Is the Android 4.4 launcher called "Google Experience"?

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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15 Comments

1. improv

Posts: 96; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

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

2. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 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!!!!!

3. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

5. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 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.

8. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 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.

4. quyenqchau0813 unregistered

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

6. kdealltheway

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 21, 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...

7. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

9. Klamba92

Posts: 212; Member since: Jun 25, 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!

10. eddyphone

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

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

11. ilia1986 unregistered

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

12. nvrhde

Posts: 77; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

nova launcher:FTW

13. Topcat488

Posts: 1411; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Android is GRRrrraaaAATTTEee.

14. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 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.

15. Samsomesh

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

that's a good step forward. ...

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