Google released the Google Pixel smartphones in 2016, and the default launcher that came with them (called the Pixel Launcher) came with many features that render third party launcher apps almost useless. But people still wanted more out of the pixel launcher, which led a developer to create the Rootless Pixel Launcher in 2017 and launch a version of it later that same year. The developer has now launched the third version of the launcher named the Pixel Launcher 3.0. In this article, I’ll show you how to download rootless pixel launcher 3.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.
As the name suggests, the Rootless Pixel Launcher allows you to enjoy the features of the Pixel Launcher on other Android devices without rooting your smartphone, and you’re not even restricted to the default features that Pixel Launcher brings to the Google Pixel smartphones; the developer of Rootless Pixel Launcher customized it and added many features that were requested by users in the second version.
The good thing about Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is that it is based on AOSP 8.1 and the Google Pixel 2 Launcher, and unlike other similar applications that modify the Pixel 2 Launcher directly, Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 was built by reverse-engineering the original Pixel 2 Launcher and porting its features over to Launcher3, the Android Open Source Project-based launcher. That way, more features can be added to the application in the long run with little or no difficulties.
Also, since it’s based on Launcher3 which is an open-source project, enthusiasts and third-party developers can contribute to the development of the software, meaning that constant support, bug fixes and feature additions are guaranteed for users of the application.
Download and Install Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0
Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 is backwards-compatible with previous versions of the Android operating system and can be installed on Android devices running as low as Android 5.0 Lollipop. Even though it’s meant for users of phones apart from the Google Pixel smartphones that want to enjoy the features of the default Pixel Launcher on their devices, Google Pixel smartphone users can also use Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 on their smartphones by installing a Magisk module (you need root for that).
NOTE: If you want to install the Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 on a Google Pixel smartphone, uninstall or disable the existing Pixel Launcher app on your smartphone before installing this one, or else you’ll encounter a 0.0dip has stopped working constant error. If you’ve already made this mistake and are now faced with the error, install the real Pixel Launcher application from the app store and follow these instructions.
Google Pixel smartphone users need to have Magisk installed and use a Magisk module instead because you need root to overwrite or uninstall the default Pixel Launcher app. The developer could have simply avoided this by making the package name for Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 different from that for the default Pixel Launcher, but doing that would break the app’s Smartspace features. You just have to make do with Magisk for now.
Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 Features and Changelog
Rootless Pixel Launcher 3.0 comes with the default features of the Google Pixel 2 Launcher, and custom features have been added to it. Here’s what you’re getting from the application for your different Android versions:
- The new Google Now feed is available to the left of the home screen, without needing root access.
- The theme changes based on the wallpaper in use. Dark wallpapers will trigger the dark theme, otherwise, it uses the default theme.
- At the top of the first home screen page, there is a Smartspace widget with events, weather and the date, all in the Google Sans font.
- The new search bar is at the bottom of the home screen and the top of the app drawer. Google Calendar’s icon changes with the date.
- The exact same screen size profiles from the Pixel 2 Launcher are included. The same grid sizes and icon sizes.
- Google Wallpapers and Voice Search are hidden from the app drawer.
- Probably the most requested feature in the history of mankind’s development, icon packs are included in the settings app. Just a simple selection list where you can select from the list of packs installed on your phone.
- There are app suggestions based on the number of drawer clicks at the top of the app drawer. These are not the same as the real Pixel Launcher. I will explain why in the FAQ. Round app icons from Android 7.1 are used when available.
- Calendar icons change with the date if the icon pack you use supports it.
- All icon packs are hidden from the app drawer when an icon pack is being used.
- Google Now Launcher is hidden from the app drawer.
- There is a custom screen size profile with a 6×6 grid when the DPI is low. This automatically kicks in on tablets or large phones. If you want to enable this, your DPI needs to be 370 or less (on a 1920×1080 device). This equals a 467dp smallest width, for those on Nougat.
- You can open and close notifications from anywhere on the home screen by swiping up and down.
- New releases can be found in the settings app when clicking About -> Version.
- Notification/shortcut popups are centred on the screen with a nice animation when positioning it on the left or right would make it go out of the screen.
- When the popup still goes out of the screen in landscape, the popup arrow is hidden.
- When pressing the search bar without the Google App available on your phone, the browser opens google.com. This makes it useful for MicroG or Pico GApps users on custom ROMs, instead of being a waste of space.
- Themes are hardcoded to look like the Pixel, for compatibility across OEMs.
- The list of all apps gets automatically resized when you start searching, so you can scroll to the bottom.
- For devices without software navigation bar, there is padding under the search widget on the home screen.
- There are notification dots in the colour of the app’s icon.
- You can view and interact with notifications in the long press popup on apps.
- The settings menu uses the Oreo style and colours.
- A light theme is applied when the wallpaper is light enough. This has a dark status bar, navigation bar and text.
- When long pressing an app there will be shortcuts in the popup.
- There are settings for adding icons to the home screen when installing and changing the icon shape for adaptive icons.
- Google Clock shows the current time and changes in real time.
- The Google Now feed uses the same theme as the launcher.
- Adaptive icons are disabled for pre-Oreo apps, so you don’t get boxes in boxes.