Pixel Launcher's Feature Set Brought To All Android Devices

Google's Pixel Launcher is now available with its full feature set intact for almost all devices, thanks to Redditor AmirZ. The app normally refuses to install from the Google Play Store on most non-Pixel devices and has a limited feature set when sideloaded without being converted into a system app, but AmirZ's version bypasses these limitations. AmirZ claims to have been inspired by the work that the Paranoid Android team has put into getting some of the launcher's exclusive features working on other handsets, and set out to do the same themselves by analyzing exactly how the features are enabled on eligible devices, then patching up a normal Launcher3 APK to include the new functionalities. This is not the first unofficial version of the Pixel Launcher to hit the Internet but is the most full-featured so far.

The new launcher is based on the AOSP Launcher3 rather than an APK of Pixel Launcher, but the package name has to match the Pixel Launcher's in order to use all of the features. The distinctive G Pill, the clock and weather widget, and the Google Now feed over on the far left panel are all working, and don't require root or installing the app as a system app or an administrator. Essentially, all of the Pixel Launcher features were hard-enabled, ripped out, and recoded into Launcher 3. The result is available for download through the source link below. Users who have the regular Pixel Launcher on their device, whether sideloaded or from the Play Store, will have to uninstall it in order to use this launcher. Those who are rooted and have the normal Pixel Launcher installed as a system app will have to get rid of it, as well, though they won't have to take any additional steps.

During the development cycle, AmirZ had to completely tear down Pixel Launcher to look at its compiled features. They ended up hearing about and teaming up with a developer by the handle of DeleteScape, who was working on a similar project that ended up going by the name of LawnChair. Like AmirZ's project, it is available on GitHub and is completely open source. Recent changes to AmirZ's launcher include a number of fixes and additions including the Pixel accent colors and tweaks to the swipe-up app drawer to avoid breaking scrolling widgets.

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Daniel Fuller

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Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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