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.


SOURCE: AndroidBeat, Phandroid

  • Stephen Vanderwarker

    Still getting the force close :/

  • Manav Gupta

    Can i uninstall it to go back to previous version?

    • Ghost

      Yes you can thru the boot loader, you need to download previous version from a website. Google that its the same way you install Ubuntu mobile

      • Manav Gupta

        Thanks 🙂

      • Matt Hill

        That guy is a moron. To go back, open settings, apps, and pick Google search, click uninstall updates. Do the same for the services app. Open the play store and they will be ready to update to the version that works for your phone. What a dumb answer.

      • Manav Gupta

        You are life saver. After seeing his comment I dropped the idea of updating.

      • javier feliciano

        yes he is thank you sooooooo much

  • enkille

    Thanks for the tips how to fix the force closes 🙂

  • franck

    also getting force close after following the steps. docomo xperia z.

  • ya man

    Omg this is so ugly

  • ehab

    can i install it in sony xperia tipo dual ?

  • ramy

    the google now not responding everytime i try to search !!,plus the icons are huge-not elegant… thanks for the launcher anywyz much appreciated

  • American Patriot

    I appreciate the availability of the launcher app, but if it has bugs, forces closures unexpectedly, then I will wait until the rollout of 4.4 for mt N7 WiFi tablet, then worry about the updating the apps as they need updating…..once.

  • werdnaeel

    Hi. I’m running a S4 i9505, running 4.3 Touchwiz ROM (Omega)

    (I didn’t switch to CM because I wanted to keep the Samsung Camera for its high speed HDR and lowlight processing).

    Google Now is working fine. However, after awhile, all the cards seem to disappear and I’m unsure how to re-enable them back.

    Other findings:

    1. Clearing Data from the Google App resets your launcher. Layout as well as Google Now. (Doesn’t solve the “No cards” issue though.)

    2, The 4.4 camera works. Except video (poor quality, due to touchwiz’s framework). Photosphere works (but rendering is poor, also maybe due to touchwiz’s framework – may be wrong). Flash works.

    3. Photos takes by the 4.4 camera – when opened from the google gallery – has a 1-2 second lag when pinch-zoomed. The photos will take 1-2 secs to render from blur to clear.

  • Joe Oberster

    Clock not installing on Verizon Galaxy S3. “Trouble parsing file”.

  • leonardobg7

    My razr d1 (android 4.1) crashes in google search

  • Arcendus

    The “Okay Google” hotword detection doesn’t seem to be working on HTC One. Checked all the settings, reinstalled, cleared data/cache, nothing. Working fine on my Nexus 7, just wish we had the ability to change the grid size.

  • informationfullnamewebsite

    I get force closes without being able to even see my new launcher. How do I fix this? Running 4.1 Jelly Bean.

    • boonesimpson

      I think it only works on 4.2. and up.

      I went back to NOVA for the time being, but the new voice search did work, as did the new play service., hangout, and keyboard.

      • Michael Nelson

        it works on my droid charge witch has cm 10 android 4.1.2 and it works so….

      • boonesimpson

        yeah 4.1 usage is very hit or miss.

        CM10 seems to help, but on many stock roms on 4.1, no go.

  • David Eaton

    Works great on my Verizon Galaxy Note II. No issues, so far.

  • Felix Vu

    Do you need ROOT???? (i have stock Jelly Bean)

  • sk8rat

    Laggy on my HTC one. Stutters when I swipe to Google now on the homescreen. Also ok Google doesn’t work. I’ll wait for a Rom or better launcher

    • mr. strong

      If you did not read the “OK google” feature is only for nexus 5 for right now.

      • sk8rat

        i’ve seen it work on a nexus 4 rom on youtube and somebody mentioned it worked on their nexus 7 here in the comments

      • vette04

        I have “ok google” working my my work nexus 4 and also on my personal galaxy s4

        seems very smooth so far

  • steven rueda

    Does it work on the zte warp sequent ?

  • Michael Juan

    works perfectly on me. samsung galaxy s2 (i9100T) stock jelly bena. also “okay google” is very nice..