unnamed (4)

One of the more interesting alternative launchers out there (that is to say, one that isn't just a grid of apps and widgets plus a drawer) is Action Launcher. This premium custom launcher has been gaining fans since its launch, thanks to a unique gesture-based app drawer and a focus on speed and usability. With version 1.7, developer Chris Lacy has added some of the features this younger launcher lacks, most notably icon theme support - the various theme packs for GO, Nova, and Apex launchers should work with Action Launcher Pro now. A stock Jelly Bean icon pack is included.

unnamed (1) unnamed unnamed (2)

Other noticeable changes include the ability to tap and drag apps directly from the Quick Drawer, making it a truly complete replacement for the stock analogue. The Quick Drawer entries now have a more standardized "hamburger" button (three horizontal lines on top of one another) instead of an up arrow. There are a few other tweaks to the Quick Drawer, like a user-selectable tab display, more consistent text handling, full-height drawer drawing, more color settings, an over-the-desktop animation style, and a few more. Users can now disable wallpaper scrolling, as in other customization-focused launchers.

Other various UI tweaks and performance improvements have been implemented throughout the app. Action Launcher Pro is $3.99 USD, and available for devices running Android 4.0.3 and higher.

Here's the full changelog for the latest version, from the exhaustive list that the developer maintains:

* NEW: ICON PACK SUPPORT (Sorry for the caps - my inbox made me do it). * NEW: Embed Stock Jelly Bean icon pack, so non-Nexus users can switch to a stock look without a third party download.
* NEW: Added 'Auto memory cache' option. When enabled, resources will be automatically reloaded in the event Android terminates Aciton Launcher for whatever reason. Found in Labs, and is off by default.
* NEW: Display the 'hamburger button' on the action bar instead of the Up button (thanks Arvid Gerstmann).
* NEW: Add setting for toggling wallpaper scrolling on/off.
* NEW: By default, display "Apps" and "Widgets" headings on the quickdrawer. This change was made because many people missed the presence of widgets.
* NEW: Add option to configure how the quickdrawer tabs are displayed.
* NEW: Ensure the text and icons for app shortcuts, folders and covers/shutters all display at a consistent height.
* CHANGE: The quickdrawer draws the full height of the screen, and displays over the top of the current screen layout.
* CHANGE: Restore the ability to select Holo dark as the background on the quickdrawer. Also added a new black option.
* CHANGE: Reduce the width of the quickdrawer on tablets to conform with the new Android navigation drawer standards.
* CHANGE: Clean up the organization of the display settings.
* CHANGE: Don't use a transition animation when loading the system settings from Action Launcher's settings.
* CHANGE: Further refinements to icon positioning in landscape mode.
* BUG FIX: Clamp the max dock width when importing. Fixes issue when importing an Apex layout that uses multiple docks.
* BUG FIX: Fix the initial position of an item dragged from the quickdrawer when the action bar is hidden.
* REMOVE: The option of displaying the quickdrawer background as the wallpaper has been removed. This option no longer is appropriate given the Android guidelines specify the portion of the screen not covered by the drawer should be tinted.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://kawangeek.com/ EddyGeek

    1.7 released with iconpack feature as promised, thanks Chris Lacy

  • Nathaniel Webb

    Chris was even so kind as to give us the source code for his icon intent, so we can integrate into our icon packs. Top notch developer!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      One of the best independent Android developers around, that's for sure. Chris is someone I admire personally.

  • firethorn

    On the Nexus 7 I had constant redraws with Action Launcher, pretty much whenever returning to the homescreen and sometimes even when unlocking the screen. This made me go back to Nova Prime but I'll check out the new version tomorrow to see if it works better now because I really like it. Icon set support is great.

    • Christian Mello

      Make sure to enable Auto Memory Cache in Labs!

      • firethorn

        Yeah, that's what I did and now it works as it should. Great update!

  • http://thunderror.com thunderror

    Can I change individual icons?

    • ALP


  • Phillip

    I tried this once, and the major thing that stopped me from using it was lack of infinite folder space. If that was a feature I would've snapped it up in a heart beat.

    • Kie


  • Quietus

    This launcher was lacking with its first release and I stopped using it shortly after. Using this again since 1.5 and have not had a problem, keeps getting better and better.

  • Could be Anyone

    Been using Action Launcher since its first released and it keeps getting better and better although there are not great icon packs that theme every icon since most of them only support some but not all icons.

  • celestre

    Seems like a really bad decision not to make a trial version of this launcher for people to try. It sounds interesting, but I don't think I want to pay just to check it out to see if I like it, and pretty much every other launcher has a free version.

    • SHeadius

      Agree 100%

      • yodatom10

        Google offers a 15 min trial

        • SHeadius

          15 minutes to test out a launcher? Sorry, not fair for your phone's gui.

        • Sean Royce

          Why all the downvotes? He's right. He didn't say something stupid or blasphemous, jesus the people of the internet get offended so easily.

    • yodatom10

      Google gives you 15 mins to try it. That seems fare enough

      • SHeadius


      • Thatguyfromvienna

        Yeah, after 15 minutes, you'll have set up and thoroughly tested a launcher for sure.

      • primalxconvoy

        That's not a trial. Some apps can't be tried effectively in fifteen minutes. Also, returning the app for a refund is annoying for devs and not always possible if one is in an area with spotty connection (like the underground).

      • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer


    • primalxconvoy

      Every paid app should have a trial version.

  • Randy Magruder

    I am a paid customer of this app. I really do like it but the one thing that had me uninstalling it was the fact that half of my attempts to fling left to right to get to the home page to the left of the current one kept bringing up the app drawer. If it let me either use ONLY the icon on the top left, OR custom configure the 'app drawer fling zone', it wouldn't be bad.

  • Phill_S

    Took a while for me and Action Launcher to see eye to eye but now I think it is the best launcher out there overall. A couple other minor tweaks would be nice, more grid options for layouts could be useful even though I have converted to ultra minimalism thanks to shutters and a page in quickdrawer (along with the widget page) so I can separate apps and games would be a bonus but as it stands I love it.

  • Sean Royce

    Love this dev, I personally don't use this launcher but he seems to be really for the users. And he's Aussie.

  • Shalom Bhopale

    What is the clock widget in the second screenshot?

  • bombhills

    Please make it possible to edit individual icons plus folder icons! This would mean a great deal to me!