Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand

It's another sign that Google is abandoning the longtime Nexus name in favor of 'Pixel' for its upcoming smartphones.

Another solid indicator has popped up that Google’s forthcoming phones will bear Pixel branding.

A leaked APK of what’s dubbed the Pixel Launcher has appeared, taking the place of a previously leaked add-on called the Nexus Launcher.

The new Pixel Launcher reworks the home screen’s performance in a few noticeable ways: It replaces the omnipresent Google search bar with a pull-out tab that takes you into Google Now. There’s also a date widget that, for now at least, you can’t replace.

pixel launcher app drawer

The Pixel Launcher gives a more distinguished look with some new design tweaks.

There are a few other aesthetic changes, like a slide-up entry into the app drawer, which gives you room for five apps and replaces the All apps button. Additionally, you’ll find a new design for folders, with the cascade of one behind another replaced with a snapshot of up to four different icons.

The APK is obviously prerelease software, so it’s bound to have bugs and other hiccups. You can download it here at your own risk.

Why this matters: By all accounts Google is going to make a more aggressive stand with this year’s hardware launch. The new phones, rumored to be the Pixel and Pixel XL, should include exclusive software tricks to distinguish them from the rest of the Android ecosystem. The marketing may emphasize that these are the perfect synthesis of top hardware and Google’s operating system and services.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile phoneGooglemobile phonesnexus

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?