Some of the frustrations with the new Launcher in Ice Cream Sandwich include the inability to (gracefully) remove the Google Search bar (which is on every page), being stuck with 5 home screens, and the lack of a landscape view for the home screen.
Thanks to some flashable files, you can replace your stock Launcher with one that gives you the settings you want!
– Google search bar removed from home screen
– Search still works as expected
– Choose 3 or 5 home screens
– 4×5 grid enabled in portrait mode to reclaim the search bar space
– Vertical grid height reduced slightly to accommodate 5 rows
– Landscape remains 4×4 (4×5 doesn’t fit without scaling) so bottom row is chopped off (gracefully)
This replacement launcher should work on most Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs (yes, you’ll need to unlock, root, and flash a custom recovery image). (Here’s how to do that if you’ve got a GSM Galaxy Nexus.)
Next, backup your current ROM! I cannot stress this step enough! After that, you should download and install an alternate Launcher (Launcher Pro, ADW Launcher, just in case something breaks, you won’t be left launcherless.
Then, decide which features you want, and flash the applicable package via your custom recovery image:
– Standard 5 Screens with Landscape: ICSLauncherNoSearch4x5v2.zip
– Standard 5 Screens without Landscape: ICSLauncherNoSearch4x5v2+NoLandscape.zip
– 3 Screens in Landscape and Portrait: ICSLauncherNoSearch4x5v2+3×3.zip