RIP Google Now: The popular Android launcher is finally dead

It’s been a long time coming, but at the beginning of May 2018, the Google Now launcher stopped working on Android devices. 

Android Central reports that as of May 2nd, only two devices show that they’re still compatible with the Google Now Android launcher − the Pixelbook and the BlackBerry KEYone − but it notes that neither can actually use the software.

Related: Google I/O 2018

The Google Now launcher was a big deal for Google back in the day. First released for Nexus Phones as part of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the software built a voice assistant into Android for the first time, and competed against Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

But more recently, Google Now has been superseded by the Pixel Launcher and Google Assistant, which is able to hold back-and-forth conversations with users as it asks followup questions about their voice queries. Eventually, Google announced that Now was going to be retired back in February last year, and now its retirement is complete.

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Of course, if you’re not content to stick with the default launcher that your Android phone ships with, then there are many other options out there, many of which are built on the same open-source framework of Google Now. Nova Launcher is one of the most popular around, but Action Launcher has also proved popular in recent months.

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So while Google Now might be sailing off into the night, it leaves plenty of other excellent options in its wake. Here’s hoping we hear more about Google’s own plans at next week’s Google I/O event.

What’s your favourite Android launcher, or do you like to keep it stock? Let us know @TrustedReviews.

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