Google Pixel is passé, and the acclaimed Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have arrived. For one thing, the new pixel launcher integrated in pixel 2 has been completely overhauled and this time around, it brings a simple and clean home screen utility that’s quite attractive. One of the “remake” you’d notice on the new pixel launcher is that the search widget has been moved to the dock and this has been replaced with a weather widget. Since the new pixel launcher hasn’t been leaked yet, the good news is that you can setup Nova Launcher to look and feel like the Pixel 2 launcher. But before we get into the how to of this thing, we’d like to remind you that most of the ‘Settings’ (we are going to use) aren’t available in the free version of Nova launcher. So make sure you’ve got the Nova Launcher Prime installed, or you can simply go for the beta version which is completely free.
When you open Nova launcher, tap next to skip the introductions and ensure to set it up as your default launcher. From here, I’ll suggest you remove all the apps & widgets on the homescreen so that we can have a “fresh start”. Now i am going to make the instructions as brief as possible, so we’ll be breaking everything down by category. But before we begin, download the Pixel 2 Stock Wallpaper and set it as your default wallpaper. Now open up “Nova Settings” by long-pressing on the “homescreen” and then follow the guides below.
What to Change in “Desktop” Settings
When you open “Nova Settings”, the first option you will see is “Desktop”. So we are going to tinker within this option to disable the app label, adjust padding and also turn of page indicator as seen in the home screen of Pixel 2 launcher. So head into the Nova launcher “Desktop” settings and change the following..
- Desktop Grid: Change this to 5 rows by 4 columns. Tap “Done.”
- Icon Layout: Change the size to 120% and disable the “Label” option.
- Width Padding: Set this to “Medium.”
- Height Padding: Set this to “Medium.”
- Persistent Search Bar: Toggle this On.
- Search Bar Style: Select the white oval (i.e. the first option under “Bar Style”). Scroll down to “Logo Style” and select the colored “G” logo. Now go back to the home screen and long press on it. From here, select “Widgets” and then find the “Quick Search Bar” under Nova launcher. Drag it to your homescreen and long-press on it. Then tap “Resize” and adjust the widget to match the width of your screen.
- Scroll Effect: Set this to “Simple”. Then tap “Done”.
- Page Indicator: Set this to “None.”
What to Change in App & Widget Drawers
Next up, jump into the App & widget drawer which is the second option found in Nova Launcher Settings. From here, we’re going to enable the “Swipe up” gesture to open the app drawer as it is seen in Pixel 2 launcher. So jump into the App & widget drawer menu and change the following…
- Drawer App Grid: Set this to 5 rows by 5 columns. Then tap “Done.”
- Icon Layout: Change the size to 120% and set the Label to “Condensed.” Tick the bar to turn on “Single Line.”
- Frequently Used Apps: Toggle this On.
- App Drawer: Set this to “Vertical.”
- Card Background: Turn this off.
- Swipe to Open: Toggle this On.
- Swipe Indicator: Toggle this On.
- Background: Make this white and set the Transparency to 0%.
- Enable Fast Scrollbar: Toggle this On.
- Scroll Accent Color: Set it to teal (it’s the first option in the fourth row).
- Search Bar: Toggle this On.
- Scroll Effect: Set this to “Simple.” Then tap “Done.”
What to Change in Dock Settings
Now jump into the Dock menu and set only this option..
- Dock Background: Set the “Transparency” to 100%
What to Change in Folders
Here, we’re going to change some few things in the ‘Folders’ section of Nova Launcher. So jump in there and change the following…
- Folder Preview: Set this to “Grid.”
- Folder Background: Set this to “Pixel Launcher.”
- Background: Set this to white, with a Transparency of 0%.
- Icon Layout: Change the size to 120% and change the Label to “Condensed.”. Tick the bar to turn on “Single Line.”
Optional – What to Change in Look & Feel
We have some stuffs to set up here, so jump into the Look & feel section found in Nova settings. From here, change the following…
- Adaptive Icons: Toggle this On.
- Adaptive Icon Shape: Set this to “Rounded” (Default).
- Mask Legacy Icon: Toggle this On.
If you’re not on Android lollipop and above, then the above option won’t be available. So to get the pixel rounded icons, you’ll need to download and install the Pixel Icon Pack. Then head into the “Look & Feel” menu in Nova settings. From here do this….
- Icon Theme: Choose “Pixel Icon Pack.”
What to Change in Notification Badge
Lastly, we are going to tinker with the “Notification Badge” in Nova Settings. So jump in there and change the following…
- Change The Style: Set this to “Dots.”
- Position and Size: Select your preferred position and set the size to “Small.”
Once you’re done, everything will look like the Screenshot below..
Get all the Pixel 2 Widgets
Now we’re done, but there’s one thing left to be done. We will need to add those beautiful look at a glance widgets found in the pixel 2 home screen. This widgets shows handy informations such as calender events, time, date and weather. So to get this one going, head to the Google Play Store and install Zooper Widget Pro. Next download the Pixel 2 search bar and calendar/clock events widgets. Then place them inside ZooperWidget/Templates on your SD card. Next up, long press on the homescreen and select “Widgets”. Scroll down and drag the 4×1 Zooper Widget to the homescreen just at the bottom.
Now long press on the widget and resize it to match the screen. Then tap on it, select SD Card and choose Pixel 2 bar. From here, click on “Widget OnTap Action” then swipe to “App List” and select Google. Scroll down to “Scaling” and adjust the > to 82. Now repeat the step for the pixel 2 event widget. If you see a “?” When applying the calendar event widget, tap on “Force Update”. Once you are done tweaking everything, then your home screen UI will look exactly like the Pixel 2 interface. That’s it, you’ve successfully made Nova launcher to look exactly like pixel 2 launcher. Now drag your favourite app icon to the home screen and position it just above the search bar.