The Nexus 5 is a solid device and Android 4.4 KitKat is a great update, but the new Google Experience Launcher isn’t everyone’s favorite. Sure, it brings Google Now integration right to your homescreen and allows you to perform a voice search just by saying “Ok, Google” on any homescreen panel, but some may want the old launcher back. Well, we’re going to tell you how to do just that.
The Google Experience Launcher is pre-installed on the Nexus 5, but you won’t find this homescreen experience with the KitKat update on your Nexus 4. Instead, you’re given the familiar homescreen experience that some may be longing for.
However, there are a few trade offs by installing this launcher. If you like Google Now on your homescreen, you don’t want to install this, as it will go back to the way it used to be accessed (swipe up from home). You also won’t be able to perform a voice search from any homescreen panel. Still, if you want the old homescreen experience on your Nexus 5 and don’t want to download a third-party home replacement, follow along.
The installation is very simple:
- Go to Settings>Security and tap on the Unknown Sources check box
- Download the Nexus 4′s KitKat Launcher here (Launcher2.apk) from your phone or your computer.
- Plug your Nexus 5 into your computer via micro USB charging cable
- Go to Computer and find the Nexus 5 icon and double click it to open up the internal storage
- Drag the file you downloaded into the root of the storage (inside no folders)
- Exit and disconnect the Nexus 5 from the computer
- On the Nexus 5, with a file manager of your choice, find the file on the phone and tap it to install
- Go to your app drawer and go into the Downloads app (this is where the file should be)
- Tap to install
As long as you don’t set the launcher as the default, you can go back to the Google Experience launcher anytime you choose.