It's National Custom Launcher Update Day! Didn't you know? Hot on the heels of Nova Launcher's recent update, Apex Launcher was also bumped up to v1.3. Only, with that update, the launcher decided to FC every time it was opened. Bummer.

You can't keep a good launcher down, so the Apex team just pushed a point update to the launcher - bringing it to v.1.3.1 - that fixes the FC issue, so it works like a top now. Yay!

1 2 3

This new version of Apex brings a slew of new features, enhancements, and other goodies with it - just take a look at the changelog:

Rebuilt based on JB launcher (works on ICS too)
* Desktop items automatically re-arrange to fit
* Long press and fling to remove items
* Performance boost for homescreen and drawer
New features
* Option to switch to tablet UI
* Custom drawer grid settings
* Activity animation options
Other improvements and bugfixes
* Improved vertical drawers
* Custom widget picker (requires JB or root)
* Unlimited drawer tabs (pro)
* Fixed paid themes under JB
* Many misc. bugfixes
* Updated translations

Look at all that stuff! As expected, this brings all sorts of Jelly Bean awesomeness to ICS devices, along with bug fixes and performance improvements. Apex is free in the Play Store (there's also a Pro version), so if you're the custom launcher type, hit the widget and give it a go.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • shakerya

    If I had a launcher, I'd update it today as well.

    • Matthew Fry


  • lost_man10002

    Dev fixed the force closes I was having this morning with 1.3 in hours. Awesome 1.3.1 works great on my nexus.

  • Bob Decker

    Mine updated this morning and immediately crashed, Is this a fix for that?

    • http://twitter.com/deMes2Boules deMes2Boules


    • besthiroeu


  • Matti

    Perhaps someone can help me out here. Question: Apex or Nova for a Nexus 7

    Not trying to start a fanboy flame-war, but I literally have zero experience with either of these. Last launcher I use was ADW was back when I had a Gingerbread device. Used the CM team's Trebuchet launcher when my Galaxy Nexus was on CM9, but since Jelly Bean, I've been running both my GalNex and Nex7 on stock launchers.

    I've heard both Apex and Nova are pretty good, but I have some specific needs/wants. This will be for my Nexus 7 running stock Jelly Bean (no root, no ROM);
    1. Smoothest possible performance
    2. Ability to remove dock and/or switch to the old tablet layout without ugly dpi scaling
    3. Ability to change the text/icon color in the top bar.
    4. Ability to change color of software back, home and app-switcher buttons.

    Please advise.

    • Keith0606

      Personally at least up until today, i've found that apex is a little smoother. After both updated today though seems like Nova has gotten about even. I've also typically see fewer home screen redraws with apex (in the past). That said there a few features in nova that i liked, like alphabetizing folders (if you want). I've only ever run these home screen replacement apps on a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7 so i'm basing it all on that (no other devices). I was running apex on both devices until today now i'm trying out nova on my galaxy nexus since i had it previously installed.

      The last two questions. Not sure as I typically don't do icon packs or themes

    • TheFirstUniverseKing

      The only thing that the launcher can change is the first one, and the removing of the dock, all the other features you're requesting require a different rom.

    • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

      In response to your last two questions, a launcher cannot change those. They are system based and would requiring rooting and other modifications to make it happen. Popular roms, such as AOKP/CM, offer the ability to change those from within their settings.

    • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

      went Nova over Apex because I also have Widget Locker by the same dev and love how responsive he is. They both also work seamlessly together so there's a lot of synergy!

    • Abhisshek Das

      Apex Better than Nova IMHO. Apex has more customization and smoothness than Nova .

  • br_hermon

    uhh... hate to break it to you guys but, that's a pretty old change log. Detailed change log here:

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    Go Launcher also just had a minor update. Can we mark 9/24 on our calendars?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

    both Nova and Apex released v1.3 then immediately released 1.3.1 to fix bugs, both have same new featues (from jb), so i wonder if it is the same developer under 2 different names :/

    • Abhisshek Das

      LOL , Good question :)

      • Matti

        Maybe they're brothers, put to work by their parents.
        In the old days, boys were expected to work in the family meth labs. Nowadays,, it's app development.

  • Tee

    Latest version FC:s on JRO03L. That's it then...

  • peterson2k4

    When I was sporting an HTC or Galaxy skinned phone I was all about alternative launchers like Go launcher and ADW. Now I am sporting a Galaxy Nexus, I just can't seem to replace the vanilla Android experience.

    Is other anything you guys and gals have found that improves the Jelly Bean UI with either Apex or Nova? I gave them a quick look but didn't see anything that stood out.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

      The ability to customise the number of home screens is a big plus over stock...