Android Police

Articles Tagged:

pixel launcher

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Pixel 3's 'gesture' navigation and new multitasking UI can be disabled — but it'll cost you the Pixel Launcher

Google decided to change things up when it came to navigating around Android, starting with Pie. Although the new "gesture" system was an optional change for updated devices, it's a mandatory part of the Pixel 3 experience.  Thankfully for those that dislike Google's forced change to navigation — which has none of the space-saving advantages of iOS' gesture system — the folks at XDA have already figured out how to disable it, but you'll have to give up the Pixel Launcher.

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The Pixel Launcher from the Pixel 3 brings the Assistant button back, forces adaptive icons on all apps, and more [APK Download]

In Android P DP5, Google took away the voice icon that launched Assistant for some inexplicable reason. However, in numerous Pixel 3 leaks, we saw a new Assistant button in its place. Now that the Pixel 3 is in our hands, we're able to grab the APK and bring that button back to all of you.

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Rootless Pixel Launcher for non-Google devices hits Play Store as 'Rootless Launcher'

Discussion on the subject of home screen launchers can get downright tribal, but my recent favorite has been Amir Zaidi's "Rootless Pixel Launcher," a version of the Pixel-style Launcher3 ported for other devices. It was a bit annoying keeping it up to date, though, as updates had to be downloaded via his GitHub. Thankfully for the lazy, Amir Zaidi has just released his launcher under the new name "Rootless Launcher" to the Play Store. There's just one catch: for full Feed functionality, you'll also need the "Rootless Pixel Bridge" companion app — which the launcher can pull down for you.

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Pixel Shortcuts from Chris Lacy surfaces shortcuts to hidden apps, such as Digital Wellbeing

Sometimes you install an app on your phone then notice there's no direct way to launch it. This happens with launchers, which simply get triggered when you tap the Home button, and with other apps you use but don't need to access per se, such as keyboards. One newcomer in this hidden app category is Google's Digital Wellbeing, which started its beta on Android 9 Pie and hides inside your Android phone's settings menu. But what if you want to quickly access it? Now, there's an easy way to do so.

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Google has removed the option to reorder homescreens on Android P's default launchers

It's been years since I've used anything more than two homescreens on my Android devices, let alone tried to reorder any of them in different ways. However, if switching your screens around is something you're used to, prepare yourself for disappointment with Android P. The Pixel Launcher has removed the feature, and seemingly so has Launcher 3.

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The terrible Google Feed UI we all hoped would die is now rolling out to more people

Back in the spring, Google started testing a bubbly new interface for the ubiquitous content-promoting Feed. It was a confusing mixture of empty space and (still un-swipeable) cramped cards. The general reaction at the change could be accurately characterized as "revulsion" or "horror," but regardless of what our readers or we thought last time, Google has apparently decided to roll it out to a larger audience anyway.

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Manual toggle for dark and light launcher themes debuts in Android P DP4

Google introduced the dark launcher theme on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, eventually expanding it to the first gen Pixels with the Android 8.1 update. However, there was no way to change the theme manually—it was always based on the wallpaper. Google recently promised a toggle, and now it's here in the latest Android P preview.

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Pixel Launcher to get manual dark and light theme toggle in upcoming Android release

With the Pixel 2 release, Google enabled an automatic dark theme in the Pixel Launcher and quick settings. This was a bit of a half measure seeing as everyone has been begging Google for a dark system theme for years. Annoyingly, if you had a preference for the dark or light theme, you couldn't manually select it. That will change soon—possibly in the next Android P build.

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Android P's new Overview app switcher is part of the launcher

Android P DP2 introduced the very controversial gesture navigation during last week's Google I/O, and with it came a new interface for the app switcher (aka Overview or Recents). Instead of scrolling up and down to move between tiny cards of your open apps and swiping sideways to close them, you now scroll sideways between full snapshots of your open apps and swipe up to close one of them. One detail that slipped by us, though, is that this whole interface is now bundled with the Pixel Launcher, not the Android system.

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