With the Nexus 5, Google debuted a new software feature that was referred to back then as the Google Experience Launcher. Its more commonly known as the Google Now launcher, it lets users say “Okay, Google” to initiate a search from any home screen. Initially this was only limited to the Nexus 5, and though people found ways to get it on their other Nexus devices via leaks and unofficial releases, the internet search giant itself has now finally released the launcher as a standalone app in the Google Play Store.
Breaking the launcher away from Android OS enables Google to add more features to it down the road without having to push out a new software update. What it simply needs to do is update the app. Google has been doing this for a while now, and even features like the Android keyboard now exist as apps on the Play Store.
At this point in time the Google Now launcher can only be installed on Nexus as well as Google Play Edition devices that are powered by Android 4.4 KitKat. Fortunately, Nexus and GPE devices are always the first in line whenever Google rolls out a major update such as KitKat, so its not like people who can install it will have to wait for a software update. The launcher is available as a free download from the Google Play Store.