The Google Nexus 5 is definitely a special smartphone in itself because it is a Nexus flagship. It simply means that, until the launch of the next Nexus, this device will keep getting the latest Android update before any other device. While owning the Nexus 5 might make one feel privileged in a sense, there are certain departments where this phone disappoints.
If you have the device, you must be experiencing that the quality of pictures taken with its camera is not good enough as an 8MP sensor output. The low speaker volume of the Nexus 5 is yet another issue that needs to be addressed.
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Another thing that irritates users like me is the lack of options for customization of the stock Google Experience Home Launcher. Many users do not like the persistent Google Search bar on the top of the home screens but no option for removing it has been provided. Then, there is the integrated Google Now page that pops up while sliding the screen from left to right. Again, the stock launcher has no option that allows users to hide less used apps’ icons to get a cleaner app drawer. Moreover, the big size of the icons in the app drawer really looks ugly.
To get rid of the above-mentioned irritating things, most users are forced to use a third-party launcher app or a custom ROM. If you own a Nexus 5, Nexus 4 or any other device with an AOSP or CM based custom ROM that features the stock Google launcher, there is a good news awaiting you. XDA member theknut has released an amazing module for the Xposed Framework that lets you customize Google Experience Launcher in different ways. His Xposed GEL Settings module/app is just another exquisite example of the possibilities offered by Xposed Framework.
- A rooted Android smartphone or tablet running the stock AOSP firmware or a custom ROM that features GEL (Google Experience Launcher). I have tested it on Nexus 5 with CM 11 and ParanoidAndroid 4.
- In order to make the Xposed GEL Settings work, you’ll have to install Xposed Framework first.
Features of Xposed GEL Settings
Here is the list of things you can do after installing the Xposed GEL Settings on your Android device:
- Remove Google Search bar from home screen
- Automatically show on Google Now page
- Hide selected apps from the app drawer
- Define the app grid size including rows and columns on home screen and app drawer
- Hide icon labels on home screen and app drawer
- Set icon size
- Set icon label size
- Set icon count on the app dock
- Apply settings by restarting launcher (no need to reboot phone)
- Backup and restore launcher settings
Though the module is still in early stage, it works like a charm. The good news is that, the developer is working hard to add more features in upcoming releases of the app. The app does have a few bugs but none of them mar its overall performance.
Download and Install
To know more about settings up the Xposed Framework and enabling its modules on Android device, please read our detailed tutorial.
Enjoy customizing the Google Experience Launcher on your Android device and do not forget to share your feedback with us. Cheers!