The bleeding edge is a tough place to be, sometimes. Equally frustrating can be lagging behind, and the new Google Launcher makes it hard for those without a Nexus 5. The quick access to Google’s even promising Google Now service makes the launcher highly sought after, and desired by many Android enthusiasts.

According to The Verge, Google isn’t planning to roll that exciting new launcher out to other devices any time soon. Google is planning to keep that launcher exclusive to the Nexus 5 for the foreseeable future, as a testing ground of sorts. Google wants to gauge reaction, and see how Nexus 5 adopters like the new look of Android.

In their report, The Verge hints that the Nexus 4 would be the likely next candidate for the launcher, which could then be launched on the Play Store as a standalone app. Matias Duarte notes the launcher is “the single most exciting thing for a Nexus 5”, so we hope to see it come to other Nexus devices in short order.

Then again, Google’s rollout of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 has been rife with discourse. The Galaxy Nexus was dropped altogether by Google, with conflicting reports as to why. Though Android 4.4 is now live, and many Nexus 5’s have shipped, it hasn’t begun rolling out to other Nexus devices yet. HTC has confirmed their timeline for the Google Play Edition receiving a KitKat update, but Google has been less than forthcoming with news. For a version of Android set to bridge the hardware gaps present in Android, we’d like to see both the latest iteration and launcher available soon.

  • jlninja

    I already have quick access to google now. Its called an icon.

  • bulldurham

    Google is flushing customer confidence. This seems to happen whenever a company passes a certain market share. They are making android features proprietary to the Nexus 5 and telling their other customers, “too bad so sad”. When I bought my nexus 4 (and my Galaxy Nexus) I was lead to believe that I would receive all future updates and features of the current version of Android. That is the only reason I bought Nexus devices. Sadly after reading the Android 4.4 manual on the play books store, and seeing what features I will not be able to get, the Nexus 4 will probably be my last Nexus device.

    • Bruce

      The launcher isn’t an Android feature, though; it’s a Google feature (called the “Google Experience launcher”), first available on the N5. This is similar to the Moto X having Motorola only features, or the iPhone having Apple-only features.

      From what I understand, N4 owners still get the full version of Android, the difference is that the new Nexus is a Google phone (Android KitKat with Google-only features), not an Android phone.

      Though we may eventually see the Google features come to other Nexus devices.

      Indeed, this could have been explained better, and it’s questionable whether Google made (and makes) it clear that you only get 18 months of upgrades when you buy a Nexus device (I don’t recall seeing that in the small print, and I read the small print).

      Though if you’re familiar with Google products, the way Google does things does have its quirks (e.g. Gmail for Android is beautiful, but why can’t I format text like I can on desktop Gmail?). This has its advantages and disadvantages.

      • bulldurham

        The launcher is just as much an Android feature as the finder is in MacOS and Windows Explorer is in windows. It is the primary interface. Not including the features is like working in classic mode in Windows 7. Alienating 90 percent of your customers seems like a stupid move and doing it to the ones that buy your flagship products is insane. The warranty period should go from when they stop selling the product not from when it was first released. Playstore was still selling the Nexus 4 up until a month before the Nexus 5 came out and why would I ever purchase another Nexus device knowing that the coolest features in newer software will be held back and released only on the newest Nexus devices.

  • Yamcha

    Annoyed, maybe I should go back to iOS. At least then I know I’m getting the latest updates on release date.

    And it’s not like I have an old device. I’m using a Nexus 7 2013. It really doesn’t make much sense to not have all Google devices with the latest release.