Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

How to install Android 4.4 KitKat launcher on the Samsung Galaxy S5

Tony Ibrahim | May 9, 2014
Four easy steps and keep your warranty.

If you're not a fan of Samsung's TouchWiz software, then you are in for a treat. This article details how you can ditch Samsung's overlay in favour of the Google Experience launcher native to stock Android devices. Best of all, the simple process won't affect your warranty because it doesn't require rooting privileges.

Google's KitKat launcher on the Galaxy S5
Google's KitKat launcher on the Galaxy S5

The process requires just four steps:

1. Prep your software
Android smartphones by default will only trust applications downloaded from the Google Play store. Installing the Google Experience launcher requires a setting in the security menu to be changed.

Access the settings menu in the S5. Nominate the Security sub-menu, and then make sure "Unknown sources" setting is ticket.

2. Download Google Experience (GE) launcher
The easiest way to install the GE launcher is by downloading the installation file (.apk) directly from the smartphone. The active community at XDA Developers are currently hosting the needed files.

Downloading the .apk on your computer simply requires it to be copied to the internal storage of your Galaxy S5.

3. Install the KitKat-style launcher
Readers who downloaded the software on their Galaxy S5 can install the .apk directly from the application drawer. Those who transferred the .apk from a computer will have to locate it in the 'My File' manager featured on the Galaxy S5.

The installation is really simple and no special permissions are required. '''

4. Google Experience
Now that you have installed the Google Experience launcher, there's just one step left: setting it as the default. Pressing the home key will prompt your Galaxy S5 to ask what launcher you would like to use as default, either 'Always' or 'Just once'. We recommend selecting Just once first because it'll let you try out the new launcher without committing.

There's not much fuss if you select Always either. Resetting the default launcher is easily done by accessing Settings and then Default applications.

Enjoy
Sift through the stock Google launcher and get to know it. Hold a finger down on the homescreen and you'll be able to add screens and widgets. Relish the freedom of choosing which apps you want in the homescreen dock, and enjoy having more applications in the application drawer.

 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.