The moment all of us Android fans have been waiting for is here…kind of. We are talking about the new Lollipop-styled version of the Google Now Launcher, and lets just get this out of the way, it’s beautiful. The Google Search app update for Android Lollipop goes hand-in-hand with this and brings a Lollipop-style redesign to Google Now as well, both the new Google Now Launcher and Google Search app are a perfect combination. Both of these updates were included in the new developer preview build of Android 5.0 Lollipop that Google released to developers this morning, it didn’t take long for people to snag the SDK to both of these updated apps and post them online.
Don’t get too excited yet folks, if you want the updated Google Now Launcher and Google Search app on your device it is going to take a little more work than just sideloading the APK. The reason we say this is because the updated Google Search app doesn’t play nicely with devices not running Android 5.0, unless that device is rooted. Anybody can sideload the updated Google Search app onto their device but once it is installed it will crash frequently and consistently, making it unusable. Fortunately there is a solution for both rooted and non-rooted users.
Alright, so here is how to get the updated Google Search app onto your device and working correctly. The first thing you are going to want to do is download the APK of the app by going here, once you have it downloaded make sure you also extract the files from the .zip file to your device. Then, after you have the updated app actually installed on your device you will notice the very prevalent issue of constant force closing, power through them and go to the Google Settings app and disable “Okay Google” if you are on a non-rooted device. Doing this should stop the force closing issue and get thinks working properly. As for rooted users, there is a slightly more complicated process that will allow you to actually keep “Okay Google” enabled and still have everything work properly. What you have to do is back up your current libgoogle_hotword_jni.so file (found in /system/lib) and replace it with the new lib file included in the .zip file you downloaded earlier. The new Google Search and Google Now Launcher apps are simply beautiful and add Material design to Google Now, the launcher as well as Google Settings. Let us know what you guys think of it if you get it working on your device.