With new Nexus devices rumored to be on the way, Google is allegedly working to release a new Nexus Launcher alongside them. Android Police has the full scoop, complete with GIFs demonstrating some of the changes Android users can expect. As a warning, many of the functions and features detailed in Android Police’s report may change before a consumer version is released, so don’t count them as 100 percent legit just yet.
The first and biggest thing you’ll notice is that the app drawer icon is being axed in favor of a more minimal up arrow. The app drawer will remain, but the famous circular icon is no more; users can either tap on the arrow or swipe up in order to access the drawer of apps. To close the app drawer just swipe down or hit the back button.
Elsewhere, Google is now including a Calendar widget on the home screen next to a “G” pull-tab. Tapping on the tab will allow users to perform a quick search while pulling it will apparently do nothing (you can still swipe right to open up Google Now). According to Android Police, the Calendar widget and pull-tab cannot be replaced, so you’ll have to use an alternative launcher if you’re unhappy with the redesign. The good news is that they won’t be persistent across home screens.
Android Police said that although it doesn’t appear the new G pull-tab has functionality right now, it might integrate into Google’s Assistant feature that was detailed at Google I/O, but they were unable to verify these claims. Google is allegedly getting rid of the larger search bar so that users rely on features such as Now on Tap and Assistant.
For now, it appears these are the only major features being introduced by the Nexus Launcher. It’s a fresh take on the current Google Now Launcher, which Android users can download in the Google App Store. It’s unclear if Google intends for the Nexus Launcher to be exclusive to Nexus devices, or if this will be something Google rolls out to the App Store later this year.