A few weeks ago, there was a lot of news surrounding the launcher that would be on the upcoming Nexus devices. This launcher, of course, was leaked out before the rumor that Google was getting rid of the Nexus branding and going for Pixel instead. Today, the Pixel Launcher debuted in a few leaks, and now the APK is out and available for users to download. We have the APK down at the bottom of this post, for those that are brave enough to install it, along with the Wallpaper picker APK which is also needed. Keep in mind that this launcher is definitely not finished, and may have some issues with your smartphone, as it was built specifically for these HTC built smartphones that Google is planning to unveil next month.
Installing the Pixel Launcher, there doesn't appear to be much new or different here. You still have the swipe-up gesture to reveal the app drawer. Along with the Google button on the left side of the home screen and the date on the right side. Long-press on the home screen, and you can jump into the very limited set of settings for the Pixel Launcher. Which includes the App Suggestions, Show Google App and Allow Home Screen Rotation. There will likely be more available in the final version of the launcher that will ship on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones later this year.
This does work on smartphones that are not running Nougat, as we successfully were able to get it running on a number of devices that were running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. So it does appear to be backwards compatible, at least for now. To install it, simply download the APK from the link below. Then go into Settings > Security and make sure that "Unknown Sources" is selected. Afterwards, just select the file you downloaded and it should begin to side-load the launcher onto your smartphone. If you have the Nexus launcher installed already, it will install over that launcher. To set it as your launcher, you'll need to go into your device's settings and make it the default launcher (this depends on device, but is normally under Settings and then Home).