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Is the Android 4.4 launcher called "Google Experience"?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Is the Android 4.4 launcher called
One of the most important apps on any Android phone is also one that you almost never talk about unless you're looking to change it: the launcher. The stock Android launcher is something that doesn't get updated nearly as often as some of the other apps in the system, at least it isn't updated with full version numbers often. But, it looks like the stock launcher in Android 4.4 is being bumped to version 3.0 and may come with a new name - Google Experience.

Artem Russakovskii of Android Police has been digging around and has found some compelling evidence to support these ideas. Internally, what had referred to com.android.launcher2 now point to com.android.launcher3, which is a significant change, because Android has been working with Launcher 2 since 2009, and even the major overhaul of Ice Cream Sandwich didn't warrant a full version bump for the stock launcher. Additionally, there are items
Is the Android 4.4 launcher called "Google Experience"?
that refer to the launcher as com.google.android.gel, and the thinking is that GEL stands for Google Experience Launcher. A new popup warning in a recent build of Android 4.4 mimics warnings that you may have seen in various alternative launchers, when asking for permission to access widget data. That popup directly mentions Google Experience as the name of the stock launcher. 

The thinking is that this may point to Google decoupling the launcher from Android as it has with many other apps like the Google Keyboard, and release the Google Experience Launcher in the Google Play Store so that anyone can install Google's launcher on a device that may be overly skinned. Most of the apps that are internally referred to with com.google.android.x rather than com.android.x have been apps that have made their way into the Play Store. 

As far as what to expect with the new launcher, we've seen screenshots that show some of the changes like the new dock UI, and app tray UI. Additionally, it looks like homescreens will now be infinitely expandable, instead of having a limit of 5 screens; and, app folders also may be losing their 16 item limit and becoming infinitely expandable. 

We should be learning the truth soon enough, but this sounds like an interesting play by Google, and one that we're going to talk more about very soon. 

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posted on 12 Oct 2013, 12:24 15

1. improv (Posts: 96; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)

I want to be immersed in the google experience! 3 more days!! (hopefully)

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 12:42 6

2. MalakiMills (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)

This would be very cool if they released it in the play store. And if they could make it disable the launcher that was currently on the phone to use less resources, so it was as if it was the stock launcher. That would be Great!!!!!

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 12:56 2

3. tedkord (Posts: 14123; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

It's not as simple as that. You can't just disable TouchWIZ or Sense or really any of these built in launchers. They're too entwined with the whole framework.

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 13:04 2

5. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Only way around those is to root your phone amd install a new ROM. For the full Google experience you will always need a nexus.

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 13:43 1

8. MalakiMills (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)

Yea i'm aware of that, I've been rooting and rom-ing phones since the HTC incredible. I'm just saying in a perfect world it would be amazing.

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 12:57 2

4. quyenqchau0813 (unregistered)

So it means that devices with android 2.3 can take advantage of this launcher?

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 13:07

6. kdealltheway (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)

PA, no word about change in terms of usage, by Google? I think it's an important issue and you as a mobile services news portal shoul cover it...

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 13:23

7. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

We have a simpler word to say "Google Experience", it's starts with an N...

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 13:50

9. Klamba92 (Posts: 210; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)

Yh sounds like a great idea, though it will take a lot out of the nexus experience being unique. Still like the idea, I guess this is what they meant about being available for everybody!? Can't wait, just release it already!

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 14:15

10. eddyphone (Posts: 9; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)

Launcher is really a great Android app and I love it so much because it makes my android device perform magic and wonders

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 14:44

11. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Oh god I SO want this launcher!!! :D

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 15:24 2

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

nova launcher:FTW

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 16:38

13. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Android is GRRrrraaaAATTTEee.

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 22:23

14. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

This could replace my Apex launcher.
I found it pretty lean, however I am thinking for full "Now" experience it may need to take a back seat.

posted on 13 Oct 2013, 02:35

15. Samsomesh (Posts: 195; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)

that's a good step forward. ...

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