Google is planning to phase out its Google Now launcher. The software had proven very popular on Android, providing a free alternative for anyone searching for a more stock-like experience.
The news comes from an email which was sent to Google Mobile Service partners, but subsequently leaked to Android Police.
GMS is the programme that manufacturers like Samsung and LG must enrol in to get access to apps like Google Maps and YouTube. These partners have also be allowed to preinstall Google Now launcher on devices, but from 1 March, 2017 that option will no longer be available.
Anyone using Google Now launcher – whether it came preinstalled or was downloaded from the Play Store – can continue to do so. But it is clear that Google is now focussing its efforts on the Pixel Launcher, so the search engine giant’s previous launcher is not likely to benefit from any significant upgrades.
[via Android Police]