Late last year Google released the Android 4.4 KitKat powered Nexus 5. The new software came with something called the Google Now Launcher. It wasn’t a part of the actual core software but a standalone app launcher for the Nexus 5. A few months later it was released for older Nexus models and some Google Play Edition devices. Google has announced that the Google Now launcher can now be installed on any Android device running version 4.1 or higher without having to worry about the manufacturer supporting this software.
Though before users can switch screens on an Android device they will be required to update the Google Search app to the latest version. This is required since the launcher ties in with this code and won’t work if a older version of the Search application is not updated.
Once installed the Google Now launcher will change the device’s home screen with exactly the same one that debuted on the Nexus 5 last year. Apart from offering voice controls like “Ok, Google,” these glasses also have their own wallpapers and lets users see all of their cards by swiping right from the primary home screen.
Google Now launcher is a good way to ease off on the heavy user interface customizations that OEMs usually make. Though keep in mind that its just a launcher and app drawer so any major interface changes made to menus or the settings panel won’t really be affected by the installation of the Google Now launcher.