In what could be considered a strange turn of events, Google has apparently updated its Google Now Launcher application to make it incompatible with a huge variety of popular devices. For those who may not already be aware, this would be the official launcher replacement app Google released a few years back. Its primary purpose is to provide a pure Android experience similar to what can be found with the company’s Pixel-branded handsets. That made it a very popular application among Google enthusiasts and developers who wanted to create a near stock experience based on the launcher. Lean Launcher, for example, is a near carbon copy of the app with extra customization options.
Some devices that are reportedly confirmed to no longer be supported are the Google Pixel 2, LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S9, and HTC U11. At least one device, the BlackBerry KEYone, is said to still be working with the launcher, but there’s no way of knowing whether it will continue to with subsequent updates. In fact, there’s some speculation that this marks the end-of-life cycle for the application. It’s worth pointing out that isn’t necessarily the case and Google could actually have plans for a new launcher replacement. The former of those prospects is made all the more intriguing by the fact that Google’s I/O 2018 event takes place in just a few days. Although it’s probably a good idea to take that thought with a grain of salt, it wouldn’t be unusual to see this type of app launched there.
It bears repeating at this point that the sudden incompatibility does not necessarily herald the end of support for Google Now Launcher. There are a number of reasons this could have happened and that’s really just one possibility. For example, it is not unheard of for Google to accidentally tweak the wrong piece of code in an app. That could feasibly result in this kind of an issue or a plethora of other ones. Whatever the case, downloading the app is currently out of the question for a number of devices. Anybody interested can check to see if it is still compatible with their own devices via the button below.