Google has announced that it is now discontinuing its Google Now Launcher app. For those who don't know about the app then the Google Now Launcher app is basically an Android skin or layout that can make your apps look like a stock-Android version.
If you visit the Play Store you will find that Google Now Launcher sits alongside the Pixel Launcher. These are the two options provided by Google. However, now it looks like there will be only one.
A leaked email outlines the changes that are coming from Google. And through this mail, Google has started alerting Google Mobile Services (GSM) partners about the discontinuation of the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store in the coming days.
According to the email, OEMs will have the Search Launcher Services library and they can also integrate or put the Google Now panel on whichever stock launcher they want. However, the OEMs can opt to do so, or skip the process entirely.
Google, on the other hand, informs that the existing users will continue to receive support but new downloads will not be available. Google further adds that they will remove the Google Now Launcher from the GMS package beginning March 1. So any new device that comes pre-installed with the launcher won't be approved after that date.
Google will remove the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store by the end of the first quarter of this year.