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2016 Google Nexus Devices May Rock New Launcher: Screenshots Show Intriguing Changes

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Google is planning to introduce a new launcher in the upcoming Nexus devices launching this year, according to newly-surfaced information.

Android Police cites multiple reliable sources and reports about the new launcher for Nexus devices. The publication claims to have seen substantial visual evidence of the next Nexus launcher.

Just like in 2015, Google is said to be working on two new Nexus smartphones for this year. The handsets are purportedly codenamed: Marlin and Sailfish, both made by HTC.

According to Android Police, the new launcher will not include the app drawer icon. However, the app drawer will remain available, just hidden under a "frosted glass" section near the static icons on the bottom of the homescreen.

Users can access the app drawer in two ways: firstly, by sliding up in the "frosted glass" and secondly by tapping the arrow above the zone. Closing the app drawer is also straightforward. Users can just swipe down anywhere from the screen, apart from the navigation bar or notification, or tap on the back button to close the app drawer. The app drawer also has a restyled search bar on the top.

According to the leaked screenshots, some aspects of the home screen have also been tweaked. The Google Search app is now replaced with a calendar widget, which is placed just opposite the "G pull-tab." Tapping on the tab opens Google Search. Google may also introduce fresh navigation buttons in the new Nexus launcher.

Reports suggest that the new Nexus launcher will be available to Nexus models running on Android 7.0 Nougat. Google normally releases its latest mobile operating system (OS) with a new Nexus device. In 2015, the company released Android 6.0 Marshmallow in September and the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P were the first devices to come running on the latest OS. However, other Nexus smartphones and tablets also received a software update and owners were able to enjoy the new features of the OS.

Google has not confirmed any details about the next Nexus smartphones but it is likely that the company will announce two new mobile phones this quarter. The upcoming Nexus phones will be the first to run on Android 7.0 Nougat.

It is worth noting that the screenshots leaked for the new Nexus launcher suggest it's still in the development stage and Google has not confirmed its details. It is also likely that Google developers will make some changes to the launcher before it is finally rolled out to the next-gen Nexus smartphones.

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