The new launcher for Ice Cream Sandwich is definitely one of its finer UI points, but at least one feature has minimalism fans seeing red. The Google Search bar gets its own reserved spot at the top of the launcher, now that physical buttons are optional and the Search button isn’t included by default. This is the sort of stuff that the XDA-Developers boys live and breathe, so naturally they found a way to get rid of it for a clean and more customizable home screen.

The hack is a simple one for any root user – just use the app disable feature we mentioned earlier to turn off the Google Search app. That’s Settings > Apps > All > Google Search, and tap “Disable”. The downside is that the Google Search app ceases to function, so the immediate utility is kind of shot. But armed with this information, modders should be able to disable the search bar selectively soon enough, just like they’ve been able to re-insert the Search button into the navigation area.

Before you ask: no, there’s no new information concerning the Galaxy Nexus coming to America. But more and more information on Verizon’s LTE model is leaking out, including fully baked retail units. We should be seeing some kind of announcement very soon. We hope. In the meantime you can try one of the many Ice Cream Sandwich and CyanogenMod 9 ROMs that have sprung up for dozens of devices.

[device id=1740]