Google’s Pixel phones come exclusively with their own launcher. Now, it’s recently been discovered that the Mountain View company appears to be A/B testing a new layout for the Pixel Launcher that removes the weather/date widget.
The new Pixel Launcher appears as a rounded search bar that stretches to the width of the first home screen. The old version of the launcher was a small pill-shaped tab with the “G” logo on the left-hand side, while the right side is populated by the current weather conditions and the date.
Although Google’s own weather/date widget was helpful in providing quick information, a lot of users might actually like its removal so they can use other weather apps. The presence of a more traditional search bar on the home screen also seems more accessible and familiar to most Android users.
Since this isn’t the final version of the new Pixel Launcher, it could still have some major differences when it’s been made available to everyone. It’s possible Google might find a way to re-integrate its weather/date widget to the new Pixel launcher, for example.
The new Pixel launchers seems to have already appeared to some users. This suggests that Google might be A/B testing (split testing) the new layout of the launcher to see which is better or which is most liked by users.
For those who can’t wait to try out Google’s new Pixel Launcher, there’s actually an easy trick to have access to it. Some users have actually reported that they got the redesigned look by clearing the App data of the Pixel Launcher, according to Android Police. Clearing the App data also means that the user’s home screen’s layout will be wiped clean.
One user also claimed that he was able to receive the redesigned Pixel Launcher by restoring his operating system from Android Nougat 7.1.2 beta down to Android Nougat 7.1.1, according to 9To5Google.