Download Google’s Pixel 2 Launcher And Give Any Android Phone A Pixel 2 UI Makeover

Are you a little too anxious for the upcoming launch of Google's highly anticipated Pixel 2? If so, or you simply love the idea of getting an early look at how Google setup Oreo on its new flagship smartphones, we think we have a new weekend project for you. But don't fret, this one couldn't get much easier. As long as you own an Android phone, at least. In fact we set it up ourselves in just a few minutes.

Pixel 2
Google's upcoming Pixel 2 XL Android Flagship Smartphone

In advance of next week's Pixel 2 launch, an APK of the same launcher used for both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has hit the Web. Now, we normally don't recommend you download APKs from just anywhere, and even if you download from a reputable source, you still need to exercise caution. However, this particular mirror is run by a well-respected Android-specific website, and we can confirm the APK installs without issue or side-effect.

In order to install this launcher, you'll need to make sure that your "Unknown sources" option under the security section on Android is enabled, as it's required to install any and every APK that isn't source from the Play Store. After a couple of taps, you'll quickly find yourself with a "Pixel Launcher" option when you next hit your home button.

Faux Pixel 2 Launcher 01 Faux Pixel 2 Launcher 02
Faux Pixel 2 Launcher 03 Faux Pixel 2 Launcher 04

After installing the launcher on a OnePlus 3 (all four screenshots here reflect the new Pixel Launcher, and yes - the wallpaper is carried over!), we can say that the entire process went off without a hitch. As you'd expect, with a fresh launcher install, however, what you're going to see is very bare bones from the get-go, with only default apps being found on the desktop.

Faux Pixel 2 Launcher Home Settings

Something that might be obvious from the below shots is that not everything has been changed; the system drop-down menu is identical to the one seen on the stock OnePlus 3. However, the actual Home area remains in tact - the Google search field is on the bottom, the app carousel slides upwards, and if you tap and hold the Home screen to hit Home Settings (seen above), you'll be given the option to configure the At A Glance feature, which keeps you apprised of key information (weather, meeting alerts). Interestingly, the Wallpapers option can't be used, at least on my lone device (it claims no app is installed for it). 

So, there you have it - a weekend project for you Android users out there. And, if you don't like what you see after your Pixel 2 makeover, uninstalling the Pixel 2 Launcher and reverting to your original setup is as simple as uninstalling any other app - no fuss.