Last year, Google started making an effort to bring the Google Now Launcher that debuted with the Nexus 5 to a host of other devices, first starting with the usual Nexus/GPe crowd, before expanding to the majority of Android hardware. We’ve been keeping up with the launcher in the months since, even in the wake of new challengers, but Google’s effort has remained very competitive. This week Google makes a move to help keep things fresh by delivering a number of new changes to the software, including a pretty major adjustment to your app drawer.
Instead of the horizontal scrolling you’re familiar with, Google’s changed things over to a vertical orientation. For now, that seems to be your only option, with no obvious way to stick with the old horizontal layout.
We also see the arrival of new functionality, with the launcher picking up the ability to quickly search through your installed apps, just by long-pressing on the drawer’s icon, bringing up a search bar. If you’ve got pages and pages (and pages) of apps – or maybe if you’re just super-opposed to the new vertical-scrolling regimen – this can be a speedy way to reach just the one you’re looking for.
The changes are rolling out presently, and there’s a good chance they’ve already hit your phone. Give ’em a try and let us know what you think down in the comments.