New Google launcher is exclusive to Nexus 5 for the time-being: Report

Nexus 5 launcherIn a surprising revelation, Google has told The Verge that the new Google launcher introduced with Nexus 5 will be exclusive to the smartphone for the time-being. While we would like to wait for the upcoming Nexus 4 Android 4.4 OTA update to get a confirmation, if the Verge report accurately represents Google’s views, Nexus 5 is no longer a pure Android smartphone but is more of a Google phone.

Traditionally, Nexus smartphones have been known for their stock Android experience but if Google starts putting its own launcher or exclusive customisations on them, Nexus phones are no different than other Android smartphones, which already come with manufacturer customisations.

“Previous Nexus devices acted as standard-bearers for a clean, stock version of Android and showcased Google services. The Nexus 5 still does that, but the order of importance seems to have been flipped. Google tells us that the new Launcher on the Nexus 5 is exclusive to the phone,” Dieter Bohn of The Verge noted in a report.

The Verge adds that Google could offer this new launcher to Nexus 4 users or bring it to Google Play in the future but for the time-being, it will remain a Nexus 5 only feature.

8 comments

  1. but except the lock screen which is pretty much stock, everything else work with the google home apk, at least on GS4 without any glitch so how its for only Nexus 5

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    • ‘Works’ does not mean that it will be officially available for Galaxy S4 or any other device. Devs even port Touchwiz to HTC or Nexus devices but Samsung is not releasing TouchWiz for other phones.

      The APK (s), which you have used to install the Google launcher on your S4, has been unofficially extracted from Nexus 5 factory image and is not officially available.

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      • yes i totally agree with you, i am not postulating against the article, the idea behind my comment was google should not limit its home launcher exclusive to nexus 5. i was not the great fan of stock android UI till nexus5, but it has improved drastically. Also one thing, if the blueish/blackish internal UI of settings changes to white(which they implemented in Downloads/dial screen) it will look so awesome and cool that most of the android user will prefer stock android UI over HTC sense or samsung touchwiz.. 🙂

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      • You might see white settings option in coming years for sure. Nexus5 UI is a strong appeal and matured now.

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  2. How does a launcher makes the phone ‘not stock’? Launchers are a part of the android ecosystem. Without them you will just get a blank screen..

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    • It is not about that. See, Nexus smartphones are supposed to be ‘Pure Android’ devices and the same is expected from all Nexus devices. Google seems to be changing this with Nexus 5.
      If the launcher is Nexus 5 exclusive, then it is not going to be a part of AOSP or even come to other Nexus devices, which makes it a Nexus 5-specific customization, something similar to what other manufacturer like HTC or Samsung do with their phone, may be not at the same level but it is still the same thing.
      I personally like the launcher and have no issues with it being on Nexus 5 but if such exclusives becomes a trend then it is problematic.

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  3. Google is always been an Open platform, i feel, they will surely release AOSP or stock ROMS with similar launcher for other devices which can be used on CustomROM to give same feelings as Nexus5.

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  4. So does this mean we will not be seeing Kit Kat OTA updates on the Nexus 4 as they promised on the release day? They said in a couple weeks which means two weeks and we are starting the second week since release.

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