Google Now Launcher beta adds landscape mode, normalized app icon sizes might come in the future


The Google Now Launcher is probably the best way to get the stock and contemporary Android look as Google itself sees it. With the latest update to a beta version of the app aimed at developers, the Google Now Launcher makes it possible to use your phone in landscape mode (which we find awesome). Keep in mind that this update targets Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later devices, so you will not be able to install it on 5.x phones.

Originally, Google published this latest version of the beta of Google Now Launcher with the useful option to normalize icon sizes, so there are no longer huge icons contrasting with much tinier ones. A few hours later, though, the company has removed this feature and our guess is that the feature has not been finalized to a sufficient degree. Hopefully, it will eventually make its way to a future update of the app.

An interesting question in itself is: why does the problem with different sized icons exist in the first place? The reason lies in third-party Android app developers that often don't follow the guidelines for icon sizes that Google provides, cheating their way to attention (usually) by picking larger icon sizes. Having the icon size normalization feature would definitely be useful in this regard.


So how do you get hold of this current Google Now Launcher beta? The version is not published on the Google Play Store, but you can easily sideload on your Android device. Make sure to only use trusted websites when sideloading Android APKs to avoid malware.

  • Download Google APK Version: 5.8.47.19 from APK Mirror (arm | arm64 version)

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16 Comments

1. Takeharu

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Love the landscape mode! But it's really easy to obtain all you have to do is sign in for the beta, that's how I did it at least.

2. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

For the record, the Google Now launcher has supported the landscape mode in tablets for a long while.

3. 2faraway

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

yeah they shouldn't be called "tablet" if they don't have that feature isn't! Lg used to have in the first optimus phone like 3 years ago, where is it now? no idea!! some of those cool features that manufactures take it away without noticing, I am so missing Wifi share!! U hear me LG!!!!

4. Shocky unregistered

Landscape mode on a phone is pointless.

6. monoke

Posts: 1172; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

I use landscape all the time lying in bed, browsing, watching movies, typing, all apps etc. Not pointless to me. U might not see it, but u see more content in landscape. Imagine if the theaters and your TV was in portrait. Would you like that? u hold your phone upright too when recording video too? Noo.

7. Shocky unregistered

You clearly don't understand so I'll explain. This is landscape mode for the interface, as in your homescreen, app draw and settings. Get a clue idiot.

9. monoke

Posts: 1172; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Duh. Who doesn't know what launchers are for? I use nova sometimes myself. So please explain how it's pointless for users not to have to orientate the phone back and forth between apps usage. Ex. Watching youtube in landscape, click home, orientate to portrait, fresh open browser, orientate back to landscape, and so forth. Please explain how having options for homescreen, app draw, settings in landscape is pointless. Please old wise one..

11. Shocky unregistered

You're an idiot. Given the context here which the interface in landscreen why are going on on landscape in general? Are you retarded?

13. Cyberthing

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

You're correct shocky but you don't have to insult the guy.

14. Shocky unregistered

Maybe not, but I'm losing patience with people jumping in to the comment section without reading or understanding the news articles. If they don't understand the subject matter they shouldn't be commenting in the first place.

15. Jinkit

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 16, 2016

Losing patience, not sure you have much patience. Perhaps I'm not understanding this either but you commented landscape (in the interface) is useless and the other simply pointed out that when transitioning from an app which is used in lanscape to the interface can be a pain if you need to go portrait, hence the benefit of a landscape interface....or launcher that can already do that.

5. Ahmad_Alhatmi

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Already on nova launcher

8. xnexusx

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Yeah but that Google Now goodness is so much smoother..plus Nova has that weird black navigatiion bar.. Hopefully Googs is translucent

10. xnexusx

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Tried it & it's good.. All translucent thru nav bar.. Option to "allow rotation" in Google app settings.

12. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Google now launcher is highly overrated...

16. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

android junkies jump to anything that was already there in Symbian belle. copy/paste options on top? Symbian belle had it near the selection. duh!

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