A Google Search update is usually an occasion to celebrate – not only do we get new Google Now cards, but the Google Now Launcher can also be augmented with new features and tweaks. But all was not well when Google Search 3.4 rolled out. Users of the popular Xposed GEL Settings Module (XGELS) found that it no longer worked. The developer was pessimistic at first, but now it's back.

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Google opted to obfuscate much of the Search APK in the v3.4 update, for whatever reason. This meant the Xposed module couldn't latch onto the Google Now Launcher to do its thing. It took some work, but developer theknut has managed to get XGELS completely functional on the new update.

This is still at the beta stage, so you'll have to grab the installer from XDA, but XGELS will presumably be updated in Google Play if all goes as planned. Keep in mind, Google doesn't update its apps with specific allowances for third-party Xposed hacks – you have to expect things are going to break sometimes.

Update 5/8/14: The Play Store version has now been updated as well.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • James_C_L

    Where do you find the latest Gel launcher of its not compatible with your device? Gnote 3 running 4.4.2

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Search for it within Xposed.

    • Josh Phillips

      Just get the stub launcher app from AP. Do a search for google experience launcher to find it easily. If you have Google Search installed (which you do) you already have the launcher. You just need the apk to use it. I've been rocking GEL on my Note 3 forever... XGELS makes it soooo much better though. That is a big screen for a 4x4 grid.

      • James_C_L

        Yup. I'm using Nova now with a 9x7 grid

      • RTWright

        I actually can't stand GEL, I'm more in favor of Nova and Apex. Far more customization than GEL. Though I do admit I've never seen or used XGELS. I'll have to go read up on that.

  • br_hermon

    I've run custom launchers for as long as I can remember. I'm currently using Apex but was surprised to see just how much customization XGELS offers. I'm actually considering making the switch. I just wish they'd allow vertical scrolling in the app drawer instead of that awful horizontal card scrolling. And allow Tasker Tasks to be selected for gesture motions.

    • emma852

      my Aunty Amelia got a new blue Land Rover
      LR4 only from working part time off a home computer... helpful hints F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

    • rolo143

      Can you categorize apps like in Nova Launcher, for example apps and games? I wanna try this, but Nova offers a lot of customization I'm pretty sure no other launcher can offer.

      • br_hermon

        I can categorize apps in Apex. In GEL with Xposed? No, I don't believe.

        Of course you can create folders... Effectively does the same thing but isn't the same technically.

      • RTWright

        Nova and Apex are like twins... They both do the exact same as the other, they're probably the only two launchers out there that are that close in design. There are very few minor differences in them. I've never used XGels though. I've used every launcher on the market practically, that's one of my favorite things to do is try out launchers.

        • rolo143

          I've tried many launchers too, and I always return to Nova. It's my favorite launcher, I think it offers a lot of customizations and it also has the stock look I love.

          • Ricardo A. Fragoso


        • Michael Berrios

          i havent tried nova or apex since 4.1 but arent they the same as adw ex also, which i still use.

          • ThatGuyzx

            ADW ex hasn't been updated in 10 months. It's missing KitKat related features & looks. Nothing big missing, but it's not really supported anymore. I advise giving the up-to-date launchers another look, especially since many updates in the past year were performance based.

  • Arthur Dent

    My cousin's mother's friend got a OnePlus One invite just by working a few hours a week from home on the internet. Now people beg and throw money at her for invites. http://www.retardedinvitesystem .com

    • Robert


    • A2theC

      So, what you're saying is, you cannot stay on topic with the one single post you have?

      Oh BTW, I have athletes foot and my dogs have good breathe after I give them cookies, the brand of the cookies are costco if you wanted them, taste good to humans too I may even forgo brushing my teeth LOL

      EDIT: It seems you have a relevant response and it got changed after the fact, might want to look into changing your password, or however you log into discus.

      • Arthur Dent

        LOL WTF?

        • RTWright

          Sit and spin man, sit and spin! Spammer!

          • Arthur Dent


            It flew right over your head.

  • mobilemann

    This is great! Now if we could just get Google Search API working in 3.4 it would be worth upgrading too. (why isn't that on the front page, as it's fucking 20x more important than a launcher that has 10 alternatives.)

  • Socalnighter

    The last break disappeared the navigation bar on my cell phone and made me do a factory reset to get it back. I'm done with GEL and Xposed GEL, just not for me, after all Nova launcher is around so why bother.

    • mobilemann

      GEL is faster than nova or apex to me (was an avid apex user) And how did it make you factory reset? Why not xposed safe mode?

      • Socalnighter

        It wasn't any faster for me, the only thin I liked was the Google Now always listening to "OK, Google". I didn't know about the safe mode, but looked like it had deleted an internal file and there was no way to get the nav bar back which was making the phone useless.

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

    great news, im really enjoying the GEL/XGELS combo and really didnt want to go back to nova (not because its bad) now i dont have to

  • someone755

    XGELS doesn't look updated in the Xposed repo. :T

  • Josh Williamson

    I would love to use the GEL launcher with the xposed module but my problem is theres not option to change the folder limit size. Currently the limit is still 16 icons per folder.

    • hp420

      2 folders??

  • mustafa

    And what does XGELS do?

    • hp420

      Turns Google Now Launcher into a custom launcher, essentially, by adding new features and options we've all grown to expect from apex or nova, for example.

      • mustafa

        Do you need root for it?

        • Michael Carlyle


  • Michael

    The only feature I love about GEL is the support fast left swipe to Google now. It's so fluid.

  • Barrett Jasper

    This is an amazing add on to GEL. You can't categorize apps and folders yet but the other functionality it offers is what made me switch from Apex. The OK Google anywhere is awesome as well as the customizable home screen dock and app drawer among a few. Simply a must try.

  • Jonathan Seymour

    This is awesome. How am only hearing about this app now? Make GEL almost perfect.