It was just a matter of time before someone ripped apart the Android 4.4 factory image that was just recently uploaded by Google. Thanks to resourceful and avid Android developers, we now have access to the new Home Launcher for use even on devices not yet on Android 4.4. Read on for an overview and special instructions on how to install the launcher.
Google has just fully launched Android 4.4 but, for the moment, it is only available for the brand new Nexus 5. Among the changes found on the latest Android version is a new and improved launcher. The launcher now allows easy access to Google Now as well as home screen management via simple swiping gestures. Users can now also have an unlimited number of home screens. There are also some revamped icons that go hand to hand with Android 4.4's new visual look.
Just a while ago, Google made the factory image and binary drivers for the Nexus 5 available on its Nexus support page. The factory image, which contained Android 4.4, was an easy target for eager developers who want these latest features on their devices as soon as possible. Luckily for us, the folks over at XDA are a generous bunch and have made APKs of various bits and pieces of Android 4.4 available for download.
The Android 4.4 Launcher is said to work with any Android device running Android Jelly Bean. In order for it to work, the new Google Now and Google Play Services must also be installed. All three packages can be downloaded from the links below. However, there is currently a bug with Google Search that triggers a Force Close. The way around this issue is to long press the home screen to get to the Settings menu. Select the Voice settings and change the language default to something else. Go back Home and do any Google Search. Repeat the previous steps but now select English - US as the default language.