Google Now Launcher Available to All Nexus Devices
Google recently made a version of the Nexus 5's Google Now launcher available to all Nexus and Google Play Edition devices. The Google Now launcher, which debuted as part of the Nexus 5's user interface, includes Google Now as part of the home screen. Google Now was upgrade from a widget to one of the home screen panels. The launcher lets people trigger voice search or voice commands by saying "OK Google" when on their home screen. Further, with a full home screen panel, Google Now has more room to reveal info cards, which provide information about travel plans, scheduling, the weather, real-time traffic, and more. The Google Now launcher is free to download from the Google Play Store, but requires Android 4.4 KitKat and either Nexus or Play Edition devices.
Yahoo Adds Search Tools to Aviate Android Launcher
Yahoo today updated its Aviate launcher for Android devices and made it easier to perform searches. According to Yahoo, Aviate users can now search through apps, people, and the web directly from the home screen without requiring them to open a new window first.
Nokia Releases Android Launcher, Debuts Tablet
Nokia today announced wide availability of the Z Launcher for Android devices. Nokia first debuted the Z Launcher earlier this year, but as a limited alpha.
Samsung, Nokia Field Their Own Android Launchers
Samsung and Nokia have both recently made available launchers for Android devices that serve as alternatives to their normal approach for home screen behavior. Terrain (pictured) comes from a Samsung-sponsored developer and is free to download from the Google Play Store.
Nexus 6 Vanishes from Play Store, While Nexus 5X Enjoys a Price Cut
Google is no longer selling the Motorola-made Nexus 6 handset via the Google Play Store. The company is now selling only the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones, though the Nexus 6 remains available from other retailers, including Amazon.com.