According to a source, Google will reportedly discontinue distributing the Google Now Launcher which is now still available via the Play Store. The mothership has two launchers in the Play Store now – the Google Now Launcher and the Pixel Launcher. Is this pointing to the latter being made available on other Android devices? We wish.
According to a source who tipped the people over at Android Police, Google has sent out an email to its GMS partners – that is, manufacturers who pre-install Google Mobile Services on their devices – that it is intending to remove the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store starting on March 1. The email screenshot below tells this story, but it has not been officially confirmed by Google as of yet.
For manufacturers, there will be options – and they will still be able to use the GNL in one form or another. They can either just slap on the Google Now Launcher (actually, just the Google Feed) onto whatever launcher they would be installing onto a device. Or for those who use the GNL as their main launcher (like Motorola and Nexus devices), they can also just grab the Launcher3 element from AOSP to keep using it.
The problem of this – if the tip is true – is that people who will be using GNL probably won’t be getting any performance updates and major improvements after March. Does this mean that the Pixel Launcher will be made available to other devices? We’re not too hopeful about that, in all honesty.
VIA: Android Police