Google has managed to build a lot of hype around the latest Android 6.0 update. After finally revealing the name "Marshmallow" for the new software earlier this week, the search giant is looking to bring an early taste of the OS for non-Nexus devices. Without the necessity to download the Developer Preview version of the OS, which is available only on select Nexus smartphones, the updated Google Now launcher makes it easier to get most features seen in the final build of Developer Preview 3.

According to NDTV, Google Now launcher version 1.2 has been extracted from near-final Android 6.0 Marshmallow Developer Preview 3 SDK. Android smartphone owners, regardless of their Nexus branding, can sideload the new Google Now APK and get a whiff of Marshmallow.

How to sideload Google Now Launcher 1.2:

  • Download Google Now v1.2 APK (14.5MB) on your PC
  • Connect your Android smartphone to your PC using a USB cord
  • Copy the APK file and save it on your smartphone in a known location
  • Unplug the device from your PC
  • Go to your handset's Settings > Security and put a check on Unknown Sources
  • Navigate to the Google Now launcher APK, where you saved the file and tap to open
  • Tap Install and Done when it is finished
  • Open the launcher and select as default

By following these steps, you would have successfully sideloaded Google Now launcher on your non-Nexus smartphone. Disable "Unknown Sources" under Settings > Security for the safety of your device.

Google Now launcher comes with nine default wallpapers available in Android 6.0 Developer Preview 3 along with new boot animation and improved performance, Yibada reports. It is certainly a glimpse of the unreleased OS version but serves the purpose temporarily.