While the stock Pixel Launcher is only available on Google’s handsets, the new Rootless Launcher is a very close imitation. And it appears to work on most Android handsets.
As XDA explains, Rootless Launcher began life as a hack, of sorts, that combined the freely-available and open-source Android launcher with decomplied Pixel Launcher sources. But this past week, it was released to the Google Play Store. So now anyone can safely give it a shot.
This launcher is particularly interesting, I think, for those phones that offer their own customized launchers, in particular, those from OnePlus and Samsung. I’m currently testing this on my OnePlus 6, and I’ve confirmed that it works with the Galaxy S8+.
There are two things I really like about this launcher. First, it provides the clean Pixel Launcher look and feel, which I really prefer. And second, it provides access to the Google feed that I also really prefer. (That latter capability requires you to install the Rootless Pixel Bridge, which you’ll be promoted to do.)
The only downside, I guess, is that the phones I’d use this with are still running Android 8.x, so they’re missing some of the features I’ve come to expect from Android 9 Pie like the new gesture navigation. But this is still preferable to the custom launchers I’ve seen. And I’m guessing it will be for many of you as well.
You can download Rootless Launcher from the Google Play Store. I will continue testing this myself as well.