The Google Now Launcher sits alongside the Pixel Launcher in the Play Store as being two options available from Google itself.
But Android Police reports that Google is planning on discontinuing the Google Now Launcher, and soon, only leaving behind the Pixel Launcher. The publication received an email from an anonymous tipster, which outlines the changes that are on the way. Google says it has begun notifying GMS partners that the change was incoming, and that the launcher will be pulled from the Play Store in the coming weeks.
The email does inform OEMs that the Search Launcher Services library is now available, which means they can put the stock Google Now panel, known as the Google Feed these days, in their stock launchers as they see fit. Which they can opt to do, or skip it entirely. Companies like Sony, Motorola, and others have already started doing this.
Google adds that they will remove the Google Now Launcher from the GMS package beginning March 1, so any new devices that come pre-installed with the launcher won’t be approved after that date. Google will remove the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store by the end of the first quarter of this year.
Have you ever tried out the Google Now Launcher?
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