Fans of Google Pixel UI who are convinced the hardware was underwhelming are in luck. The Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is now ready and free to download.
The version 3.0 of the launcher is the latest update of the first two versions that independent developer Amir Zaidi, also known as AmirZ, had freely provided in 2017. As implied, Zaidi's creation is the next best thing if users do not intend to invest in the actual Google Pixel 2 phones but love how the handset's user interface works anyway.
According to AmirZ, the Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is the best of the Pixel 2 original launcher features fused with the Android Open Source Project Launcher 3 app functionalities.
"I am back to bring you Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0. This one is based on AOSP 8.1, and Google's new Pixel 2 Launcher ... I customized it, and I gave it its own identity based on the most requested features," the developer announced in a Reddit post.
What To Expect
In putting together the new launcher, the developer's intention is clear. He wants Android users not into the Google Pixel brand to get a taste of stock Android the Pixel way. Sure enough, installing the app will transform any compatible Android device into a pseudo Pixel model.
In effect, Zaidi is giving out a Pixel ticket to users while giving them the option to retain their preferred Android handset brands. This same privilege will be made available to users unwilling to take the device rooting route.
The custom Pixel launcher was also coded to render in the simplest form possible. AmirZ has advised would-be users to look elsewhere if they favor a feature-packed alternative. The developer clarified that what the Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is all boiled down to "simplicity and rock solid stability."
Notwithstanding its stripped-down nature, the launcher remains a powerful tool. Among its most notable features is compatibility from Android 5.0 and up. This means that from Lollipop to Nougat, users will have a fairly granular control of their devices when the modified Pixel launcher is in control.
There are limits, though, as to what the launcher can do. For instance, users will find that app shortcuts are not available for versions below Nougat 7.1. Also, Android Lollipop users will not be getting the notification dots on this flavor of the Pixel launcher.
The Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is not in the Google Play Store, meaning the installation is only possible by way of APK sideloading. It's also worth noting that the tool is most optimal with LineageOS and Paranoid Android, the two custom ROMs that were built around AOSP. In other words, the use of the launcher brings with it some form of risks.