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Android

Dev-ported Pixel Launcher makes every feature actually work

By Jules Wang August 27, 2017, 2:32 pm

As AOSP assets get updated to Android 8.0 Oreo and we’re coming that much closer to the second-gen Pixel phones, it’s about time that we recognized a bit of work from a couple of industrious developers for making one of our favorite, minimalist launcher experiences work.

Though the Pixel Launcher may need to be on the Pixel phones and the Pixel C in order to be experienced properly, that hasn’t stopped people from download stray APKs to get as pure an experience as they could on another Android phone.

Well, Amir Zaidi decided that it wasn’t enough and they commanded a full port and patch job on the Pixel Launcher. With a little help from Till Kottmann, who publishes a similarly cleaned-up Pixel Launcher experience called Lawnchair, their work is now available in a GitHub repository. You can hit the source link below the story to get at it — just beware that if you’re currently using the Pixel Launcher on a non-Pixel phone to uninstall before installing this one as both APKs share package names.

The recent version 2.1 update disables an API level check that would bar non-Pixel, non-Nexus phones from using the launcher, brings Android Oreo’s notification dots to all devices sporting Marshmallow or later and brings calendar, weather and Google feed links to the proper GUI. Icons will also be forced into circle shapes.

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