9

The Nexus 5 comes with this useless and space-wasting Google Now search bar:

Not Ok Google

It is hard-coded, and I have been told the solution is to modify the launcher's AOSP source code and remove the hard-coded bar. I guess someone has done it already, so that's the purpose of the present question.

Requirements:

  • Just like the normal AOSP launcher, just without the bar and without Google Now.
  • Widgets must be usable
  • Open source, free
  • Maintained to follow closely new upstream developments
  • Available on Google Play or as an APK, or even better on F-Droid

Tried:

(NOTE: If you use LineageOS then just long-press the screen, choose Settings, then disable "Search bar")

  • 1
    Google UIs are often good examples of wasted screen space. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 31 '15 at 7:13
  • Added answer to your original question on Android enthusiasts – holroy Aug 31 '15 at 10:03
  • Any issues in using Cyanogenmod's Trebuchet or SlimROMS' Slim Launcher? I don't know how Google Now launcher looks but these launchers are close to stock with some cool features too. They also meet the rest of your three requirements. – Firelord Sep 3 '15 at 23:06
  • @Firelord: Is Trebuchet usable only on Cyanogenmod? Is Slim Launcher really open source? Thanks! – Nicolas Raoul Sep 4 '15 at 4:05
  • @Firelord: Slim Launcher does not satisfy the first requirement. For instance, it does not support widgets – Nicolas Raoul Sep 4 '15 at 9:19
3
+50

Checking my list of alternative launchers, it looks like Launcher+ should fit your needs. Quotes from its description answer your listed requirements:

  • Just like the normal AOSP launcher: compiled straight from AOSP
  • just without the bar and without Google Now: Hide the Google Search Bar
  • Nexus 5: guaranteed to work on the Nexus 4 and 5 (and yes, I know about the special issue with those devices concerning the search bar – so this is the master criterium)

Unfortunately, the description doesn't mention a license (and no homepage to check with), so I must pass on that requirement. At least it "ships at no charge", and is available at Google Play.

Searchbar No searchbar, more space for icons
Screenshots prove: Searchbar is there, but can be hidden (Source: Google Play; click to enlarge)

I have not used this app myself, so I cannot vouch for it from personal experience. Play store rating is 4 stars at almost 6k votes, so it cannot be that bad. And one of your criteria seems to be only met partly: Maintained to follow closely new upstream developments – there wasn't any update lately to this launcher. Still, if you want to get rid of the search bar on your N5, it should be a good choice.


Alternatives you might wish to take a look at (not mentioning all your requirements, but according to the screenshots and "reading between the lines" might be a close fit as well):

  • Polaris Launcher: More up-to-date. According to the screenshots, you can disable the search bar – which is explicitely mentioned (just found it): Hide or move the position of individual desktop elements (search bar, dock, page indicator). The N5 is not explicitely mentioned. Comes in a free version with in-app-payment to go Pro.
  • Kcin Launcher is based on AOSP, and a little more up-to-date. Doesn't mention search bar hiding, but screenshots might indicate that (the sentence Highly customizable, with many useful settings could mean anything ;) No license mentioned here either.
  • Too bad it is not open source... if there is any open source alternative feel free to give another answer :-) – Nicolas Raoul Oct 26 '15 at 9:04
  • 1
    I'm just cross-checking my resources, Nicolas, and will add some hints to my answer here – unless I find a "full match", which I then post in a separate answer :) – Izzy Oct 26 '15 at 9:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.