27
Aug
unnamed

Action Launcher is one of the more interesting home screen replacements out there, and it's getting better with a big update to version 1.9 today. There are a few new features, but the app has also gotten a plethora of bug fixes and optimizations that should make it faster and more stable.

1

2 3 unnamed

Here's all the new stuff from this version:

  • Update the base code from Android 4.1 to 4.3.
  • Individual icons can be changed.
  • Notification bar can be hidden (Labs).
  • Transparent notification bar can be enabled on S4 (Labs).
  • Trebuchet (aka CyanogenMod's launcher) layouts can be imported.
  • The dimensions of Home screen pages are calculated dynamically, meaning the app will display correctly on devices of all screen sizes.

5 6

In addition to those features, there are over 30 different fixes and improvements in this update. This is a solid app that shows no signs of petering out. Action Launcher already has one of the most innovative widget implementations (Shutters) I've ever seen – swipe-up gestures from app icons can open the corresponding widget in a frame.

Action Launcher is $3.99, which is a fair price for something you will use every time you touch the phone.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.florianheinle.de/ Florian Heinle

    While $4 might be a fair price, it's still to expensive for my taste (cue coffee analogies) without a trial version to see if it's really worth switching to, coming from Nova Launcher (which had its Prime version for sale for a few cent in one of google's big sales but that's hardly a fair comparism). And Nova launcher has a free version I can test before I buy it

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      Don't you know, it's un-American to not burn $$ at every thing you see just because you can...

    • Matthew Fry

      Join us. Join us. Seriously, I've never spent so much time *not* fighting my device as I have with Action Launcher.

  • Sylar

    This always looks interesting, but I'm not throwing that much money out there just to find I don't like it when I got Nova Launcher for 25 cents on sale. Maybe if there was a trial version....

    • joeljfischer

      "That much money". You realize you pay thousands a year for your phone. It's worth it.

      • Markoff

        this is seriously your argument why one launcher cost 16 times more than other one of the most popular launchers in world?
        you should compare apples with apples, data plan has nothing to do with apps, compare price of launcher with other launcher apps or at least with apps, standard price for app nowadays is 1-2USD, this just cost 2-4 times of normal app

        • joeljfischer

          While its fairly obvious you're extremely unreasonable, and unwilling to hear any argument that doesn't favor your extremely uninformed viewpoint, I'm nonetheless going to take what I'm sure will end up being heaps of garbage from you in an attempt to dissuade more reasonable people from being swayed by your ridiculous rants across this comment forum in your personal crusade to destroy a launcher you've never used.

          If you want to compare apples to apples, let's do that. Currently, Nova Launcher Prime is $4.00, and ALP is $3.99. That's a savings of a penny! Yea , that is sarcasm. It does not coat 16x more, unless you compare an old sale price to the normal price.

          I have used ALP since 1.0, before that I used Nova. Nova is what I refer to as a Launcher+. It won't radically change the way you use your device, but it will make it prettier and more customizable. ALP, however will radically change the way you use your phone. It will make you more efficient at laying out apps due to covers; it will enable you to use widgets more often due to shutters, and open apps quicker with search and the slide drawer.

          So forgive me for telling people to purchase the most used app on my devices, because I truly believe they will enjoy it and believe they spent less than 1 fast food lunch cost well.

    • Matthew Fry

      You are always welcome to try and ask him for a refund. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine if you requested it within 24 hours he'd be willing. Really, you should be annoyed at Google for getting rid of the 24 hour refund. At least give app devs the option to set a custom refund window.

      • Cherokee4Life

        But see that 24 hour refund isn't a guarantee though..

        • Matthew Fry

          Very true. I fully agree with the people asking for a trial. I'm guessing it's just too much of a bother to do when he's more interested in doing cool things and making sure it's stable.

  • Jay Q

    This is easily the most productive launcher I've ever used. I love it... sooo easily worth a measly $4 for me.

    • ltredbeard

      I like the launcher, but here is what I think could be improved.

      1. I think that the trigger for app drawer should be customizable.

      2. When you import your home screens it will only import those with icons on them. Then if you change from say 3 to 5 it adds them to the end of the scrolling. You should be able to move your home screens around.

      3. I want to replace the action bar with stock google.

    • Di

      I just want to know when he will implement the ability to hide the status bar. I bought this the week it released and I requested this multiple times, hell, people even +1 the request on his google+ page. So many people have requested this feature and he just ignores us. It's so frustrating.

      • James Murphy

        I dont get why ppl want to hide the Android status bar. Do u just want it hidden while running apps or altogether?

  • Tim Wing

    best launcher hands down, left Nova behind a while ago,

    • David

      Nothing beats Nova Prime Mr. WIng. lol

  • sweenish

    I would have liked a trial version as well, but I haven't regretted my purchase. The launcher is really unique and does some interesting stuff.

    At the same time, if $4 is really this life and death situation that so many commenters make it out to be, it's best to just give up on smartphones in general. Worst case scenario, you're out four bucks. It's too low a price to throw the fits that people do.

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      It's not a matter of life and death, it's that users wont try the launcher in the first place because of the price tag + no trial. Unless, the devs don't care about that, which I highly doubt...

      • sweenish

        I know it's not. You're not getting the point, and taking things far too literally.

        • Cherokee4Life

          I will attempt to interpret what "papped" is saying. In the Android community/Play Store it has almost become the norm to have a type of trial app for apps that have multiple features and such. Like Launchers or File Viewers anything like that where you can give the user a very limited base app to try it out before they spend $4 on. Solid Explorer is a good example.
          It's not life or death but what your missing is that some people don't have the money to "gamble" on an app being good or not. There are a lot of apps out there and they can't purchase every app just to try it out. Not everyone pays $200 + for a smart phone and has extra cash laying around to spend on apps that they may or may not use.

          I agree though that a lot of people will pass on a $4 app like this without some sort of trial. Google offers a lot of ways for Developers to offer a trial version so that is what papped is getting at I think

          • http://papped.webatu.com papped

            Yep, especially a launcher... It's viewed as even less "necessary" than any other kind of app because any phone already has a launcher and most users won't know the difference without trial and error.

          • sweenish

            Refer to my first post, where I did state a trial would have been nice, making your paragraphs pointless.

    • Markoff

      it's not matter of life and deatch so why should I buy any launcher in first place when I can use stock or free Nova or Apex? people showing off that they pay so much for their monthly plans, phones and then for overpriced apps are just stupid, I guess former Apple users coming to Android

  • Android User but no Apple hate

    Stop whining about the price - we're talking about a couple of dollars for an app with great value, you're not going to have to live on bread and water in the foreseeable future if you actually pay for it!

    • Markoff

      well I will never find out since I am not going to risk 4 dollars to find out it was waste of money just relying on your personal opinion

      • Android User but no Apple hate

        tells more about you than anyone else - you can't risk 4 dollars? Really?

  • dextersgenius

    Still waiting for a categorised drawer. Until that implemented, I won't be switching from Smart Launcher anytime soon.

    • JT

      Organized Drawer works pretty well as app drawer replacement. Works with any launcher.

      • dextersgenius

        Thanks, but does it automatically categorise apps?

    • chrislacy

      I've considered this, but my concern is that such categorization will slow things down for the majority of users given it will likely mean getting rid of the letter shortcuts.

  • ewlung

    Anyone have the wallpaper as shown in the pictures above?

    Thanks :)

    • David

      I do but can;t find it at the moment. But I do know you can find it on deviantArt.

      • MagnificentN

        It is built in with the Stark Icon Pack.

  • Matthew Fry

    I will step into the ring and say that Action Launcher is the best custom launcher I've ever used and Chris was responsive to my requests. He's got a beta channel where he's been testing out the 4.3 code for several weeks making sure it's solid. I can unreservedly recommend Action Launcher. It's extremely fast and utilitarian and leaps and bounds ahead of the stock launcher.

    • ltredbeard

      I like the launcher, but Chris was not responsive to my request. Here is what I think could be improved.

      1. I think that the trigger for app drawer should be customizable.
      2. When you import your home screens it will only import those with icons on them. Then if you change from say 3 to 5 it adds them to the end of the scrolling. You should be able to move your home screens around.
      3. I want to replace the action bar with stock google.

      • chrislacy

        I listen to all feedback, but it is impossible for me to act on all of it without compromising the app's quality.

        • ltredbeard

          Thanks for the reply. I wasn't expecting you necessary to act on my suggestions, but I thought I'd receive a reply. I wasn't saying you weren't responsive as in "he didn't do what I wanted". I meant I wasn't even certain that you received my email because I never heard back. Sorry if it came across the wrong way.

          I know my first point may not be a priority and the third may not be what you want for your launcher, but I think that my second point is really pivotal to a smooth transition from another launcher. I found the way around it was to add a single icon to my blank pages (the far left and far right) and delete them afterwards, but I thought it would help others for this to be updated.

          • chrislacy

            It's impossible for me to respond to each piece of feedback, otherwise I would never have time to write the app. Posting to the G+ Community is the best way to get an answer (from either me or the community itself).

            RE #2, I see your point here, but adding rearranging of Home screens is a bit of work, and frankly I'd rather spend that time writing new features that encourage you to only need a single Home screen.

  • remister

    Vsauce Tweet!

  • James Gibbons

    Just curious.. I am using the full version of Apex. What features would make it worth me ditching Apex, for Action?

    • Tim Wing

      To me as a old Nova user , I love the shutters feature, clean homescreen as well as access to all my widgets as well as it acting like a folder.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJJynAG3jQQ

      • James Gibbons

        Thank you.. Interesting, but not something I see myself using personally.

        • CoreRooted

          I had said the same thing initially. BUT... I actually use them all the time.

          • chrislacy

            Yes, I find I actually use widgets now with shutters. Especially the Chrome and Gmail widgets, which are too ugly for me to look at all the time.

          • CoreRooted

            I've actually gone to just 1 homescreen and 1 widget now. Shutters: Awesome idea and VERY well implemented.

            BTW, Chris; awesome job on the update. easily 10x better than the last release. Kudos.

      • Markoff

        so what is actually difference between shutter and folders which has pretty any launcher?

        my homescreen is also almost empty using Folders and two 1x1 widgets

    • The Friend One

      only feature is sliding app drawar, shutter but not worth of the price. I would pay half of the listed.

  • http://www.yelidesign.net/ Yeli Design
  • CoreRooted

    I've had Action Launcher since it first came out. Chris has always been very responsive and the things that AL does compared to other launchers sets it apart. These things make the $4 price tag very much worth it. I have yet to see another launcher do Shutters (which I use often in place of widgets).

  • Garry DeWitt

    Good to see them adding more customizations, that was really my only remaining beef with it

  • David

    Still no option to remove the play store link/icon from the desktop? Come on dude!
    I don;t need 24 hour access to the play store on my desktop

    • David

      oops, it seems to be fixed. lol

  • Markoff

    what are the benefits compared to free Apex/Nova?

    • CoreRooted

      Way too many to list.

      My top three:
      1. Slide-out app drawer
      2. Shutters (widgets without having to have them showing all the time)
      3. Cover folders.

      • Markoff

        thanks, so it seems nothing really interesting, since I don't like this new trend with sliding stuff from all sides and i am fine with power widgets from status bar

  • http://www.nonsensebb.com/ Dextro

    To everyone complaining about the free trial you do remember that google still gives you 15 minutes to uninstall an app and get your money back right? I know 15min is nowhere near enough to see if everything works like you want it to but it's still enough to get the jist of it. Also: it's 4 bucks. I'm pretty sure most people here pay substantially more than that monthly for their phone plans.

    • di

      That's not for every app. I've installed apps that don't give you any refund period.

    • Markoff

      15mins is not enough to test the app to find out if it's worthy such huge sum of 2-4 normal apps + no, I don't pay more than 4 bucks per month, only thing I pay is small data plan (5RMB plus basic plan without any minutes/messages 5RMB) since I have internet at home and in work and during walk between them or on weekends I can relax without staring at mobile every possible second

      • Android User but no Apple hate

        The only way you can convince me you can't afford to pay 4 USD for an app, is if you live in a dumpster.... Judging by your comment, it seems quite possible actually!

  • bL4Ck

    Been using this launcher since it's first price drop on the store, at first i regret'd it since it didn't have many of the feature other launchers have, but after playing around with it, and waiting a little for most common features, i can say that i'm definitely in love with it. I don't like bloated home screens with lots of widgets and shortcuts, so thanks to shutters and cover folders now i can have a clean home screen with few folders that act as shortcuts too, plus all the widgets i need on the go, add to that the side scrolling app/widget drawer, really handy to get what you want quickly, without the need to reorder everything in categories or folders to quick access apps.

    • Markoff

      another user justifying 4USD at any case, since he can't get refund
      you can get to use to anything you paid for, the point is why would you do it in first place where you can have sop many comparable apps for free, why would you risk you will waste money on this launcher?

      • bL4Ck

        but i pay'd 1,50€ when it was on sale, also you can ask for a refund, send a mail to the dev and it will do so. You seriously don't have anything better to do than spend the evening shitposting on this article comments?

  • Saad Mustafa

    Does any one know which widgets are on the first tablet pic? i recognise falcon and battery widget reborn... but what are the other ones?

    • bL4Ck

      dashclock (4.2+ only), simple calendar widget and google keep widget

  • JazzEspresso

    I don't get the people who complain about $4 price tag and comparing with Nova and Apex launcher (I have both of pro version by the way). I bought Action Launcher couple weeks ago. I do like it, it is a bit different than other launchers, and takes time to get used (if you are coming from Nava or other launchers). And Chris seems like one of the nicest developer out there in android development world.

    Only problem I have with Nova and Apex launcher is they look alike, they act the same way, almost identical (I was wondering if both of apps developer the same guy!:-), both of these luncher pretty much the same with stock launcher. and Yes you can change it with custom icons, themes...

    On the other hand, Action Launcher is trying to go totally different directions, bringing new features that others never thought about it, and has some unique features others don't. and I am hopeful that he is going to bring more unique features this launcher for sure.

    • CoreRooted

      "On the other hand, Action Launcher is trying to go totally different directions, bringing new features that others never thought about it, and has some unique features others don't. and I am hopeful that he is going to bring more unique features this launcher for sure."

      One of the main reasons it's been my main launcher; it's different. I'm so tired of the same old thing being done over and over again.

      • JazzEspresso

        yeap....I was so excited when Chameleon Launcher come along, because it was so different, nice looking, something totally different than any launcher other, but they screwed up big...no one is know even mentions about "Chameleon Launcher"....what was it? ohh really there was a launcher called Chameleon Launcher?? where was I? heh heh heh heh.. :-)

    • Markoff

      I don't want to go totally different way, what's the point of reinventing the wheel?
      Apex is far from stock launcher, which has pretty basic options and you can't really customize it.

Quantcast