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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    paintdrinkingpete's Avatar

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    Default Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    First, I don't own a Nexus 5, but I figured this would be the best sub-forum to ask this question... I have Galaxy S4 running "Google Edition" 4.4.2, essentially the same OS as the Nexus 5, which is why I wanted to post here.

    I've never used the GEL (Google Experience Launcher) because I've been using Nova for quite some time and I'm very happy with it. I gave GEL a look-over when it came out, but not really much more than that, and frankly, couldn't figure out what (if anything) was so "special" about it? Since the Nexus 5 came with GEL by default, I'm assuming plenty of folks here not only have tried it, but use it regularly. What I'm curious about is whether or not I'm missing something? Is there any kind of real functionality GEL provides over other 3rd party launcher like Nova?

    I don't want this to be about Nova vs. GEL, or recommendations for other 3rd party launchers, I only mentioned Nova because that's what I currently use...I'm primarily interested in what people like or don't like about GEL

    I suppose I could just try it out for a few days and find out for myself, but I figured I'd ask around here first to see anyone wanted to share an opinion..?

    EDIT: Apparently it is now called the "Google Now Launcher" or GNL...didn't know that until today.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Actually, it's GNL.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    I use GEL on my G Pad and Nova free on my Optimus G.

    Both simplify the UI but nova is just better since you have more to customize. both are fairly fast and look the same overall.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    I like it because it's fast and smooth and you have access to Google Now via the far left home screen. I find that I access Google Now more from that spot than the long press and up method. Aside from that, I don't really know what features are unique to the GEL. It works for me though, so I haven't bothered with Nova and others.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by flick0416 View Post
    I like it because it's fast and smooth and you have access to Google Now via the far left home screen. I find that I access Google Now more from that spot than the long press and up method. Aside from that, I don't really know what features are unique to the GEL. It works for me though, so I haven't bothered with Nova and others.
    This.

    From mah shiny new Nexus 5
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    Actually, it's GNL.
    I had to Google that figure out what GNL was...thanks, I did not realize they had changed the name!

    Nexus 5 launcher becomes 'Google Now Launcher' after Search update | Android Central
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    I had to Google that figure out what GNL was...thanks, I did not realize they had changed the name!

    Nexus 5 launcher becomes 'Google Now Launcher' after Search update | Android Central
    Wasn't really a change, IMO. I don't think "Google Experience Launcher" was ever official.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    for me the icons with GEL/GNL are just too big.
    we have a nice high-res screen and it's filled with huge icons, with some of them not high enough quality for the size of the icon..
    it needs toned down a little, somewhere closer to the N4 size icons.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    Wasn't really a change, IMO. I don't think "Google Experience Launcher" was ever official.
    Fair enough...though most sources were calling it the "Google Experience Launcher"

    Quote Originally Posted by chenks View Post
    for me the icons with GEL/GNL are just too big.
    we have a nice high-res screen and it's filled with huge icons, with some of them not high enough quality for the size of the icon..
    it needs toned down a little, somewhere closer to the N4 size icons.
    That's the big thing for me as well. With Nova, I expand the desktop to 5x5 and prefer to get as much out of my real estate as possible.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    I like it because of how nice and smooth its is, the larger icons, and Google now both being the left most panel and easily accessed by speaking "OK Google". I also mainly use it because it is stock, I don't like having extra redundant applications installed or running unless I have too (when I used the Galaxy Note 3 as my main device I used Nova Launcher because of how bad touchwiz is).
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    First, I don't own a Nexus 5, but I figured this would be the best sub-forum to ask this question... I have Galaxy S4 running "Google Edition" 4.4.2, essentially the same OS as the Nexus 5, which is why I wanted to post here.

    I've never used the GEL (Google Experience Launcher) because I've been using Nova for quite some time and I'm very happy with it. I gave GEL a look-over when it came out, but not really much more than that, and frankly, couldn't figure out what (if anything) was so "special" about it? Since the Nexus 5 came with GEL by default, I'm assuming plenty of folks here not only have tried it, but use it regularly. What I'm curious about is whether or not I'm missing something? Is there any kind of real functionality GEL provides over other 3rd party launcher like Nova?

    I don't want this to be about Nova vs. GEL, or recommendations for other 3rd party launchers, I only mentioned Nova because that's what I currently use...I'm primarily interested in what people like or don't like about GEL

    I suppose I could just try it out for a few days and find out for myself, but I figured I'd ask around here first to see anyone wanted to share an opinion..?

    EDIT: Apparently it is now called the "Google Now Launcher" or GNL...didn't know that until today.
    I personally am not a fan of GEL. Only thing I like about it is the always-on voice search. In every other way I think it is more involved to use than the previous launcher.

    I have not found anything better than Nova Launcher Prime.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post
    I personally am not a fan of GEL. Only thing I like about it is the always-on voice search. In every other way I think it is more involved to use than the previous launcher.

    I have not found anything better than Nova Launcher Prime.
    Thanks...I guess that pretty much sums up what I expected.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    After just two days I gave up on GEL (stock Google Launcher). I can't stand that stupid search bar eating up all my space on every screen. And worse, there is no landscape rotate. And if I use a third-party rotate program, that damn search bar COVERS ICONS BELOW IT! Have no interest in Google Now nor the creepy (and battery wasting) "always on" voice thing (I can press one button just fine, thanks).

    I had never used Nova Launcher before, but decided to give it a try. It solves all my problems and I like it a lot. Only thing I don't like is that it doesn't seem to allow auto icon creation when new programs are loaded, and has no preview of the widgets (just a list) when adding them.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by crxssi View Post
    After just two days I gave up on GEL (stock Google Launcher). I can't stand that stupid search bar eating up all my space on every screen. And worse, there is no landscape rotate. And if I use a third-party rotate program, that damn search bar COVERS ICONS BELOW IT! Have no interest in Google Now nor the creepy (and battery wasting) "always on" voice thing (I can press one button just fine, thanks).

    I had never used Nova Launcher before, but decided to give it a try. It solves all my problems and I like it a lot. Only thing I don't like is that it doesn't seem to allow auto icon creation when new programs are loaded, and has no preview of the widgets (just a list) when adding them.
    You can enable the setting to automatically add the icon for new apps under the "New Apps" section in Nova settings (this may only be feature of the paid Nova Prime version?... I'm not sure).

    As far as the widgets go, if you browse the widgets via the app drawer to add to the home screen (vs. pulling up the list from the home screen as I assume you are doing), then you can see the preview
    crxssi likes this.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    The only thing I like on the GNL that I haven't found a way to do with Nova is the ability to access google now by just saying "Okay Google" when it is on the homescreen. Aside from this feature I enjoy everything about Nova more, especially the ability to use gestures.
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    You can enable the setting to automatically add the icon for new apps under the "New Apps" section in Nova settings
    Wow! How the hell did I miss that???!! Setting now on

    As far as the widgets go, if you browse the widgets via the app drawer to add to the home screen (vs. pulling up the list from the home screen as I assume you are doing), then you can see the preview
    DUH! I obviously need to explore a bit more before saying such things. Thanks
  17. #17  
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    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagums View Post
    The only thing I like on the GNL that I haven't found a way to do with Nova is the ability to access google now by just saying "Okay Google" when it is on the homescreen.
    I specifically did not want that feature because I am fairly sure it wastes battery (it can be turned off in stock launcher). I am very much OK with pressing a button when I want to say something It is quite cool, though.... would be a lot cooler if you could set your own hot words.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    I don't use google now so for me Nova was better and it can be made to look almost exactly like the GNL launcher which is great because I love the look. Also if you aren't on a nexus 5 the GNL launcher can be buggy. I had it running on my Nexus 7 2013 for a while. Was loving it but whenever I'd get an update to google search things could get screwy (widgets were strangely sized and shortcuts disappeared after the update). Unless you want google now integration I'd stick with Nova.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Thoughts on GEL? Better than [fill in blank] Launcher?

    I'm a long time Nova Prime user. On my Nexus 5 I've found that I now prefer GNL. Your mileage may vary.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using AC Forums mobile app

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