Google Is Bringing A Pixel-Style Launcher To Android One

Google is bringing a Pixel-style launcher to Android One devices and the Y!Mobile S2 will be the first device to receive the launcher redesign. For other Android One users with a different device type, this isn't just a small patch with the new launcher design included, it's actually part of the software update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, so once that comes through then the Pixel-style launcher will be included. As this is not the actual Pixel Launcher, not all of the elements of the pixel's unique launcher will be present, rather the new design is just that, a new design that takes on some of the visual traits of what can be seen on the Pixel phone.

Some of those traits are more obvious than others, such as the arrow that you tap and drag up from to open up the app drawer instead of just tapping on the app drawer button, as well as the redesigned folders for the home screen. It will also include the new opaque overlay that sits on top of the app dock at the bottom of the main home screen page, and perhaps not as noticeable will be the slightly lower placement of the Google Search bar widget that can usually be found at the top.

This is where Android One devices will deviate a bit from what the Pixel Launcher includes. Where the Pixel and Pixel XL have the Google app button towards the top left corner that opens a search when tapped and takes you to the Google app home screen page when you swipe in from the left edge, the new launcher on Android One devices will still carry the standard Google Search bar widget. Another benefit to this new launcher is that since it lacks the app drawer button there is extra space to add another app shortcut to the dock, taking things from four app shortcuts to a total of five. The app drawer has also been tweaked and reacts just as it does on the Pixel, where you can swipe down from the top of the drawer to close it and go back to the home screen, and users can now choose to restart their phones by holding down the power button. The update started last Friday on March 24th, so any users of the Y!Mobile S2 who haven't yet received it can always check manually to see if it's available.

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Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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