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nexus launcher

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Pixel Launcher Sneak Peek Part 1: Google's new circular launcher icons [APK Teardown]

If there is anything you can count on to remain the same in Android, it's that Google is continually looking to change it. The visual style of the world's leading mobile operating system is updated every year as new versions are released, but it's with Google's own apps that there are almost constant shifts in what we're seeing. As we all know, Android 7.1 is in the works, and it's expected to be released alongside the upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which themselves will include a brand new (and much leaked) Pixel Launcher. For its latest daring design move, Google appears to be adopting a new look for the home screen, and it's all about circles.

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Pixel Launcher works with Google Calendar to show the correct date, changes some UI elements

It's been a few hours since the Pixel Launcher was leaked, and from the screenshots we saw initially, it didn't seem like much had changed in the name's transition from Nexus to Pixel. However, since downloads became available, we've discovered more and more subtle tweaks to the interface. Arguably the biggest change is the integration of the date into Google Calendar's icon.

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Grab the leaked new Pixel Launcher here [APK Download]

A few hours ago, LlabTooFeR tweeted out some screenshots of the launcher formerly known as the Nexus Launcher. On the surface, the Pixel Launcher looks nearly identical to the Nexus Launcher, save for an icon change and a version number change; however, we have a post in the works on some new integration between the Google Calendar icon in the app drawer and Pixel Launcher.

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The Nexus Launcher is being renamed Pixel Launcher, and it's not hard to figure out why

Following solid rumors that the next Google flagship smartphones will be designated Pixel and Pixel XL, we now have even more substantial evidence that the beloved Nexus nameplate will be retired. ROM developer LlabTooFeR has posted several screenshots of the rebadged launcher on Twitter.

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Latest Google App beta adds an animation for the Nexus Launcher's search button

If you're rocking the leaked Nexus Launcher on your device, you might have noticed at least one animation wasn't working. With the current release version of the Google Search APK, tapping on the search button brings up the search bar, but without the fluid animations we've come to expect from Material Design.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "does one animation really matter?" And the answer is always yes. Reddit user /u/parentskeepfindingme noticed that in the latest Google App beta, there's actually an animation! Here's a capture we took of that new animation.

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Action Launcher v3.9 beta includes features from the rumored Nexus Launcher

Developer Chris Lacy has been hard at work, it seems. Just a few days after we posted details of the upcoming Nexus Launcher for Google's devices, a new beta build of Action Launcher 3 is live with several features seen in that leak. This is all based on non-final software and the beta will have a few bugs, but you can give it a shot right now.

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The Nexus Launcher will probably not be an update to Google Now Launcher, but a standalone app

The APK for the new "Nexus Launcher" we detailed yesterday is now floating around the internet, but I've yet to see anyone point out one rather important detail about the whole thing: it doesn't replace Google Now Launcher when installed, but rather is clearly separate in name and branding. Going to the launcher picker with Nexus Launcher and Google Now Launcher installed, you can see both sport different logos and, obviously, names.

Now, this in and of itself is not direct confirmation of the Nexus Launcher being a standalone app, but it seems like a pretty decent bet to make. This leads us to another question: will the Nexus launcher only work on Nexus devices, or does Google plan to make "Nexus" a software branding?

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Exclusive: This is Google's new "Nexus Launcher" that may debut on the 2016 Nexus phones

According to multiple reliable sources, we believe that Google plans to debut a brand-new launcher for Nexus devices some time in the near future, likely on its 2016 Nexus (if they are Nexuses) smartphones Marlin and Sailfish.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.

We do not have possession of any APKs we can distribute or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.

Confidence level

We give this rumor a confidence level of 9 out of 10.

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