drawer'

  • Sam Hollis

    Did anyone else take a huge battery hit when they used it on other devices? I had to uninstall it because it literally cut my battery life in half on both my 2013 Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus.

  • Taylor

    No, I just flashed a KitKat ROM on my GS4 instead.

  • bondx99

    No matter where i go..i always come back to Nova!..Customization is a boss on Nova!..for eg i have assigned swipe up action to my "all apps" button to open T9 app dialer..and voila..have 200+ apps but rarely go in app drawer!..I dont think GEL will provide that kind of flexibility..!

    • http://shanked.me/ Shank

      T9 has a widget for that?

      • smeddy

        On Nova you can assign swipe gestures to icons

    • br_hermon

      This. (Except it's Apex for me) gestures, swipes, scrollable icon tray and vertical, customizable app drawer. I might love all those features too much to give them up.

      • i2ollingstone

        Same for me with the apex gestures. Can't give em up but the black notification bar and navigation bar are starting to bother me. Am I missing a setting in apex to make them transparent like the GEL or do we have to put up with that for a little bit longer?

        • SamLehman617

          You need 4.4 for that. APIs were introduced allowing 3rd-party apps to have transparent status and navigation bars. I'm sure Nova and Apex will both include them soon. They may already have in beta versions!

          • Jason Brown

            It is in the Nova beta

  • D’orhk!

    Well, too late. I've already moved over to Nexus-only devices.

  • hp420

    I'm sticking with all stock Google products this time around. I may even forego paranoid android this generation and just use xposed to get hybrid mode and all the other features I want. I've already started by switching from Apex to GEL ;)

  • raddacle

    The last update to Google Search disabled the "Ok Google" function for me on my GNex. As well, the languages now shows an update but when I select it shows its starting to download but then the notification immediately disappears.

  • anon

    Typos: Nexus 5*'s "Google Experience" launcher. All you need to get it working is the launcher app pulled from the Nexus 5*

  • César Augusto Ramírez Franco

    "...all the necessary bits for the Nexus 4's "Google Experience" launcher." I think you meant Nexus 5's GEL... but yeah, I'm already using it on my Nexus 4 with Stock KitKat :)

  • DiamondAvatar

    I'm so tired of HTC Sense 4+ on my HTC One S.

  • CBNforum

    I am already running it on the Note 3.. I love it.

  • Tejas Karandikar

    Nova is awesome and has already incorporated most of the features and has way more customization....So no chance of using GEL

  • itched

    When they allow users to change the default home screen (ie screen 3 as default) I'll use it. Right now it feels too much like iOS for me to use.

  • Sizzers

    Undoubtedly I would have a look out of idle curiosity but no
    more than that.

    Nothing gives me the customisation of Nova Prime and its as quick,
    clean, and simple as it gets. Apart from a small digital clock and a tiny
    digital battery meter, my home screen is literally a simple wallpaper: all
    thanks to Nova.

    I also use a side launcher and rarely – if ever – do I have to leave my home screen, so very happy!!

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    I enjoy the GEL(on my SGS2). Together with the Google now improvements and it's ease of access it became much easier for me to keep track of this stuff.

    However problem is that the launcher looks quite cropped up, the font looks like it has been squashed together and there is fairly little space between icons(and thus, font). This is something that would have been expected since the launcher was design for a different screen(size).

    I also think the launcher is lacking options, and althought that isn't really a problem this is a part where other launchers excel at.

  • George Bakos

    I am already using it on my nexus 4 after updating it to 4.4

  • Android Developer

    I suppose other launchers like Nova launcher and Apex launcher will use the best things of the Google launcher, so because they have more features, there is no reason to use the one of Google.
    It could be a nice alternative for some people though.

  • Darrien Glasser

    It creates an insane amount of wakelocks, there isn't a chance I'll use it. Trebuchet, Launcher3, Nova or Sense Launcher it will havto be for me.

  • Rahul Hussain

    If Google now could be accessed in nova launcher

  • Derail Doax

    Trying it out I wasn't thrilled with the 4x4 icon layout for the desktop. I tend to run with a 5x5 layout on my Note 3 otherwise there's too much wasted space.

  • Kingu Prima

    Release first the OTA KitKat update for Nexus4, it would be a good start :D

  • raj

    I tried GEL on HTC One sense 4.2.2 ROM and the only thing that bugged me was the lag while sliding left from home screen to Google now.

  • pickle

    Got it and like it.

  • Alex Blair

    Using the GEL on my Nexus 10, Action Launcher Pro on my phone, love the beta widget sidebar and shutters, not sure if I can give that up

  • Ryan Stewart

    Got the apk and have been running it for a while. I like it

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    I wish they would, for others sake, but for me i have Nova, i hate the big icons on GEL.

  • mauric

    Where is the

    *already using it* option?

  • Bongani Sithole

    I'm already using it on nexus 4., problem is transparency is only on home screen. As soon as u switch to an app. Black is back.

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    I am already using it on my N4 and 7.

  • Johnny Clark

    All I want is Google Now always listening feature....is there a way to get rid of the search bar?

  • RL010

    No, tried it and didn't like it. Gonna stick with Nova launcher

    • Testraindrop

      Same here

  • Justin W

    I'm on a Note 3 with Touchwiz... Of course I'm switching to GEL.

    Wait, I already did that with the ripped APK from last week.

  • http://www.dastardlyreport.com ryaninc

    I have a Nexus 5 and I'm not using the Google Launcher. I actually really like it, but now that Nova has transparencies, the GEL isn't quite as special. I'd probably use it, but it doesn't have one feature I like in custom launchers...hiding icons. Without that, the app drawer just becomes so amazingly cluttered with extra icons for live wallpapers, settings, etc. I really like being able to pick a list to hide and GEL doesn't offer that.

  • GreyCelt_PDX

    Yeah, you forgot one option... I'm already using it on all my devices!

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio royblumenthal

    I'm ultra happy with APEX launcher on my Note 2.

  • Ray

    Nope. I've got the Nexus 5 and still don't use it. Basically no customisation what so ever. Limited to 16 apps per folder. No infinite scroll. No additional dock icons. No way to change the grid size, no way to hide the dock. List goes on...

    I'll be sticking with Nova Launcher Prime at this stage.

  • Steven Z

    Tough to say for me. I do love me some Aviate but it was getting a little stale...

  • Humberto Hernandez

    No, i want to been able to change icons, apply themes, icon packs, change the gird of the screen, the borders, etc.

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    i voted for "try it and see" because that exactly what i did when AP released the downloads.

    I like it, the left most screen being google now is great as is the always on voice search but nova has spoiled me, the amount of rows/columns of icons is to small i dont like have google search bar take up half the screen on every screen etc, i switched back to nova signed up to their beta and used nova and aokp to simulate basically everything kitkat with my own customisations, only thing im missing is the google now as the left screen which is a bummer but really its only a swipe up anyway

  • truepopo

    god no...........Nova prime all the way....huge icons is awful looking

    • ithehappy

      This. I am an Apex user too.

  • PainToad

    I see no advantage over Nova?

  • Chris P

    Action Launcher doesn't roll well with screens under 4.5"... at least, I'm not used to it on smaller screens. So I'm using GEL on my Optimus 2X until the auction on my Xperia T closes (and I get a Nexus 5 if it sells, or go back to the T a little longer if it doesn't). No navbar (thus no swipe-up-for-Google) makes swipe-left-for-Google much more useful.

    Sure, there's the dedicated search button, but I bound that to torch and (legacy) menu. The (legacy) menu button is recent apps, AS IT SHOULD BE.

  • Flint_PS

    It's nice on my N7, but on my N4 I prefer Action Launcher. I just love what it does to my homescreen. I hope it gets an update soon that will make the bars transparent - it will go great with those!

  • Cryosx

    Needs a way to hide apps in the app drawer along with folder in the app drawer.

  • Cort

    Use the launcher on my Samsung S4 Google edition. I loveit. I find that I use Google now much more now. Just wish that it had a always listening like moto x

  • Leif Sikorski

    No, because I'm missing a few things which costs time in the daily usage. At the moment I would prefer even the Touchwiz Launcher compared to GEL.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    I probably would have but considering I had to get the beta of Nova Launcher to get the look on my Nexus 7 I'd probably stick with that. I like the icon packs.

  • miri

    It's quite nice on my Galaxy Nexus, but it's a bit slower than I'd like on my Nexus 7. Might hold off for the "official release" or at least until the next update to the Search app.

  • Tim Harper

    Maybe someone can enlighten me. I don't see that there is much functional improvement from the old launcher, aside from being integrated into the search app. What's all the hype about with this launcher?

    • Tim242

      Nothing but Google drooling fanboy hype. Nova Prime, or any third party launcher is much better

  • IceCube

    I already use it on my note 3

  • Qwijibo

    If I could just remove stuff from the App Drawer that I already have on my Home Screen (of which, I only ever use one), then maybe I'd use it. But combine that with the fact that I rarely use Google Now for anything other than the weather, I have little reason to stick with it.

    • Tim242

      I do that exact same thing! One homecreen, gestures, and hidden redundant apps FTW!

  • NickyA

    I have it on my N5 and I find it quite useless

  • Tough guy

    I disabled it since i received the latest update that enabled some cards in my country. It's a massive battery drainer, i have wakelocks all the time by google services and location repoting, they need to fix this asap.

  • ithehappy

    Meaningless launcher, I am not a fanboy of anything, so no thanks I won't be using anything that comes with a logo.

  • Christopher Woodward

    Currently running this on my Note 2 so far so good. Stay thirsty friends!

    • Christopher Woodward

      Stock note 2 I should say. Also still get the pages for the s pen, headphones,etc.. in notification bar.

  • fallon

    I don't like this. Google's main features such as the launcher should be released into aosp. By keeping core apps closed source android will lose its only big advantage over apple and Microsoft. :(
    Hopefully Ubuntu touch, Firefox and sailfish will become what android was

    • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

      Here we go again.... do try searching - Launcher3 which is what the Nexus5 (GEL) launcher is based on *IS* open source and *IS* in AOSP. Launcher2 which was the Jellybean launcher is ALSO in AOSP.

  • abobobilly

    Hell yeah i'll use it. Heck i "have" been using it ever since AP posted the APKs here. What a pleasure.

  • Todd Yates

    I have it running on the N5, N7 (2013) and N10. It's a bit janky on the latter, definitely hasn't been properly tested or optimised on that device. Scrolling is a little jerky and there are some graphical issues with widgets plus a giant white box that appears whenever you switch between pages. On the N7, though, it's perfect. And on the N5, of course.


    The only thing i wish is that have widgets overlap and grid size option

  • http://penissizemen.blogspot.com/ rimsha cute

    yes ,surely

  • Narciso Neto

    I'm already using it on my Tab 2 7.0 running KitKat, loving it! Hope they release it officially on PlayStore

  • psychoace

    WRONG!!!! This does not work on all Jelly Bean phones. There are a few of us that can't get this working after installing the new Google search apk. So your mileage still may vary.

    • Giacu Truss

      yeah, I still can't use it on my LG Optimus 4X... keeps crashing

  • Björn Lundén

    The GoogleHome app is nothing more than a few lines of code that starts the activity in the Search app.

    The bigger icons would stop me from using it. I find it just looks bad and it makes it much more likely to show me slightly blurry upscaled icons because few developers include xxxhdpi launcher icons in their app. The bigger icons are implemented like on tablets where it uses the icons from one density-bucket up, ie. an xxhdpi device will use xxxhdpi launcher icons.

  • Stuart Anderson

    I switched back to Nova on my N5, so no.

  • Gordon Lutz

    What else would even compare? GEL is incredible!!

    • Tim242

      Are you joking? Nova offers customization.

  • BoB1673

    if they gave you the options to make the icons smaller YES i would

  • Rob Johnson

    I'd be using it already if I could get the damn thing to work!

  • Andrew

    I would use the stock launcher if it supports icon packs because I can't stand the inconsistency of standard android icons.

  • MrWicket

    been using it all week (thanks AP) and I definitely would. I think I'll try the stock launcher again under KitKat though for comparison purposes but I really like the GEL launcher and would switch back to it official on the Play Store or not.

  • Leandro

    I don't see the option "Thanks to Sony I'm still on ICS".

  • http://www.facebook.com/aarontrevor Aaron Sentell

    Already using it.

    • Tim242

      Aaron...Nova Prime is so much better! : )

  • Hector Diaz

    Luv the new launcher. Already using it on my nexus 7 2012 running KitKat an my Huawei P6 running 4.2.2

  • smeddy

    For me, the competition isn't OEM skins, but Nova.

  • nxtiak

    Stock Launer only supports 16 apps in a folder. Pathetic. Even Apple fixed theirs to support more apps in folders.

    • Jsilvermist

      This, no folders in app drawer (Or any kind of sorting at all), and in ability to change grid sizes are the main reasons I'm using Nova Prime.

      Nova beta already had transparency, with the last beta the transparency scales to the app drawer transparency properly too, so it's more than good enough for me; not that I would hate the option to have Google Now on my desktop though.

  • Rodrigo


    Don't like having no centered main screen, plus, Nexus 4 screen aspect asks for 5x5 grid in app drawer.

  • alexguitar

    No way I am enjoying Aviate way too much. Hands down my favorite launcher.

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    I use it on ,my Droid Maxx and wouldho like to have the transparent notification bar. Any tips on this?

    BTW, I like the look, the slightly larger icons and having 1 home screen with G N as a swipe

  • JoJo

    Other launchers are catching up big time and the beta stuff I'm seeing for my lovely Action Launcher looks splendid! Sorry GEL but my minimalistic self begs to differ especially since Google Now isn't a big part of my daily routines anyways.

    • Tim242

      I'm minimalistic as well. I use Nova Launcher Prime. My setup includes 1 homescreen, gestures, and hiding unnecessary apps in the app drawer. I hide the ones that are on my home screen and used in gestures

  • mustafa

    All I want it to do is allow me to make folders in the app menu, then I'll use it

  • Ryan

    I loaded it both on my 2012 Nexus 7 and GS4A and it runs really smoothly.

    My battery has taken a slight hit, especially on my phone where I use it more and it seems that every time I hold the back button to kill an app, it takes me to my Nova homescreen, where I have to hit the home button to take me to the GEL homescreen. Not a major thing, but it's weird.

    I've also noticed that sometimes the microphone icon on the search bar is hollow, rather than the solid white and it's then that I can't initiate GNow just by saying "OK, Google." I've checked and I still have an internet connection so I don't know what turns it off but it always eventually comes back on. I just wish it had the customization of Nova.

    tl;dr: Like it, but don't know if it's enough to pull me away from Nova.

  • Eric B

    I gave it a shot, but it doesn't compare to Nova Launcher features... I missed my full screen, hidden notification, gestures, etc. It didn't help that it seemed to lag more often than not on toroplus

  • Danie van der Merwe

    I side loaded it on my S4 with 4.3 and am enjoying its speed and integrated Google Now. Its also probably faster because it was kept simple with no dazzling animated options...

  • ellett

    After I tried it on my Nexus 5, I installed it on my family's Nexus 4 and Nexus 7s. The family is now GELed.

  • A Black UI is the best UI

    No because I used it and then uninstalled it within 5 minutes since every other launcher is better than that piece of rubbish.

  • Cesar

    Having already tried it, I'd have to say I'd stick with Nova launcher. GEL doesn't have some of the basic options I want in a launcher, like being able to choose which home screen is the main screen and hiding certain apps in the app drawer. The only thing I'm missing out on is the Google Now home screen integration, and I can live with that.

  • Karan O

    it looks good on my n7 but i can't ditch magnificent CLICK UI icon pack and action launcher on my s4 !

    • Jadephyre

      Hey, another Click UI user, funky :D
      Different launchers, but eh ;)

  • saf

    The launchers fine, but fuck Google Now. Either let the rest of the world use it properly, or keep the stupid leftmost panel US only.

  • GraveUypo

    hell no. there are launchers that have all the benefits plus more features, there's absolutely no reason to use it.

  • Markoff

    is there a way how to change density of icons, choose what grid I want, how many icons displayed vertically and horizontally? if launcher doesn't have such basic functionality I don't even bother to check other customization options (icon size, margins, managins number of screens, drawer styles etc. etc.)

    I don't really understand how can Google offer such crap compared to Apex/Nova launchers

  • aahmyu

    Im using it now on my nexus 7 v2 and it looks awesome... I like the stock experience of the 4.4 so ill be using it for a while...

  • Vikramaditya Rai

    Didn't even wait. Already running it on my 4.3 Nexus 4 with the apk provided by you guys!

  • Péter Szentkirályi

    No, because lacks basic customization functions I grew used to while using Nova Launcher: hiding apps from the drawer, resizing any widget, changing grid size, gestures, multiple dock pages, not to mention the horribly unintuitive way to create new home screens and that the default screen is always the one right next to Google Now and not in the middle how I like it. It also lags like crazy on my 2012 Nexus 7.

    So thanks Google, I'll stick with my Nova Prime :)

  • Fellwalker

    I don't use it on my nexus 5, as it is too intrusive. I use nova because it gives me 5 across on the home screen.

  • mohammad

    I already use GEL on both devices galaxy S II and galaxy S II Plus, it runs very well

  • ElectricPics

    Already using GEL on my Nexus 4 and it works perfectly after the latest Google Search update. OK, Google!

    • Tim242

      Saying OK Google to search sounds ridiculous. How hard is it to swipe up or over?

      • Andy Deeks

        It sounds fine to me when I'm driving and can't touch the screen. Even if I do have to use US english instead of proper english english, come on Google, give some love to the UK.

        • Tim242

          You have to pick the phone up and turn the screen on, in order for the voice activation to work. A simple swipe isn't going to send you to the ditch : )

          • Andy Deeks

            Not if I have it plugged in, mounted on the dash and the 'keep screen awake' setting toggled in dev options.

      • mjku

        It's one less action.

        • Tim242

          Speaking is an action : )

          • mjku

            Did I say it wasn't? When you swipe to Google Now, you still have to say "OK Google" or tap the mic icon to search. Being able to speak on the home screen removes the extra swipe action.

          • Tim242

            It has been a while since I have used Now, as I do not like talking to my device. But, on my S4, it automatically started listening upon launch. That may be in settings.

          • mjku

            Nope. It only does that if you tap the mic icon.

  • woj_tek

    no, I want to have ass little as possible to do with google as possible...

    • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Tony Sarju

      lol, you're using the wrong devices and are reading the wrong site then.

      • woj_tek

        I bought i9250 2 years ago (just when it came) and at that time I was very positive about google and android platform, but (especially recently) things deteriorated; however I'm not inclined to buy new device becase the old one still works and I can use it without relying on google stuff; and I'm here more and more ofthe simply by the force of habbit and less for the excitement of what google will break next, saddly :(

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I don't even use it on my 5. I tried. I really did. But after a few days I was so much slower on it than my heavily customized Apex Launcher. Then after Nova added transparency support I moved over.

    Sorry, Google. Great step forward, but I need MOAR POWAR.

  • randana

    Does anyone else experiencing severe battery drain with gel? My nexus 7 discharged from 100 to 20 overnight

    • Jadephyre

      That is much more likely due to a rogue app than the fault of GEL.

  • slovenec88

    I will still use Nova Launcher with KitKat features, because it has backup / restore options.

  • Ezio

    Nova is perfect.

  • Jadephyre

    Nah, permanent use is out of the question really. It doesn't give me the customizations I need. For the time being I switched to Nova Prime until Apex Pro is updated to support at the very least the new transparency feature (which is a matter of some concern, since there have been no updates to Apex for three months, and their other product, Fancy Widgets hasn't been updated in over a year now).

  • http://kawangeek.com/ EddyGeek

    Most Aviate user dont give a shit toward GEL features.

  • Alex Constantinides

    I used GEL on 4.3 on my Nexus 4 already since it was available to get via downloading the APK's, when I upgrade to 4.4 (Whenever they release the OTA updates) I'll still use GEL.

  • saltyzip

    I tried GEL on both my N4 and N7 and although the launcher is much better than the original android home, it doesn't have the functionality to backup my homescreen and lock it from changes, which the nova launcher allows. The backup of my home screen is critical to me as it enables me to upgrade my phone with ease, so I don't have to spend ages setting up my home screen again. Google really need to provide an option to seamless sync your homescreen environment, at least between Nexus phones and tablets. Android customisation is great, but moving between Nexus phones causes you to have re-create your homescreen from scratch, unless you use something like nova launcher.

  • Jose Marie Maquinay

    Using it, and loving it! Home screen voice commands FTW!

    SGN2 stock JB

    • Tim242

      Wouldn't you rather swipe up for Now and have customization?

  • Tim242

    Not enough customization. Nova should be the GEL

  • Rovex

    When I got my N5 as soon as I realised the Google search bar was not removable from the top of every screen, I installed Nova. Putting it on every screen, at the top, and not allowing us to remove it is a total fail.
    Why at the TOP? At the bottom I could just about handle. Its a huge waste of space, along with the page indicator at the bottom. When will Google, and OEMs realise that with HD screens 5x4 icon grids are a minimum.

  • robogo

    No. Going to stick to LG UI. It's actually quite good. :)

  • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Tony Sarju

    I'm going to use it until Nova matures some more for 4.4 and then maybe I'll switch back to get some of the customization again.

  • Nicholas Smith

    nova nova nova prime

  • mjku

    I don't know. Switching to the 'Now' screen is pretty sluggish. It's definitely not optimized for large tablets, either. Using it on my Nexus 10 is a horrible, horrible experience. The very, very slow animations (if you don't fling it 100mph) is a godawful experience, and goes against their very own talks on the subject (keeping animations short). This aspect of it isn't noticeable on a phone or even a small 7" tablet, but it's a giant festering sore on the Nexus 10. It's laggy as hell switching to 'Now' screen on the Nexus 10 also.

  • ddpacino

    Already got it on my N4. Won't use anything else. I like the big icons, the way the screens are added/removed, the wallpaper/widget picker, and Google Now just to the left. If anything else duplicates this, then I'm all ears.

  • tokuiten

    I'll stick with Nova.


    I have a rooted V GNEX, w/CM10.2. sideloaded GEL and Search. I AM LOVING IT. I don't notice to much of a battery drain except the fact I use the search even more. Cant wait for my MOTO X to come. I want and like that always on search feature.

  • cwilson617

    I'm running it on my Note 3.

  • http://www.mayura4ever.com/ Mayura De Silva

    Like it on my GNex, except for bigger icons.

    • unsivilaudio

      PA AOSP can fix that. :)

      • http://www.mayura4ever.com/ Mayura De Silva

        They have a 4.4 build?

        • unsivilaudio

          GEL is 4.1.2+ and any PA build with the per/app dpi settings can scale the app either way for you.

          • http://www.mayura4ever.com/ Mayura De Silva

            Thanks mate ;) I'm gonna try PA out.

  • Xavier Davis

    already running on my Note 3 and Nexus 7 OG

  • RTWright

    I have it, tried it, don't like it, will not use it. Nova, Apex even TSF Shell and Go have more customization than GEL does. I use Nova primarily, but I've used almost every launcher that has ever been made on Android, because I love to test them out. I always come back to Nova or Apex, no one can hold a card to them at this point. You can set your screens up to match their use in a theme based way ( Like all Music related apps on one screen, Business, Travel, General Use, etc.... All have their own screens ). Same with Drawers and Folders. Google has yet to get that part right ever. They're too busy assuming they know everything that everyone wants and needs....

  • unsivilaudio

    Where's the option for "Yes, I'm using it currently." Also I feel like support for 4.1.2+ includes most devices already. I'm actually surprised they have not pushed the launcher app to the store.

  • Avri Roth

    I really wish they would let 3rd part launchers incorporate google now and the hotword recognition.

  • Ben Lutgens

    It's not a great launcher. I'm using it, side-loaded on my Note3 it's nothing special. Folders are limited in size, organizing your apps in them is a huge pain. It lacks any handy additional features. It's just... meh.

  • guidomus_maximus

    Not sure what the point of GEL is. (please don't give me the pure google nonsense) Not only would I not put it on my devices, as soon as 4.4 app updates slow down in the play store, I'm jumping to a decent launcher on my Nexus 5 too. I like Go, but it has had some flakey updates in the past.

  • Gator352


  • artsr2002

    Nope. Missing too many features I like from other launchers. Thanks

  • SamLehman617

    I bought the Nexus 5, but I'm gonna use Nova when it integrates more of the features from GEL. I love the changes made to the 4.4 launcher, but I love the customization options in Nova. I don't know if I could live without the swipe gestures, grid settings, and scrolling dock. I do craze the transparent status and navigation bars and the voice search features though. I really hope the developer of Nova is able to integrate them both.

  • eagspoo

    Google not providing gel to nexus 4 is total bullshit. WTF google?

  • RB

    I'm using GEL on my n4 with 4.4 onboard."ok google" works fine,but when I use it once or twice the ok google command disappears from the google search window....any specific reason for this ?