The first Android O Developer Preview has been out only for days but the development community is already at work bringing features from the to-be-latest and greatest Android version to older versions. As obvious from the title, we now have the updated Pixel Launcher from Android O, thanks to developer linuxct. This ported version of the Pixel Launcher works on Android 6.0+ devices with or without root. As always though, having root is sort of better.
But since not much has changed in this version compared to the ones we currently have on Android Nougat I’m not sure if you should even bother. The only visible new change here is that you can swipe up anywhere on the homescreen to bring up the app drawer as opposed to swiping up from the dock at the bottom of your screen. The package conflicts with any previous Pixel Launcher installation so if you already have an older version of Pixel Launcher installed, you wil have to uninstall it.
If you do wish to still go ahead though, just download the APK from below and install it. Make sure you check Unknown Sources in Settings>Security.
Once installed, a simple press of the home button should bring up a list of your installed launchers where you can select the Pixel Launcher. In case it doesn’t, go to Settings>Apps and tap the gear icon in the top right hand corner. Tap Home app and select Pixel Launcher. Installing it as a normal apk though means that you will not have the Google Now pane on the left. If you wish to have Google Now access with a swipe, the apk needs to be installed as a system app.
There are a few ways to do so. You can simply use your favorite root enabled file browser and move the downloaded APK to the /system/app/ folder, and then grant the correct permissions, as shown below.
Or you can do this via Link2SD.
Install Link2SD from the Playstore. Open the app, grant it Super user permissions and then long press on the Pixel Launcher entry from the listof apps displayed. Select Convert to system app and tap OK on the warning that appears.
Whichever way you choose, once you have done it, reboot your device. Pixel Launcher from the Android O Developer Preview should now be installed on your phone.
Keep in mind though that since this is a ported app from the very first developer preview, it can tend to be a bit unstable at first, resulting in a few crashes. This is not long term however and a quick reboot fixes everything.