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Chris Lacy, developer of the gorgeous, widely lauded Tweet Lanes, has finally brought his latest creation to the Play Store – Action Launcher.

As the name would suggest, Action Launcher is a custom launcher with an emphasis on its ever-present action bar. The action bar allows users to quickly open a side-panel app drawer which, in Lacy's words, "aims to allow you to load any app in one second from your home screen." The bar also features Search and Play Store shortcuts, along with an action overflow.

The action bar, as you can see in the video above, is not the only trick Action Launcher has up its sleeve. The launcher also features what Lacy calls "covers" which are kind of like folders, but function in an intuitive, versatile manner – one tap on a cover takes you to the folder's "cover" app, while two taps opens the folder. In the example, Lacy demonstrates that tapping once on the Phone icon simply opens Phone, while two taps opens a folder with the Phone and a few contact shortcuts. As you can see in the shots below, covers are designated by small, translucent squares.

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If you like custom launchers but are tired of the AOSP aesthetic present in many of the Play Store's most popular options, Chris Lacy's Action Launcher is for you – it's different from the stock feel without being too far afield conceptually, it's well-made, and its features are not just novel, but actually pretty useful. At the time of writing, the only version of Action Launcher available is "Pro" for $3.99. That being said, fans of custom launchers will likely find this one to be worth its price.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Chris Guanche

    It's a shame Tweet Lanes isn't really going anywhere now. For all the functionality other Twitter apps have, they're all pretty ugly. I really wish someone else would take up the torch and bring a Holo design to a Twitter app.

    • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

      check out the new Falcon pro twitter app! completely worth the 99 cents!

    • TheFirstUniverseKing

      If you're looking for a Twitter app with a Holo UI design, you might like Tweedle. It's free on the Play Store.

      • Chris Guanche

        The design looks pretty interesting, but for now the lack of multiple account support is a deal breaker. I'll put it on my wishlist and come back to it in the future.

        • tB

          Tweetings is based upon the same code as Tweedle & BLOWS IT AWAY. Check it out. Push & everything you could ever ask for!

    • Mapplegate

      Twitter seems to hate 3rd party devs, and castrates their ability to make successful apps. I'm disappointed also. I put up with what was lacking with tweet lanes because it was so well written, but now I need to find a fully featured app. Falcon Pro is likely what I'll switch to.

      • Chris Guanche

        Same here. I put up with the missing features from Tweet Lanes as long as I could, but eventually I switched to Plume. Plume isn't the best looking Twitter app, but since its developer recently redesigned Beautiful Widgets, they might have something in mind for Plume next.

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      There's loads: Falcon Pro, Boid (open-source), Tweet Lanes, Tweedle. Take your pick.

    • http://twitter.com/yokuyuki Ed Chen

      I would check out Twidere.

  • http://twitter.com/AHHSom Im Real

    meh, ill buy it when it goes down to 99 cents

    • vitriolix

      And then you'll laugh it all the way to the bank with those 2 dollar bills you saved, that will teach that guy for trying to make an honest living for his work.

      • http://twitter.com/AHHSom Im Real

        thats nice

  • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

    i hope this is not like tweet lanes where it come out and we get all excited and then it dies...

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      TweetLanes died because of Twitter's policies. Google doesn't have any policies like this that hinder devs.

    • Mapplegate

      Tweet Lanes only died because Twitter as a company is terrible to third party devs.

    • Nick

      That was because of Twitters hate towards developers.

  • hyperbolic

    Looks good, is it code efficient like Nova ?

  • Simon Belmont

    This is cool. It reminds me of how you access the apps in Windows Phone.

    Well, except it's on the left side instead of right. Nice work.

    • Freak4Dell

      That's what has me wanting to try it out, but because it reminds me of WM, not WP. I miss the WM6 Start Menu.

      • Simon Belmont

        That's true. It's Windows Mobile-esque also.

        I loved Windows Mobile 6.1 on my old Samsung Epix. The trackpad on that smartphone was awesome.

    • melody

      I just about to say the same thing.
      makes me wonder what's the benefit of using this than any other wp ui, like launcher7..

  • Joshua

    This app is very, very good so far. I would love some options from Nova or Apex though.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    Looks awesome. I've never spend any money on a launcher, this seems cool enough to be the first one! :D

  • aatifsumar

    Did he just give us Andy Rubin's phone number?

    • Lucas Nicodemus

      Pretty sure he's missing a few numbers there.

    • Joseph Cascio

      Yeah any number that starts with 555 is legit.

  • Forcemaker

    Heck, I don't like that there are sooo many Launchers out there which differ only in a few functions. I did buy quite a lot Launchers (LauncherPo, ADW, Nova are the ones I remember ATM, but there are more; and yeah, I'm referring the PRO version of coures) and I cannot tell the differences between Nova and the newest ADW as the features _I use_ only differ slightly.

    The point that I would like to see was that all these Launchers offered a common lib of functions. E.g. the "action launcher's" action bar within the other launchers. Hate to see the people inventing - or implementing! - the wheel over and over again.

    In case of the Action bar: why not add this as a widget like object or as a swipe gesture on Nova/etc ? Why shouldn't there be a ABC.../alphanumeric bar in the ADWs' App drawer?

    Heck, I would love to use the "covers" feature in existing launchers, as I dislike 1. opening the folder 2. selecting the "default" app, just one tap is fast and fun.

    I have been using "Folder Organizer" since my first Android device, but it misses innovation in features and (G)UI interaction and sexyness. I would love to use the app drawer/action bar/... features from everyplace from where I can activate "folder organizer" entries. You know, the grouping features of ADW/Nova/... _and_ the nice transition/fading effects.

    Oh dude, if I had more time to put in learning Java/Android, I'd love to do some stuff...

    So, I would love if Nova/ADW could access the features from "Action Launcher" by library calls - I wouldn't care about buying "Action Launcher" in addition - so every dev gets his (excellent) work payed - but I don't want to pay them for reimplementing the wheel.

  • http://twitter.com/Derpinton Zapp Brannigan

    Bought! I always wanted a launcher which had a side bar style app list

  • master94

    This is a unique UI, watch Apple find a way to claim it as their invention since they lost the multi-touch patent.

  • http://twitter.com/pilgr Aleksey Masny

    But I prefer stock launcher + AppDialer for quick launch apps.

  • Stuart Brown

    I have been wanting since I first saw it but now that its back I don't think I like the black overflow area under the notification bar. Can it be made transparent in settings the same as my notification bar?

  • Nathan J

    So, what's the story with the 116kB install size? I think that's worth mentioning, with the other heavy hitters being over 2-4MB. Install size isn't an issue in this day and age (I have 3GB, and never use more than a quarter of it, if that, since I don't do games) but efficiency should always be appreciated.

    This is a launcher to keep an eye on in the future. Definitely a game changer here.

  • NonLinearBeing

    Hi. What's the clock widget used here?

  • SHeadius

    No free version to take for a test drive? I'm sorta interested but also notoriously anal about my phone's launcher. Nova does the trick now but I'd really like to test this without getting annoyed that I blew $4 on yet another app I'll never use.