Much of the focus of the recent HTC Nexus leaks have focused on their hardware — stuff like design and specs — but today a new leak is shedding some light on the software that might appear on the Marlin and Sailfish.
A new report claims to show off Google’s new Nexus Launcher that’s expected to appear on HTC’s rumored Marlin and Sailfish Nexus phones. The first big change that you might notice is the lack of a large Google Search bar at the top of the display. Instead, there’s a calendar widget in the upper right corner of the display, and on the left a “G” tab that you can tap to launch Google Search. It's said that this calendar widget and "G" tab can't be removed, but they'll only be on the main home screen.
Today’s report suggests that that the behavior and animations of the “G” tab could change substantially when paired with a newer Search app APK. Exactly how it could change isn’t known, though.
Another notable change is at the bottom of the display. The app drawer icon is missing and the dock apps are in a “frosted” zone with an arrow above it. To access your app drawer, you can swipe up on this frosted zone or tap the arrow. There’s a refreshed search bar at the top of the drawer. Once you’re done, you can dismiss the drawer by swiping down on it or hitting the back button.
One other thing to note is that Google is also expected to launch refreshed on-screen navigation buttons with the new Nexus phones. These buttons will reportedly be solid white, and the Home button could have red, blue, green, and yellow touches around it that may animate when long-pressed to launch Google Now on Tap.
While still unofficial, I’m a big fan of this redesigned Nexus Launcher. The refreshed dock and app drawer combo gives you an extra spot in your dock for an app icon, and it’d be nice to have a new gesture for opening the drawer. Meanwhile, the new combo of the calendar widget and “G” button look really nice and cover up less of your wallpaper than the current Search widget. It’s certainly possible that Google will make tweaks to this design before shipping the new Nexus Launcher, but as it stands now, it looks good.
It’s expected that this updated Nexus Launcher will release alongside this year’s new Nexus phones, and while it’s unclear if it’ll be exclusive to Nexus phones, the folks at Android Police think that that’ll be the case. What do you think of this leaked Nexus Launcher refresh?