Google’s Pixel 2 (our review) is the premiere Android smartphone. Free from many of the issues plaguing other Android devices, it’s Google’s vision for Android in both hardware and software.
But due to Android’s fragmented update schedule, many users will never see some of the Pixel 2’s best features. Thankfully, a clever developer has stepped in to bring a lot of its features to other Android phones through an app called Rootless Pixel Launcher. Here’s how you can check it out.
How to Get Pixel 2 Features on Any Android Phone
You’ll need to make sure you have a few elements straight before starting:
- An Android phone with Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer.
- Since you have to sideload the app, your must ensure your phone allows apps from unknown sources.
To check this, open Settings and go to the Security tab. From there, choose Lock screen and security and enable Unknown sources. Accept the warning and you’re all set. If you’re on Android Oreo, the steps for sideloading are a bit different.
Now, download the latest release of Rootless Pixel Launcher as a ZIP file. Unzip it to access the APK inside and install it on your phone. Once installed, just tap the Home button on your phone and Android will ask you what home screen app you want to use. Select the Pixel Launcher entry and choose Always to set it as your default.
Then you can enjoy all the features of this modified Pixel Launcher. Check the developer’s announcement on Reddit for a full breakdown of features. What you can use depends on your version of Android.
On Marshmallow or above, you’ll see dots on apps with active notifications. Nougat users can long-press on apps to access shortcuts. And anyone with Lollipop or newer has access to the Google feed by swiping to the left of your home screen. Add the look and feel of the Pixel Launcher to the ability to use custom icon packs, and you’ve got a solid launcher.
What do you think of this Pixel Launcher? Do you prefer the stock experience or is another launcher your favorite? Share with us in the comments!
Image Credit: Tinh te Photo/Flickr