Google Experience Launcher

A huge part of what people were taking to be part of KitKat on the Nexus 5 actually had nothing to do with KitKat at all. What exactly do I mean? The Nexus 5 shipped with something very unique and new, a Google Launcher, which is actually what gives the Nexus 5 almost all of the visual changes that people take to be part of KitKat when in reality it’s not. That’s right folks, when your phone and or tablet receives the 4.4 KitKat update it will not look like the Nexus 5 does with its transparent notification bar, transparent app drawer background, Google search bar color scheme app drawer button, and much more. Even the bigger capabilities like the Moto X like ability to say “Okay Google” from any homescreen to launch Google Now and scrolling all the way over the left on your homescreens to get to Google Now are not part of Android 4.4 KitKat, they are part of the Google Experience Launcher.

So why isn’t Google packaging the Google Experience Launcher will Android 4.4 KitKat in a nice marriage of software? Because they want “to see how users take the launcher on Nexus 5 before it offers it on other devices.” Based on these past couple days alone people have extracted the Google Experience Launcher from the Nexus 5 itself to allow users of all Android phones to sideload it themselves and it works great. Following that the hugely popular custom launcher on Android, Nova Launcher, updated their beta app to allow users to get the look and feel of the Google Experience Launcher. Obviously people are taking a liking to your launcher Google, now be a pal and throw it up on the Play Store for us Google fanboys and techies. Balls in your court Google.


A user on Reddit has confirmed that after officially updating his Nexus 7 to Android 4.4 KitKat the only noticeable visual changes consist of the updated system icons such as Settings and Camera and also the switch from the blue to white icons in the notification bar. 

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Nicholas Terry

Nicholas Terry

(Author) - I am currently attending college to receive my degree in Computer Science with a pipe dream to someday work at Google. I love everything about android and smartphones and always love learning more about them or anything else tech wise. I also love developing Android apps and learning new types of code in my spare time. My current devices I use are my LG Optimus G and Nexus 7, Pebble watch is still on the way.
Nicholas Terry