Google Now Launcher presumed dead as Google makes it incompatible with almost all devices

Google Now Launcher presumed dead as Google makes it incompatible with almost all devices
Although we are running on speculation here, it's quite probably safe to assume that the Google Now Launcher is nearing the end of the line. If you pop open the Play Store page of Google's launcher on your phone, you will be met with the dreaded message that "Your device isn't compatible with this version". Rest assured that there's nothing wrong with your device: the launcher is currently incompatible with the overwhelming majority of phones, with just a couple of niche devices still being able to download it from the Play Store. The BlackBerry KEYone is one of those, but if you're donning a Galaxy S9, an LG G6, or a Pixel 2, then you will be out of luck. 

One of the bigger defining features of the Google Now Launcher, aside from its simplicity, is the Google Feed page available as a leftmost screen, similarly to the proprietary Pixel Launcher that adorns Google's own smartphones. 

Of course, if you have installed the Google Now launcher before this change took place, you will still be able to use it the launcher as you have till now. However, if you migrate to a new device or uninstall the app, you will no longer be able to get it from the Play Store. Sideloading is an option here, but it definitely opens a trove of other possibilities - for example, if you're going to sideload a launcher, why not go for one of the numerous Pixel Launcher forks that are flying around the interwebs? Entities like Launcher3 a.k.a. Rootless Pixel Launcher, Lawnchair, and LeanLauncher are great stuff for forks that want to emulate the Pixel Launcher's looks.

There's no way of knowing if this recent change means that the Google Now Launcher is now official dead or merely in an existential conundrum of sorts. We can only hope that Google is preparing a replacement or at least thinkihg of making the Pixel Launcher openly available to all contemporary Android devices. We wouldn't actually hold our collective breath for that, but a man can hope.

Anyway, if you're looking for a neat replacement, check out the best alternatives:


Google Now Launcher
Google Now Launcher
Google Now Launcher

Google Now Launcher




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5 Comments

1. ijuanp03

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Who needs Google Launcher if you have Nova Launcher.

2. Oğuzhan_77

Posts: 112; Member since: Nov 18, 2013

Definitely right...

3. tokuzumi

Posts: 1843; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Nova launcher user here, but I don't know why Google just tweaked Play services to say this app is not compatible with anyone's phone. If regular updates to Android break functionality to the launcher, that's just the way it is. Let people use the apps they want.

4. iCloud

Posts: 124; Member since: May 15, 2014

I was able to download it with my LG G6 mobile version. Maybe they brought it back.

5. GameKing95

Posts: 30; Member since: Jan 10, 2013

Can download with Moto Droid Turbo 2, probably was a glitch

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