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Install Android 4.4 KitKat Launcher on your Jelly Bean smartphone

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The launcher in Android 4.4 KitKat has underwent a major overhaul and introduces an unlimited number of home screens, new and bigger icons, and more visual changes. If you want to give it a try, the APK is already available online and can be installed on devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later.

When I recently wrote about the Nexus 5, I mentioned there wasn’t much to see in the latest Android version unveiled last week. But as my colleague has pointed out in his own post, the OS actually has a lot to offer. That, in part, has to do with the Android 4.4 KitKat launcher. Simply follow the steps below and see it for yourself.

  1. Enable installation from unknown sources. This option is usually found in Settings > Security > Device Administration.
  2. Download the APK files (contained in a ZIP file), extract them on your computer, and move them to your device.
  3. Install the files in this order: (1) PrebuiltGmsCore.apk, (2) Velvet.apk, (3) GoogleHome.apk
  4. Press the home button and select the launcher.

With the launcher installed, you can now enjoy a spanking new interface that provides an intuitive access to your wallpaper, widgets, and settings. That and there’s more features left to explore.

So that the Android 4.4 KitKat launcher will work seamlessly on your device, you will also need to install the latest version of Google Now and Google Play Services.

Note that this isn’t an official release by Google. This Android 4.4 KitKat launcher was extracted from a Nexus 5 handset by xda-developer user geoworld_200. As with all experimental installations, expect issues and bugs to arise. For instance, your Google Search may encounter force close issues. We recommend that you backup your important data first before trying the launcher.

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