The Pixel Launcher APK is now available in a download LlabTooFeR

Google is all but confirmed to be ditching the Nexus brand for its upcoming pure Android smartphones, which will instead fly under the Pixel banner. In the past few days we've seen a number of credible indicators adding weight to this theory, not least a leaked Android application package (APK) for the so-called Pixel Launcher.

The APK has been released by ROM developer LlabTooFeR, who published screenshots from the launcher on Twitter. Google's new launcher was first leaked in August. The latest APK doesn't appear to show any major differences since then, other than a name change and different version number. A couple of app icons appear to have been tweaked too, but that's about it.

One of the standout differences in Google's updated launcher, which is expected to arrive on the rumoured Pixel and Pixel XL (previously code-named Sailfish and Marlin) smartphones in Q3, is the removal of the app drawer icon. In its place, users can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the app drawer. Another notable change is the doing away of the Google search bar, which is now hidden under a toggle on the home screen.

For those eager to get to grips with the Pixel Launcher ahead of Google's anticipated smartphone launch on 4 October, you can download it here and take it for a spin. The ZIP file includes both the launcher APK as well as the wallpaper picker tool. Bear in mind that this is an unofficial download, so install at your own risk.