Google has announced it is to kill off its popular Google Now Launcher for Android.
The app which enables users to add a stock-Android like experience to their device, regardless of which Android skin is offered from their manufacturer, has surged in popularity since it was launched back in 2014.
In fact it has proved so popular it has been downloaded more than 50 million times, with users who do not like the interfaces from Android smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and HTC choosing the Google Now Launcher for a cleaner, more intuitive and all round better Android experience.
The launcher also allowed Android users to access some of Google’s best features for smartphones, such as information cards, which included news updates, weather reports and travel information from Google Maps, all tailored to your own personal preferences.
However, according to an email from Google seen by Android Police, as of the March 1st the Google Now Launcher will no longer be available to download from the Google Play Store.
Devices that have already installed the Google Now Launcher will still be able to use the app but after that date, if you want to install it on your new Android device, hard luck, you will have to look for an alternative.
While there are other popular launchers such as Action Launcher and Nova Launcher, what’s not clear at this point is if Google plans to offer users any kind of alternative.
Of course, the closing down of the Google Now Launcher could mean that Google plans to make its Pixel Launcher, which went live in October 2016 when it launched its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, could be made available for third party devices.
However, just now you can only download it if you have one of Google’s new flagship devices.
If you haven’t yet experienced the greatness that is the Google Now Launcher, download it while you still can.
RIP Google Now launcher. We’ll miss you.