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End of an Era: Google Now Launcher will soon be discontinued

The Google Now Launcher has been a popular option for Android OEMs and users. (Source: Google Play Store)
The Google Now Launcher has been a popular option for Android OEMs and users. (Source: Google Play Store)
Google plans to delist the Google Now Launcher by the end of March and remove it from the list of approved launchers for use by OEMs.
Sam Medley,

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There can only be one.

One of the primary draws to Android is the plethora of customization options available through launchers. Launchers are apps that modify the look and operation of the home screen. Google currently offers two launchers, Google Now and the Pixel Launcher. While the latter is reserved for Google’s flagship Pixel and Pixel XL, the Google Now Launcher's (GNL)  simple layout and useful addition of Google Now Cards has made it an extremely popular option among users.

Unfortunately for fans of the launcher, Google doesn’t look like it’s incorporating GNL into the company’s future. Android Police received a tip from someone familiar with the issue, Google will phase GNL out of the GMS package for Android OEMs. Essentially, that means that devices loaded with GNL won’t be supported or approved by Google. The phase-out is scheduled to take place by March 1. GNL will also disappear from the Google Play Store at some point in Q1 2017, which ends March 31st.

Current GNL users will still receive minor updates, but the launcher shouldn’t see any major improvements or changes as Google won’t support it anymore. We’ll have to wait and see if GNL will be replaced by the Pixel Launcher or another new launcher. For now, Android users that crave customization may want to start testing other launchers for their phones.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1147 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 02 > End of an Era: Google Now Launcher will soon be discontinued
Sam Medley, 2017-02- 5 (Update: 2017-02- 5)