Google’s Pixel Launcher might use rounded icons and launcher shortcuts

Not long ago a leak revealed that Google’s Nexus Launcher would be turning into the Pixel Launcher, putting it in-line with the branding of the company’s forthcoming flagships, which are expected to be titled the Pixel and the Pixel XL.

Now, Android Police has torn down the Pixel Launcher APK, a speculative process based on evidence found inside of the APK. The publication warns that since the teardown is likely based on incomplete information, it’s possible that its guesses are wrong, or that even if they’re correct, they may not see the light of day.

However, what can be inferred from the teardown of this launcher, which will likely debut in Android 7.1 with the Pixel phones, are some intriguing potential changes to launcher icons and the return of launcher shortcuts.


According to the site, the Pixel Launcher may feature only round icons. This is signified by filenames and a class named CircularIconProvider in the launcher itself. In pictures, the redesigned icons mainly feature the traditional app logo pasted above a white button, though some are specifically designed to fill out the entirety of the circle.

As for the launcher shortcuts, they were originally found in the second Android N developer preview, and seem to act much like iOS’ 3D touch functionality — though it’s unclear whether the shortcuts will be accessed through a pressure sensitive display, long-pressing or some other gesture.


Both changes appear to be built in to API 25 and may make their debut with Android 7.1 on October 4th, when the new Pixel devices are expected to launch.

Image credit: Android Police 1, 2

Related: Leak shows the Nexus Launcher is becoming the Pixel Launcher

[source]Android Police 1, 2[/source][via]9to5Google[/via]

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