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How to install the new Google launcher and apps from Android 4.4 KitKat (keyboard, Hangouts, camera, wallpapers)

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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How to install the new Google launcher and apps from Android 4.4 KitKat (keyboard, Hangouts, camera, wallpapers)
The new Google Experience Launcher in Android 4.4 KitKat comes with a bunch of improvements over the previous stock version. There is a new color scheme, new icons, new default apps and new functionalities like the ability to evoke Google Now with a simply swipe gesture on the homescreen. 

Wallpapers go full screen now, and if you sport something like the Nexus 5, you will be able to call Voice Search directly from the homescreen by just speaking out "OK, Google". If you are interested to take it for a spin, here are the three APKs you have to download and install:

PreBuiltGmsCore (Google Play Services 4.0)
Velvet (Google Search)
GoogleHome (Google Launcher)

If Google Search force closes on you when you try to use it, try changing the search language, reboot, start the new launcher, then go back to the language of choice you had initially. Users are reporting the least troubles with this procedure on the Note 3, so if you are a lucky owner, you can give it a try.


As for the new Hangouts app that threads your IM, text and MMS messages together, the new 25% more accurate Google Now, the new keyboard with Emoji, the new Camera app and the wallpaper collection, click on the links below to get them:


source: Phandroid via XDA-Devs (GEL) & Phandroid (Hangouts v2)

50 Comments
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posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:48

1. NexusPhan (Posts: 420; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Works on Gnex and Nexus 4 FYI. Not sure about anything else, but I've heard good things across the board.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:57 1

2. Chris.P (Posts: 259; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Works okay-ish with the LG G2, too. Doesn't seem to work on the LG G Pro.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:08

3. a961009 (Posts: 114; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


Optimus LTE2 also does not work... maybe it's because my phone's android version is 4.1.2?

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:54

13. Shatter (Posts: 1996; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Works on my l9 and nexus 4.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 18:32

40. austinp (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)


how did you get the launcher to work on the l9? it says "sorry google search has stopped" when opening the launcher

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:11 1

4. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Works well on GS3 i9300 SlimBean 4.3.1 build 2

Also installed the new Google keyboard - it's awesome!! :)

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:20 2

5. anleoflippy (Posts: 251; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Working on the Xperia ZL.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:28

6. MrKharming (Posts: 8; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


The Launcher isnt working on the Moto HD , however Hangouts work great they just need to clean it up a lil bit .

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:53

7. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


no notceable dffrence for me :D
waiting for the new touchwiz and sense 6.0

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:26

8. ashisharbola (Posts: 61; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


everything working g8 :D

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:26

9. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


i'm not sure if im missing something, but the icons look pretty similar to me maybe a tiny change, but not much.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:31

10. khaledmh (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


Works fine on my HTC One

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:43

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7724; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Everything works but the Google Now Voice Search. I changed the language to Spanish (luckily I know how to speak it), rebooted, and changed it back to English. Didn't work at all. Anyone having the same problem?

T-Mobile (t999) Galaxy S3 LiquidSmooth v2.10 Android 4.3.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:49

12. lallolu (Posts: 229; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


Everything works fine on galaxy i9305 rXTREME rom

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:59

14. suneeboy (Posts: 154; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Just downloaded everything, but Google Search crashes. Now that I've switched and use the iPhone 5S as my daily driver, I can see how laggy my Nexus 4 actually is.

Hopefully the official KitKat update can fix this.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 10:42

15. jskates420 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Jun 2013)


Haha this guy,works flawless on my epic 4g touch which is older then the nexus 4.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 12:46

16. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)


So far hangouts and Google now keep force closing on my Note 3

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 07:08

34. MOH23 (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Nov 2013)


Yo Mr. White
For Google now u just have to change your language from english US to ENglish UK or some other. It crashes in English US.
Dont know about hangouts doesnt crash on my s4

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 12:56

17. bwhiting (Posts: 162; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)


The only thing I have a problem with is the Google Now search for voice still has problems with crashing on my Droid Ultra, anyone know the work around it for now?

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 12:58

18. hassoups (Posts: 281; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


This may sound crazy but the launcher actually launches apps twice as fast on my note 2

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 03:56

37. PhillipCabral (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


same here

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 13:01

19. pmg1997 (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


Google now works, but Home launcher is not working, keeps saying Google search is not working?. Maybe, has to do with Sony home launcher? Have not tried the other ones. BTW, I have a Sony xperia z.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 13:44

20. bwhiting (Posts: 162; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)


same here and I have a Droid Ultra, might just be that the Google Search is not meant for the phones yet at the moment. Just going to uninstall it and just wait for the whole thing to come out, the hangout, camera, google now is fine at the moment for me

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 14:38 1

21. nexusdude (Posts: 147; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)


Install PreBuildGmsCore, Velvet and Google Home and it should work.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 17:44

24. jaymrock (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


doesnt work for xperia z

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 13:22

42. bwhiting (Posts: 162; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)


Did the installations for it but the Google Search has problems with crashing when trying to do a voice search for something. I will try again to see if it can help with the fix but if not then I will just wait again for the actual build to come in.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 19:44

28. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 417; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


Same issue here with the Xperia S. Google Search crashes or something making Google Home unusable.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 14:40

22. Navaid (Posts: 46; Member since: 05 Sep 2013)


Will it support GB devices..?

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 21:07

32. yowanvista (Posts: 299; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Is this some kind of joke?

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 17:07

23. davenycept (Posts: 170; Member since: 03 Jul 2012)


Works fine on my stock S4 4.2.2

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 13:25

30. 14545 (Posts: 1100; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


What part? All of it? I'm thinking about updating the play services and search. But if the battery drain is worse i don't really want to.

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 07:13

35. MOH23 (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Nov 2013)


I've actually installed each and every one of those things as i hate samsung apps and i miss my stock apps from my previous phone which was a nexus. as of now i can say its all fine. The google search just change the voice language from english US cos that causes the app to crash. I'd strongly recommend the clock app as well which is my favorite out of all. P.S. I own a S4 with jellybean 4.3

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 17:50

25. Xianead (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Google launcher is working fine but Google now is not. I tried the said way to fix it but it still doesn't work. Please help!

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 18:05

26. Xianead (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Nevermind. I got it working now

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 00:40

33. dponinski (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Nov 2013)


What did you do to get it to work? The same thing listed above?

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 18:14

27. jskates420 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Jun 2013)


They should have put a disclaimer saying how quick it drains your battery

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 02:31

29. PhillipCabral (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Hey, Thanks so much but the camera app crashes when I stop recording video and panorama doesn't work but the camera shooter it self works to take photos. Also is there a way to get the icons of 4.4 ?because I have a samsung galaxy 2 and it seems like the samsung launcher itself is not letting the new launcher use the 4.4 icons.
I use the Australian Samsung Galaxy 2 running 4.1.2 and it's not rooted
Please Help me!
Thanks

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 03:55

36. PhillipCabral (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Don't worry guys,
If you have this problem just install an icon changer then get the kitkat icon pack and so forth! :)
I just finished fixing mine. I don't notice battery drain, infact its better!
Samsung Galaxy 2

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:28

38. MOH23 (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Nov 2013)


Where did u get the icon pack? I really wanna get rid of my "samsung experience". I love my s4 but i just hate TouchWiz really badly.

posted on 10 Nov 2013, 01:39

44. PhillipCabral (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Hey,
Sorry for the late reply,
You can get the icon pack from the google play store:
its called "Kitkat 4.4 icon pack HD"
Some 3rd party Kitkat launchers have emerged but I haven't seen how they run so you should check them out! TouchWiz does get annoying and it looks old-fashioned. People have ripped the all apps on the Nexus 5 like clock, camera, calander, dialer etc but I couldn't install the apk because I'm running 4.1.2 but seeing as you have the S4 (4.3) you should be fine.
Also you will be getting the KitKat update anyway.
Have fun,
Hope I helped.

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 17:41

31. baczek17 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


GoogleHome.apk does not work on the LG L9 ( P760 )

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 14:12

39. yoitsjustin (Posts: 6; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)


Googlehome.apk works fine, but Google Now (Velvet) keeps crashing. I tried doing what was said in your writing, but it didn't work out for me. Galaxy S4 with Cyanogenmod M1 release

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 22:47

41. dorianb (Posts: 361; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Everything but the Launcher works on my DNA. Anyone been able to get is to work on ANY Verizon branded HTC devices?

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 16:27

43. bwhiting (Posts: 162; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)


The Droid Ultra now works better now for the new Launcher and needed apps. So far so good I like it. Wish the icons would go smaller or a way to fix that but I can deal with big icons.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 09:57

45. renzfg (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


why there is no HDR+ on the camera app?

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 09:34

46. batman888 (Posts: 37; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


should i root to get this

posted on 06 Dec 2013, 21:05

47. PhillipCabral (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Don't risk rooting, you could get stuck in a boot loop or brick your device.
They are here so you don't have to root…assuming you have jellybean 4.1 onwards.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 22:38

48. jking8812 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


The Google Search error can be bypassed, rather than selecting the launcher to open after installing it, open an app on your phone, press the back button to get the select launcher screen, click on the Google Launcher, worked for me (Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini GT-i8190N running 4.2 Jelly Bean)

posted on 16 Jan 2014, 04:29

49. andonia2 (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Jul 2013)


Could it possibly work on a Galaxy Ace>?

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 13:39

50. ibrhmymn (Posts: 6; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Will this 3 apk work on note 3

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