The Google Now Launcher is nearing its third birthday, but it looks like the app won’t be around for much longer.
According to a Google email leaked by Android Police, Google is planning to discontinue the Google Now Launcher. The app will be unpublished from the Play Store sometime in Q1 2017, which means that it could disappear any day now.
Starting March 1, the Google Now Launcher will be removed from the optional Google Mobile Services (GMS) package that OEMs can put on their devices. That means that after March 1, no devices with the Google Now Launcher will be approved by Google. Existing devices with the Google Now Launcher can continue to use it after March 1, though.
Google also says that device makers can use the Service Launcher Services library, which offers quick access to the Google Now feed by swiping right on the default home screen.
The Google Now Launcher has been an easy way for users to install a clean, Google-supported launcher on their device if they didn’t care for the launcher that came preloaded. With today’s news, though, it seems unlikely that the app will get any significant updates in the future, meaning that some folks may want to jump to an alternative launcher.
Have you ever used the Google Now Launcher?