Apex Launcher has bumped up to version 2.0, bringing in a host of new features to both the free and pro versions of the app. Free users who make the leap will find various improvements to the interface, updated translations, and the option to set the duration of vibrations. The pro version now allows users to place folders in the app drawer, but the star of the show is its integration with the new Apex Notifier.

ApexNotifier1 ApexNotifier2 ApexNotifier3


Apex Notifier is not a standalone app, but an extension that works both with Apex Launcher and DashClock Widget. Apex Launcher Pro users who install Apex Notifier will see unread counts appear as badges atop various application icons, including:

  • Missed Calls
  • Unread SMS
  • Calendar Appointments
  • Gmail
  • HTC Mail
  • Samsung Email
  • K-9 Mail
  • Battery Level
  • Stock Email
  • Google Talk
  • Google Voice
  • Starbucks

You are free to tweak the size and color of notifications, and you get to have a say in which apps badges will appear on. If you aren't already a convert to Apex Launcher, this latest release just might change your mind. You can try Apex Launcher for free below, but you'll need to pay $3.99 for the pro version if you want to take Apex Notifier for a spin as well.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mike

    I really hope that google give the option to users to se notification on the lock screen . I want a PIN lock but I also want to see what calls&messages&notifications I missed without having to unlock the phone

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      that's what the dash-clock is for. It'll do exactly what you're talking about

      • WHO?

        Most people aren't on 4.2 yet. So that's not going to work.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          your comment was "I really hope that google give the option to users to se notification on the lock screen" Google has done that. Google can only make updates to Android. It sucks that you are not on 4.2 but realistically what do you expect them to do?

          • WHO?

            You replied to me. I don't care one way or the other. I was explaining that "Mike" 98% chance does not have that option of dash board unless his phone is rooted or has S4 or Nexus 4.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            Ah, yeah sorry about that. You get what I'm saying though. Google can't go back and add that function to older versions of Android. That's just not how software works. BUT you could just replace the lockscreen with something that will do what you want. you don't need 4.2 to do this.

          • IrishSid

            Exactly, loads of stuff can do this, and they can do it better.

    • SamS

      Knock²+ is what you want :) minimum system is 4.0.3

  • http://bit.ly/TylerHilliard Tyler Hilliard

    Lightflow has been able to do this for a while on top of any launcher or w/o one.

  • Joshua

    I've used both Nova and Apex and in my experience Nova is smoother overall than Apex. I experienced frequent redraws when using Apex, whereas I haven't had a single issue with Nova. This is on a Galaxy Note 2.

    • anzensepp1987

      Yes, Nova is definitely smoother than any other stock-based 4.x-Launcher. But I'll give Apex 2 a try.

    • kamiller42

      And these new features sound like features I've had on Nova for a while.

    • IrishSid

      Weird, I've had the opposite experience with those two launchers on the note 2.
      I chose apex because of it.

      • Joshua

        Really? Apex got to the point of being very irritating because it would redraw every time I returned home. It would lag pretty terribly when going between screens, and that's after I removed all widgets and minimized clutter in order to try to improve things. Once I switched to Nova, I went ahead and added all that stuff back in and it still ran better than Apex did at its best.

        Oh, and if you don't use S Voice, disable it so that the home button is more responsive. It's annoying how there's that half-second delay between click and action when S Voice is active. Just a tip from one Note owner to another!

        • IrishSid

          Yeah honestly. In the settings did you tick the keep in memory option?

          I'm rooted, i'm using simplistic framework so I have no home button lag but can still use double tap for svoice. Cheers though.

          • Joshua

            Yup. That was the first thing I tried. No go. I'm rooted too, but I decided not to modify the software too much beyond that. I don't care for S Voice, so for me just disabling it was convenient enough. Why reinvent the wheel, right? It's good to have choices. =)

          • IrishSid

            That's what it's all about!

            Maybe we have different chips? Mines the n7100. Anyway, at least nova works well.

          • SomeGuy112

            Apex also seems smoother on my Nexus 4 when compared to Nova.

    • Xajel

      I've used Nova and Holo, both are nice and smoother than some other launchers ( like Apex and Go Launcher ), but I find Holo has some extra features that Nova doesn't have while having the same smoothness and speed and look also

  • cwagner

    I'm confused. The option to show notification overlays has been in Apex for quite some time now. What exactly does Notifier do that's new?

    • Robert Blenkinsopp

      It mainly adds some customisation into it. Before you could only have iOS red circle style notification overlays, now you can change the shape and colour. It also enables Dock Clock widgets for the apps your have notification overlays set on.

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

      It displays notifications for Google Talk, Calendar appointments, other mail clients, etc that Apex by itself doesn't.

  • Markoff

    I am using Apex for more than half year, but I have one serious problem I was unable to resolve - it doesn't reallign position of icons/apps/shortcuts on home screen when switched from portrait mode to landscape mode, it just display icons in the middle of home screen and because in landscape there is less space for icons vertically than in portrait mode, icons from top/bottom of home screen are missing/cutted away.

    I've found it strange, because before when I was using different launchers like 360 or ADW both of them had no problems to reallign position of icons depending on portrait/landscape mode, so my only "solution" was force Portrait mode in Apex and switch off portrait mode. :( Is there some solution or it's just problem related to my mobile?

    I am using always newest Apex, doesn't matter if stable or beta, problem is same. My display is 540x960 in Amoi N820 Android 4.1.1, Home screen Portrait 7x5, Landscape 5x8, right now running v2.0.0beta3.

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

      That sounds very weird. Maybe you could try changing the "Vertical margin" option in Apex settings > Homescreen settings and see if that works?

      • Markoff

        I am using None vertical and horizontal margin, tried to change it to small if it will change anything but it's same behaviour.

        I was doing research on internet and this seem to be "feature" of Apex, because other people were also requesting normal behaviour of Apex with realigning of icons so all of them are visible but it seem to be Apex "feature" where position of icons is hardcoded and it won't change if you switch phone from portrait to landscape (icons still remember their portrait position which is outside display in landscape) or vice versa

        this is the biggest drawback of Apex for me and I am stunned other people are not complaining about it, so I dunno if it's specific only for some resolutions and versions of Android or people find it normal or they have so few icons in centre of the home screen they don't notice this

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

          Ok I think I know why... it's because your grids in Portrait and Landscape mode are different.

          I don't think you can blame Apex. If you placed an app in the 7th column in Portrait, it's not gonna show up in Landscape because you chose to display just 5 columns in that orientation only.

          I'm not sure other launchers will automatically reposition your apps if you did the same thing in them. In fact, I have Nova launcher too and I believe it'll behave exactly like Apex.

          The reason for this behaviour, I think, is because the homescreen can be used for widgets. I can't think of a way to satisfactorily reposition app icons automatically together with widgets - it just wouldn't work.

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

            I have ADW too. I just tried it - the reason ADW seems to automatically "realign" your app icons is because ADW doesn't give you the option of choosing different grid sizes for Portrait and Landscape modes. You just choose one grid size for both orientations.

          • Markoff

            yeah in ADW it works fine, if you choose same grid size for both orientations in Apex it just doesn't work

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

            I just tried it on my Nexus 4... Fired up Apex and made my homescreen 5x5 in both landscape and portrait. Works fine.

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

            Also did 7x7 for both portrait and landscape, and filled up the whole screen with apps just to make sure. All my apps appear in both orientations.

          • Markoff

            thank you for taking your time, of course 5x5 works because it's square, my point was that 99% of touch displays doesn't have ratio 1:1 (square shape), but rectangular (and most of them don't have even on screen buttons like your Nexus), so it's useless solution because optimal grid for people won't be square configuration

            also problem with your display is that you use on screen navigation which eat space + google search bar + wider dock bar so actual area of your home screen is closer to square than rectangle, you can already see google search widget is affected by change in landscape mode, it's bad I just can't connect my mobile to PC in work right now to show you that empty screen where are only icons have for me optimal grid 5x7 and with 5x5 I would be wasting 2 rows, while with 7x7 it will resize the icons to unusable size. if i won't forget I can upload you picture how looks my normal 5x7 screen and that is impossible to change it to 5x5 without wasting space or 7x7 without making icons too small and wasting space at same time
            I would be really curious to see your 7x7 configuration, because icons must look very bad (not square sized)
            anyway the solution for Apex developers is super simple, don't change positions of icons at all and when there is configuration 5x7 & 7x5 then just turn all icons 90 degrees and also their text

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


            I agree about some displays looking better than others because they're more square. That's not Apex's fault though.

            But you said this:

            ... anyway the solution for Apex developers is super simple, don't change positions of icons at all and when there is configuration 5x7 & 7x5 then just turn all icons 90 degrees and also their text

            I think I know why some of your icons get "cut off". When you change orientations, you don't change the 5 to a 7, and the 7 to a 5. Just leave it as 7x5 in both.

            7 x 5 [rows x columns] in portrait is the same as 7 x 5 [rows x columns] in landscape. If you change from 7 (rows) x 5 (columns) in portrait to 5 (rows) x 7 (columns) in landscape, then of course some icons will be cut off - you're removing 2 rows and adding 2 columns!

          • Markoff

            of course, but those are dimensions of display, if it's 7x5 portrait, it cannot be 7x5 also in landscape since columns become rows and rows become columns

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

            No, that's where you are wrong.

            The grid layout in Apex is always Rows x Columns - it is never Columns x Rows. I just looked at Apex Settings again to make sure; check it for yourself.

            If you just leave the grid layout as 7x5 in both portrait and landscape, I guarantee your icons will not go missing. Try it.

          • Markoff

            i tried it already before, I wrote you that already before and result for 7x5 & 7&5 is exactly same as you can see on my screenshot for 7x7

            I know in Apex SETTINGS they are always Rows & Columns, what you don't understand is that display is not SQUARE, so there is no place for 7 icons vertically in landscape mode (because you know column is column always when you look at phone from your position), there is only place for 5 icons vertically in landscape mode same as is place for 5 icons horizontally in portrait mode, so setting must be 7x5 & 5x7 to have displayed everything in proper size

            OK, I think we can finish our discussion, it's counterproductive, I tried all options 7x5 & 5x7 / 7x5 & 7x5 / 7x7 & 7x7 and it's always fucked up in Apex because developers don't understand basic physics and there are many users complaining about this in different forums

            you are not noticing the problem because you have 5x5 icons and widget and your homescreen buttons stay in place and ignore Apex settings, i guarantee you if you remove that widget in top row and replace it with icons you will see the problem of 6x5 configuration on your display although it won't be so extreme, maybe little dense and icons not so overlapping as in 7x5 configuration or you can even try 7x5 configuration on your own to see you are defending Apex wrong as I showed you on my screenshots.

            I checked also Holo Launcher Plus 2.0.2 and ADW.Launcher EX and both have same problem as Apex (I remembered wrong with ADW, maybe I was using square grid 5x5 before), they are moving icons (and not leaving them at place just moving whole screen 90 degrees without changing position of icons) and there is only one setting for Desktop grid size, you can't even choose landscape or portrait settings for home screen (desktop), icons look in landscape mode same overlapped as on my picture for 7x7 configuration

            I checked also Nova launcher 2.1beta3 (released yesterday), it has also only one setting for home screen (desktop) and it's dealing with the problem of size little bit better than Apex/Holo, Nova will at least resize icons to make them smaller so they are not overlapping, just have worse visibility, it's sad developers of these 3 launcher don't allow users at least custom settings for portrait and landscape mode so user will see always his icons without any overlapping or resizing to make them very small, because there are three solutions to this problem:

            1. don't change absolute position of icons, only rotate them with their text by 90 degrees,

            2. give user customized separate settings for portrait/landscape modes so I can have completely different home screens in portrait/landscape mode,

            3. give launcher AI to realign icons which where in missing rows to newly appeared columns when changing from portrait to landscape

            it's sad that developers are so ignorant and don't understand ordinary users which just want to see same icons in landscape mode as in portrait mode without square grid which is useless on rectangular displays

            some other links of users having same problem as me



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

            Ok, I understand what you mean.

            At least we established that making the grid 7x5 for both portrait and landscape will keep all your icons on screen and not cut off anything (yes, I tried it on my phone to make sure).

            As for making the icons just "rotate in place" so that they will fit 7x5 in portrait and 5x7 in landscape - I appreciate why you and others would want that. I don't like that idea though, because I prefer to have widgets on my homescreen and there's no way such a behaviour will work properly with widgets and icons together. I believe that's the main reason why all the launchers don't do that too.

            The last link that you provided does provide a good suggestion, which is to have the user choose 2 totally different layouts for portrait and landscape respectively. Hopefully some launcher devs will decide to give such an option in the future.

          • Markoff

            I prepared screenshot for you, you can see 7x5 portrait mode, you can see 5x7 landscape mode with missing icons because Apex is not changing respective position of icons and they are out of display and you can see your 7x7 suggestion with messed layout

            as I said, all icons should stay in same place in 7x5 and 5x7 configurations, only thing which needs to move is text so it will be always at bottom of icon, but it seems what is possible in other launchers is impossible in Apex, I used ADW for long time in both positions and I know for sure no icons disapeared from my home screen when switching from portrait to landscape because ADW just realigned them so they are all visible on display without overlapping and other messy layout

          • Markoff

            no, I tried also this long time ago and right now again, so I set both 5x7 and 7x5 and it change nothing, what I see in landscape mode is top 5x5 rows but the bottom two rows from portrait mode are missing

            I don't care about amout of columns/rows, if it's same it's no problem, but obviously Apx has problem even when you have same settings for potrait/landscape, try it for yourself and you will see it doesn't matter if you have same size for both modes

            and obviously i am not gonna use 5x5 setting since I don't have display in shape of square (same as 99% of touch display users)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    I am a proud Apex user. I tried Nova but it didn't seem to allow me to have a draw tab dedicated to installed apps and a draw tab dedicated to system apps like Apex does. Note that I own both because Nova was in the absurd £0.25 sale.

    It's good to see Apex is getting some more functionality that Nova has against it. I won't be leaving Apex anytime soon.

  • jj14x

    "You can try Apex Launcher for free below, but you'll need to pay $3.99 for the pro version if you want to take Apex Notifier for a spin as well." <-- I have the free Apex Launcher, and Apex Notifier seems to be working for me.

  • cameron charles

    can anyone using this tell me if the apex version has more options then the nova one?

    mainly id like to be able change the frequency of updates to the counts etc

    (someone below mentioned you can customise the look of the counters so thats covered)

  • John Burke

    Apex's Badge Notifications have nothing on how Nova does them ... since Nova supports GLOBAL Badge Notifications (not just the limited amount Apex supports).

    Here's how--> http://forums.androidcentral.com/android-applications/199709-how-guide-global-badge-notifications.html