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Install the Google Now launcher on any Android device

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Install the Google Now launcher on any Android device
Remember the other day when we told you that the Nexus 5 launcher was changed to the Google Now launcher? While that move might signal that the launcher will eventually be available in the Google Play Store to be installed on other Android models, that is not the case currently. Still, it doesn't mean that you can't download and install the Google Now launcher on your non Nexus 5 handset, because you can.

The first thing you need to do to accomplish this task, is to download the latest updated version of Google Search for Android from the Google Play Store. Once that is done, you download the Nexus 5′s GoogleHome APK. The only settings change you will need to make is the one that allows you to install non Google Play apps on your phone.

With the Google Search app and the GoogleHome APK running on your phone, you can select the Google Now launcher by pressing your phone's home button. And while it has been designed for the Nexus 5 only, those who have tested it out say that it runs smoothly on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. If you have the Google Now launcher running smoothly on another Android device, let us know by passing along the information in the comment box below.

Screenshots of the Google Now launcher
Screenshots of the Google Now launcher

Screenshots of the Google Now launcher


source: GoogleSearchAPK, GoogleHomeAPK via RedmondPie

46 Comments
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posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:17 3

1. Addictt (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Feb 2014)


Added this to my LG G2, seems to lag a little bit and the icons are huge! The layout is nice and simple, but for some reason It doesn't seem to use up the screen as well as it should. Also as I originally had 6 icons running across the bottom, and the grid was adjustable, it just seems odd that Google Now doesn't allow me to make these adjustments.

Good simple design overall, albeit that it lags a little.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:28

13. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 374; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)


Knock-on feature working?

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 03:12

32. aleksandar2872000 (Posts: 3; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


noup :(

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:19 1

2. mishooo111 (Posts: 30; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)


just installed on my moto g, seems to be working pretty smooth

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 00:21

29. hurrycanger (Posts: 1301; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


Do you get transparent top status bar on your Moto G (if you run Kit Kat)?

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 05:33

35. tech2 (Posts: 2479; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Yup. I've installed Nova launcher from PlayStore to get rid of that annoying bar.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:25 2

3. Rocksteady (unregistered)


Installed on my nexus 4, smooth, but the icons are big, uninstalled, the default one looks nice imo

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 20:23 3

24. __0__ (banned) (Posts: 242; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


I agree , I installed on my galaxy note 3 and I switched back to Nova . I still have this on my nexud 7 , transparent notification bar and on screen buttons looks good

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 03:12

31. tadaa (Posts: 258; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


me too, the icons look blurred on nexus 4. plus i don't like 4x5 drawer. using epic launcher now though i miss having google now a swipe away to the right

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:32

4. hurrycanger (Posts: 1301; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


I just installed it on my Galaxy Mega 6.3. It doesn't go very well. The app drawer icon is off to one side (6 icons total in the dock). It's also kindasluggish (I do realize the Mega has only 1.7Ghz dual core, but still...).
Anyway, I would just go back to Nova launcher since big icons don't do me any justice. The original icon on this phone were already kinda big, This is even worse, lol. It makes the Mega seems like it's gotten 480p display.

It's good to know that it works on various devices without Kit Kat and that it's easy to install.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:36

5. bootroot (Posts: 35; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


On S4 i've got 4 row of icons, on your screenshot it is 5 and it is better

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:46

6. Augustine (Posts: 804; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


I've had it in my '12 N7 for months now and it's lovely!

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:52 4

7. bachir8k (Posts: 101; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


Just installed it on my S4, it runs smoothly, but i kinda like the default launcher more customized and smaller icons, uninstalling it now :)

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 18:44 1

18. joey_sfb (Posts: 3294; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I bought and tried a few launchers cause I keep hearing people say theirs is better..

After trying it out for a week, I still return to touchwiz cause I miss the custom feature added by Samsung.

Still I like having choices, each time I handle another person android phone its will some how be different from mine.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 15:53

8. bootroot (Posts: 35; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Well dont see nothing cool more than the samsung one....

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 16:01

9. bootroot (Posts: 35; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


bachir how can i uninstall this?

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:35

15. r0ndy (Posts: 5; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


like a regular app, go to the apps list. find and uninstall there. or if you are using a launcher, you might be able to drag/drop from your app drawer to a trashcan to delete it.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 16:10

10. MobileNico (Posts: 53; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


Galaxy Nexus. Runs smoothly on CM11 :)

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 16:20

11. wtmana (Posts: 14; Member since: 27 Nov 2013)


What's app name ?

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 16:34

12. vbtrud44 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Feb 2014)


I installed it on my Motorola Droid Maxx. Icons are large, but it seems to work pretty well.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:34

14. r0ndy (Posts: 5; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


ive used for a few minutes on my moto x. i didnt enjoy the huge icons, or losing some other features my apex launcher gives me. LOVE the slide over option for Google Now, wish i could keep that with my current setup

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:47

16. blacktrump0674 (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 May 2011)


This works wonderful on my Samsung Galaxy Note II on the Sprint Network.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 17:48

17. sniper1087 (Posts: 408; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


Tested the Google launcher apk on the moto x and note 3, no problems there, just the usual hiccups that you found on the nexus 5, like swiping to google now on the left, you see a stutter at the start on all of them, but besides that, it works well.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 19:01

19. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 802; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Installed it on both the Sony Xperia Neo V and HTC One V. Works quite well, and resource usage is comparable to Smart Launcher

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 19:19

20. nlbates66 (Posts: 315; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


got it working on my S III 4G (i9305) a few months ago, works fine but I don't use it because I prefer action launcher.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 19:32

21. mrbtree98 (Posts: 50; Member since: 04 Aug 2012)


works on my nexus 7 2012 and they finally fixed the issue of the launcher size. it's back to 5x6 or 6x5 when before it was 5x5.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 19:37

22. Augustine (Posts: 804; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Indeed! I noticed something subtly different on mine after the update, but couldn't put my finger on it.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 19:45 1

23. nvrhde (Posts: 77; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)


tried many launcher including google on my gti9000 , still
NOVA launcher, FTW

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 20:34

25. Bioload25 (Posts: 213; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Just got it on my S3,working just fine,with rare lags or instabilities,but being only a launcher,it seems kinda half-baked without the official apps and other system 'layers'

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 21:58

26. Tech_Junkie1996 (Posts: 43; Member since: 29 Aug 2013)


This looks gorgeous on my Tab 3 7.0. It fits perfectly, I'm guessing its since it can mimick the Nexus 7 layout. Easily replaced it from Touchwiz launcher. It also not that laggy, at least no more than my tablet already is.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 23:34

27. highwaysnobbery (Posts: 21; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


I've grown tired of the different sized icons altogether. After using Tersus icons I can't go back. I wish they would normalize icon size further.

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 23:59

28. Ikechukwu (Posts: 149; Member since: 03 Oct 2011)


prefer the stock sony UI on my Z ultra, uninstalled

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 15:47

42. Gdrye (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


Agreed. On my z ultra the icons wasn't all that great looking. Went back to nova. The sliding bottom row is too great to lose.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 01:15

30. KINGJUAN27 (Posts: 196; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)


It's ugly. I like my sony's default skin better.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 03:52

33. techguyone (Posts: 114; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Agreed. it was designed for the N5, the icons are way too big, you lose stuff too like the top of screen shortcut to google play. Just too minimalistic for me, only good thing was swipe for google now.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 04:17 1

34. LikeMyself (Posts: 302; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)


Apex Launcher is the best! Uses even less RAM than stock launcher and has more features for free!
It even beats Holo Launcher HD as a low RAM user.But only for 4.0+ ! 4.1+ supports transparent status bar!
Holo Launcher(not Hd) for 2.3+ still the lightest for gingerbread!

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 08:10

36. fabiodublin (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Feb 2014)


Intalled in my Note 3 (N9005) with Android 4.4.2 and its running very smooth.
The best is that it didn't loose the pen capabilities or split screen.
The lock screen still untouched showing the camera icon on the bottom right.
I think this is a good laucher for The Note 3 to get away from TouchWiz.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 08:26

37. dorianb (Posts: 429; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


This article is a retread of when they extracted the apk when the nexus 5 1st dropped. Old article is old. BTW it works on the DNA & DROID Mini.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 08:26

38. terry_12s (Posts: 4; Member since: 20 Jul 2008)


Works perfect on my Droid Maxx! Love it!

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 09:07

39. amritmalhi (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Feb 2014)


how to add weather widget on galaxy grand

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 10:21

40. Khalid_syfullah (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Dec 2013)


The Google Home Launcher is working smoothly in my Walton Primo X1. My phone has a Quad-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM. Although it's a Google's official Launcher, but I guess it's not highly customizable as other 3rd party Launcher apps. In fact, I think PhoneArena authority should start a Launcher comparison between Stock & 3rd party Launcher apps. Thanks for reading it.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 11:38

41. greenmunky (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


Been running it on my Moto X for quite some time now, since November in fact. It's been buttery smooth since day 1 and I love the smooth transition to my Google Now. Just wish the icons weren't magnified on my desktop moreso than in the app drawer.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:08

43. tokuzumi (Posts: 351; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


I have a Nexus 5, so it just runs natively :) I also installed in on my first gen Nexus 7. It's a little laggy, compared to the AOSP launcher that was originally on the tablet, but the hardware is around 2 years old, so I'm not too surprised. I have a Nexus 10 on the way, and I'm going to see how the launcher works on that. I've heard it doesn't run very well. We shall see.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 10:33

44. Augustine (Posts: 804; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


My '12 N7 works smoothly with the Now launcher. Do you have the latest Android in yours?

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 13:13

45. stevemw (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Feb 2014)


And, of course it runs without a hitch on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013).

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 13:31

46. bwhiting (Posts: 173; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)


I placed it on my Droid Ultra but I rather use the KK Launcher that works best because it actually has adjustable icons. I worked on trying to get used to the big images again but it is hard to go from smaller images to a bigger image.

Runs smooth on the device but I am good with the other launcher that I have prebuilt into it and the 3rd party KK Launcher that was on the play store for download earlier.

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