New open-source launcher brings Google Now and Pixel Launcher capabilities to all phones — along with a huge loadout of customization features.
I’m usually pretty lazy when it comes to customizing my home screens. For the most part, I tend to stick with the stock launcher on whatever phone I’m using, and I don’t go over-the-top tweaking absolutely every setting on my home screen.
Yet with the discontinuation of the Google Now Launcher, I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement, because so few third-party launchers include support for the Google Feed. (And for those that do, hacky workarounds are required.)
Enter Lawnchair which started out as an effort to bring Google Feed support to the Google’s basic Launcher3 — the home screen app included in open-source Android. After gaining momentum on XDA, this curious little side project has become surprisingly polished, growing a bunch of new features from the Pixel, Android O and beyond — and porting over many Google Pixel design elements in the process.
And although Lawnchair, with its slightly goofy name, currently exists as a test release, outside the Google Play Store, it’s well worth checking out. Developer Deletescape recently posted build 822 — a significant update with many performance enhancements and new capabilities.
At the heart of Lawnchair is Launcher3 — the open-source base from with the Pixel Launcher is built. On its own it’s pretty barebones, giving you a basic home screen layout and swipeable app tray. Lawnchair faithfully recreates almost all of the features of the Pixel Launcher from scratch, with the only major exception being the weather widget opposite the Google pill button.
The Pixel features that are included can be easily customized, or removed entirely if they’re not your cup of tea. That includes the Google button, rounded icons and even the Google Feed (aka Google Now)