If you want the Google Now page on a custom launcher, you can finally add it by using Nova Launcher and a new companion application.
When Google launched the Google Now Launcher, it added a ton of convenience for anyone who used the company’s new Google Now feature. Over time, this feature evolved into the Google Feed and for some has just become invaluable as they use it every single day.
However, until recently, having the Google Now page as the far left panel of the Home Screen has only been available if you use the Google Now Launcher or the Pixel Launcher.
Due to the way Google implemented this feature, it simply isn’t possible to include it as a base feature of a launcher unless it is installed as a system application. So custom ROMs started adding this feature once that was discovered but now an alternative method has been found. The developer of the popular Nova Launcher application (my preferred launcher of choice right now) has found out a way to add this feature and it only requires you to install a companion application alongside Nova Launcher.
Best part is, the companion application is free and it can add the Google Now page to the free version of Nova Launcher.
Add Google Now to Nova Launcher
- Download and install Nova Launcher
- Download the Nova Google Companion application
- Sideload the Nova Google Companion application
- Switch to Nova Launcher as your launcher of choice
- Long press on an empty spot of the Home Screen
- Tap the Settings option
- Tap on the Integration option
- Then enable the Google Now Page toggle
This is a incredibly interesting development as it means it should allow for other custom launchers to add this same type of integration. Whether or not that happens will depend entirely on the developer though. One of the reasons why I like it so much is because it keeps the Google search application loaded in the memory any time you’re at the Home Screen. This is just required in order to have it present as that far left panel of the Home Screen.
Since it stays in memory, tapping the search icon/bar in the Home Screen makes it load incredibly fast. Before, it had to actually load an application which doesn’t take long but it does add a second or two to the search process. With it added to Nova Launcher, this makes it just as fast as it is on the Google Now Launcher as well as the Pixel Launcher. So to start, we need to have Nova Launcher installed (naturally), and you can choose if you want to use the free version or the paid version.
Once that is done, you’ll need to download and then sideload the Nova Google Companion application onto your device. Once installed, you can choose to open it but that isn’t necessary as it only shows you a dialog prompt saying it has been installed. From here, tap the Home button and switch to Nova Launcher as your default Home Screen if you haven’t already. Now, long press on any empty space of the Home Screen and tap the Settings option that appears at the bottom right
In this list you’ll see a number of options related to Nova Launcher, but we just want to tap on the Integration option for now. At the top of this next screen you should see an entire section dedicated to Google Now with the first toggle letting you enable or disable the Google Now page on the Home Screen. There are also a couple of options you can set here that let you customize the experience a little more.