Get Android M on Your Existing Phone

Google released Android M at the Google I/O 2015 event in San Francisco. Unlike its predecessor Android Lollipop, Android M is more about stability and performance improvements than improvements in aesthetics.

One of the most noteworthy changes Google made in Google M was introducing an app drawer that contains a list of your most recently used apps and a search bar to let you quickly find whatever it is you are looking for efficiently.

At the moment, though, Android M isn’t available for all Android devices. This may change in the future, but until then users who haven’t bought the latest Google Nexus devices will have to make do with the old Lollipop OS.

Luckily, you can still get your hands on the Android M drawer on your older device(s). Here’s our short guide on how to get Android M app drawer in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Download and Install the Google Android M Home Launcher

First, you need to download and install the Google Android M Home Launcher app from the Play Store.

Install the app as you would any regular app, then hit the Home button to bring yourself out of the Play Store.

A prompt asking you to choose the “Default Launcher” should appear.

Choose the “Google Now Launcher” and tap “Always”. The Android M launcher will now be the default launcher for you device.

Step 2: Download and Install the Google Android APK

The Google Android M Home launcher app needs the new Android M APK file installed on your device to run properly.

You can download the APK file here

If you choose to install the APK file on your device from your PC, you will have to enable ADB sideloading first. (Everything You Need to Know About ADB)

To enable this feature, go to your “Settings” menu on your Android device, tap on “Security” and then slide “Unknown Sources” to “ON”.

Alternatively, you can just download the APK file on your device itself and install it directly. Once the Google app APK is installed, we move on to the third and final step.

Also See: How to Access ADB (Android Debug Bridge) Over WiFi?

Step 3: Clear Cache on the Newly Installed Apps

We recommend you clear the cache on both the apps you just installed first to avoid a known bug that stops the drawer from working properly.

To clear the caches on both apps, go to “Settings” and find the “Apps” submenu.

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In the “Apps” submenu, “Google Now Launcher” and “Google” app should be listed close to each other.

Tap on both (one at a time) and tap the “Clear cache” button.

That’s it! You can now use the Android M drawer on your device without a problem.

Don’t Like the Android M Drawer?

If, for some reason, you don’t like the Android M drawer and want to revert back to the old launcher, you can get back to using your old launcher using the following step:

  • Go to the Play Store and look for the Google app.
  • Here, tap the “Uninstall” icon.
  • Go to the Play store again and look for the Google app.
  • This time, tap the “Update” icon.
  • Next, go to “Settings” on your phone and then go to the “Apps” submenu. Here, find the “Google Now Launcher” and tap on it. Click on Uninstall.

Final Thoughts

We reckon you will love the new Android M drawer on your device – you probably won’t feel the need to uninstall it. The new drawer makes it very easy to use your favorite apps and look for stuff on your phone.

Until Android M is officially available in the next few months, you can whet your appetite for the OS with the Android M drawer app without feeling the need to upgrade your phone.