You don’t need to purchase Google’s new Pixel 2 in order to enjoy the device’s custom launcher. All it takes is a simple download and you’ll be up and running in no time.
According to XDA, the Pixel 2 launcher can theoretically install on any device running Android Lollipop and up. Of course, XDA didn’t have a chance to test that theory out, so proceed at your own risk if you’re using an older device.
What XDA did find is that the Pixel 2 launcher works just fine on the Galaxy Note 8 running Android 7.1 Nougat and the Google Pixel XL running Android 8.0 Oreo.
What’s so special about the Pixel 2 launcher, you ask? Well, it features a few notable changes, including a helpful widget at the top and a Google search bar below the app drawer. (We still contend the search bar’s new location, while convenient, takes up valuable home screen space.)
The only caveat, according to XDA, is the Google Now panel won’t work on a non-Google or Pixel device. That’s a huge bummer, but the launcher still looks fantastic on a Galaxy Note 8. Whether you think the lack of the Google Now panel is too much of a compromise is up to you.
In addition to the Pixel 2 launcher, XDA is also making he Pixel 2’s updated Google Camera app available, which includes Motion Photo, Face Retouching and Portrait Mode. Unfortunately, the app will only properly work with the first-generation Pixel handsets, though XDA notes Nexus users will see some improvements.
Head on over to XDA to grab the downloads for the Pixel 2 launcher and updated Google Camera app.
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