Customize your phone with Google Now launcher

Google now is a part of Android OS since Jellybean and it is accessible from Google Search’s mobile application. But this is not as exciting as having the full phone geared for Google Now usage. This is exactly what the Google Now launcher does. Till the time this article will be published I would have helped 30+ people get the awesome Google Now interface for their mobile phones unofficially. So let’s delve into more details for this guide. Google Now is one of the best voice control systems for Android phones till now. But sadly enough it has not been made available to the general Android user till now. It is only available for the Google Play device owners as of for now. The Google play edition devices like Nexus series and the Moto X and few other devices come with built in top of the line Google Now support. But few people actually know that the Google Now launcher can be side loaded in many Android phones which would then give them full access to Google Now launcher and it’s voice recognition and contextual services.

For those of you who are still clueless about Google now, watch the below image taken from the official site.

Customize your phone with Google Now launcher

Steps to get Google Now launcher for your phone :

  1. Check if you have a new device with Android version at least Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher version.
  2. If your device passes the above criteria and has a screen size of 3.5 inches or more then you are eligible to try the next step.
  3. Download the Google Now apk file from here.
  4. Now once you have downloaded the file then transfer it into your mobile. It won’t run right now, the state this file is in makes it apt for sharing through Bluetooth, as it’s without any file extension. Now just rename the file to “googlenow.apk”, after this is done, tap it and install using Package installer module in Android.
  5. Now there are two possible outcomes to the install procedure. Either you will get the “package parsing error”, which means that no Google Now launcher for you buddy.
    If the launcher is installed successfully, then just long press your home button. There will be an option to select the Google Now launcher as the default launcher. Do so, and enjoy the extra added features.

To get fully customized Google Now cards, you may have to enable a few settings, which might not be much of a hassle for you, as it’s shown on the left most screen of Google Now.

Here are few screenshots of my phone with Google Now launcher installed:

Steps to ensure Google Now works correct :

  • You don’t need to keep your GPS on at all times, but doing so when in any new location will trigger location specific data.
    customize google now
  • You can customize your Google Now preferences from the above menu which comes after tapping on the magic wand at the end of the Google Now screen. You can change your settings by the below menu which is accessible via the gear icon. Set your language to English UK to enable the “Ok Google” hotword detection.
  • google now settings
  • Google now will show you customized Now cards depending upon the preferences you choose and the nearby locations.
    google now launcher preview
  • google now launcher preview 2
  • google now launcher preview 3
  • google now launcher preview 4Google now can listen to over 100+ various voice commands and reply back with a satisfactory response.
    google now voice detection
  • “Ok Google” is the hot-word to activate Google now from your home screen, enable it as shown in below image.
    google now ok google hotword detection
  • You can even search for your phone using the “Ok Google” command. There are many fancy features available but they will roll out slowly to all users.
  • Officially Google Now is not supported for many devices so don’t try and update the Now Launcher as you may loose existing functionality.

If you have any query or ran into some problem then just comment below and we will help you get the awesome Google Now launcher look on your mobile phone!

Here is a list of top Google Now commands for you to start with.

Google Now voice commands by

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Aditya Nath Jha is an Engineer from New Delhi, India. His areas of interest include Gadgets, WordPress, speed optimization & latest technology. When he is not busy blogging he loves to write poetry, compose his own songs and has a taste for music! Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Instagram. And watch his videos on YouTube.

Customize your phone with Google Now launcher

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