Google Now Launcher picks up auto-rotate, scales icons for consistency

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One of the great things about being an Android user is having your pick of launcher, and you’d better believe that we’ve tried a lot of them. If you like rocking that pure-Android Nexus look, you may have equipped your phone with Google’s own Google Now Launcher. While it’s a pretty clean, useful tool, its UI has still shown a few rough edges here and there (and some of us are still getting used to that new vertical re-orientation for the app drawer following September’s change-up). Thankfully, Google’s willing to fix what hasn’t been quite perfect, and in a new update headed out this week, the Google Now Launcher picks up a couple interesting tweaks – including auto-rotate support.

With the new 5.8.45.19 update to the Google app, the Now Launcher gains the ability to twist things around into landscape orientation. While many apps have no problem accommodating the many ways we hold our phones, Google’s launcher hasn’t been so easy to work with, and the long-overdue arrival of this feature is a very welcome one.

In addition to picking up the ability to seamlessly transition to horizontal mode, the app launcher attempts to spruce itself up with an app icon auto-resize mode.

The changes are subtle in most cases, but the launcher now tries to scale all app icons to the same size – and since we already have apps that deliver the largest icons allowed, that means scaling smaller ones up, not vice-versa. Check out the Amazon icon up top for an example of what we’re talking about (left before, right after). You’ll also see some minor changes to text layout for app names, but that’s an even less perceptible shift.

Source: Ars Technica

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!