I wasn't a huge fan of the Google Now launcher myself - Nova Launcher always was always my favourite. So to hear news that Google will discontinue the Google Now Launcher wasn't anything that bothered me but I expect there will be some of you out there who still use it and will miss it.
According to an email forwarded to Android Police, Google has alerted GMS partners of its intention to remove Google Now Launcher from the Play Store in the coming weeks. OEMs that use GNL have options, though.
The email (see the image below) explains that the Search Launcher Services library for OEMs that has been in testing is now available. That's what Sony used to integrate the Google Now panel (now just the Google Feed) into its stock launcher a while back. That means OEMs can slap the Google Now panel on whatever launcher they want. Some device makers have been shipping with GNL, including Motorola and Nexus devices. Google says they can just grab Launcher3 from AOSP and add the search services, or build a new launcher. It's unclear what, if anything, Google will do for Nexus devices.
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