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There’s an easy way to get some of the Pixel 2’s best features on any Android phone

Google’s Pixel 2 has arguably the best take on Android around, with it’s slick Pixel Launcher making navigating Android 8.0 Oreo a joy when compared to other phones with heavy skins and user interfaces over the mobile operating system. 

But both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have yet to be released and are pretty expensive to boot, but the Nova Launcher 5.5 beta brings some of the new Pixel Launcher features to other Android phones.

One of the core changes in the Pixel Launcher UI is the positioning of the built-in Google search bar to the bottom of the home page rather than sitting at the top in the form of a blob-shaped tab; the Nova Launcher beta will do the same for non-Pixel 2 handsets.

It might seem a minor change, but there are now plenty of phones with large displays that make it difficult for people without shovel-sized hands to reach the top of the display with one hand. Moving the search bar to the bottom of the homepage makes it more accessible and easier to fire up for quick searches, something that’s likely to be useful for serial pub quiz cheaters.

Long-presses which bring up re-designed pop-up menus for apps and the home screen on the Pixel 2, also feature in the Nova Launcher, alongside the new icon animations brought in with the latest Pixel Launcher.

One thing to note is the notifications which appear in the long-press menus will need a Nova Prime key to unlock and will only work on a device running Android 5.0 or later.

While not every feature found in the depths of the Pixel Launcher have made it into the new version of the Nova Launcher beta, it once again serves to indicate how flexible Android is as a mobile OS when compared to the much more rigid and locked down Apple iOS.

Related: When will my phone get Android 8?

What features would you most like to see in the next version of Android? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook. 

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