Apart from Google Assistant, one of the features that was exclusive to the Pixel handsets was the Pixel Launcher, or at least for a while before it was made available to everyone else in the form of an APK. However it could soon become the de facto Android launcher because in an email obtained by Android Police, Google could be discontinuing the Google Now Launcher soon.
As it stands there are two launcher apps available in the Play Store today: Google Now Launcher and the Pixel Launcher, but like we said it could soon become one. According to the email, Google has informed their GMS partners of their plans to remove the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store.
So what does this mean? This means that while the Google Now Launcher will continue to function, it sounds like maybe Google isn’t so interested in keeping it updated anymore. As for what this means for OEMs, Google has told them in the email that they can add the Google Now panel to whatever launcher they plan to use, which makes it almost similar to the Google Now Launcher, or build a new launcher entirely.
It is unclear as to what this will mean for Nexus devices moving forward, especially since Google did not say if they were planning on opening up the Pixel Launcher to non-Android devices.