Google’s Pixel Launcher is Now in the Play Store

Much like the official Wallpapers app, Google has now released the Pixel Launcher in the Play Store. Unfortunately, it requires that you have a Pixel or Pixel XL, so don’t think you can just install this immediately. However, there is a workaround which we’ll get to in the end.

So why would Google release the Pixel Launcher on the Play Store if other devices can’t install it? Well, it’s really quite simple. See, a majority of the reason why there’s so many elements of Android available in the Play Store is due to update-ability, if you will. If an app or function is available in the Store, it’s easier for the manufacturer to release updates for that element rather having to do it through a full-on system upgrade. This way, if something’s broken within a certain app or utility but everything else is in tact, the company can simply patch up the bug for the one app and go one with their day. This is Google’s mentality behind releasing Pixel Launcher on the Play Store. If there’s an update available for the Launcher but nothing else found within the Pixel phones, the search giant can simply release a new version onto the Store and wash their hands of it. In all reality, this is just a move to make their job a lot easier.

By now you’re probably wondering, “Okay, well that’s great Max, but how can I get the launcher on my phone that’s not a Pixel?” Fortunately, the good folks over at APK Mirror have pulled the official APK from the Play Store for users to install on their devices. According to the Pixel Launcher’s Play Store listing, the home screen replacement needs Android 5.0 or above to run. If your device meets this requirement, tap/click here to download the APK. I can assure you that you’ll get the new weather widget in the top right-hand corner of your screen if you do (as seen in the screenshot below).