Many of the new features in the second Android N dev preview have actually been additions or improvements to Google Now Launcher - we've had the controversial new folders and home screen / lock screen wallpaper options. Here's a third one, and it's a double whammy this time: pinch to overview on the home screen, instead of just long tapping, and finally some consistency when apps are dragged from the home screen or app drawer.

Pinch to overview works as you'd expect: a two finger pinch on any home screen shows the home screen overview, with wallpaper, widgets, and settings options at the bottom. This eliminates the need for a free piece of home screen if you wanted to get to the overview, which is great if you change wallpapers a lot (who? me?).

The other change is another 'finally:' the options when dragging and dropping apps are consistent. Previously, when dragging from the home screen the only options would be 'remove' (to remove an app from the home screen) or 'uninstall'. If dragged from the app drawer, 'remove' would be swapped out with 'app info'. As of the new Launcher on N, the options are consistent: when dragging from the app drawer, the options are 'cancel,' 'uninstall,' and 'app info' at the bottom. When dragging from the home screen, cancel is replaced by 'remove.' For stock apps, 'uninstall' is absent, of course.

Screenshot_20160415-121100 Screenshot_20160415-121128

Left: app dragged from the app drawer. Right: app dragged from the home screen.

So here are two more improvements to the Google Now Launcher. Once again, expect these to come to the Play Store version of Google Now Launcher at some point.

  • Thanks:
  • Kevin Barry and Fedor von Bock