Most third-party home screens simply add on features to the standard launcher experience, but Action Launcher has always been a little more innovative. While it has a lot of neat stuff like Shutters and the Quickdrawer, it has been missing one of the basic features of a custom launcher – unread counts. Well, now it has arrived, albeit in beta form.

1 2

You'll need to grab the free Action Launcher Unread Count app from the Play Store and also be running the new Action Launcher v2.1. That's still rolling out to everyone, but you can get going now by joining the beta program or by downloading the APK from Chris Lacy's post. Note: you still need the pro key to unlock all the features. When you're all set up, the unread badges will show up in Action Launcher right away. Here's what Action Launcher v2.1 includes.

  • NEW: Initial Unread Count support (Pro only, requires Unread Count application available for free in the Play Store). Works for missed calls, SMS, Gmail and Calendar.
  • NEW: "Ok, Google" voice activation works (all thanks goes to @MohammadAG). Requires Android 4.4 or later, and must be turned on (Settings -> Shortcuts -> "OK, Google" voice activation).
  • NEW: Double or triple tap empty space on a Home screen to power the screen off.
  • NEW: Option to enable Roboto Condensed (Settings -> Display -> More... -> Roboto Condensed).
  • NEW: More fine-grained control over where icon text labels display (Settings -> Display -> More... -> Icon text labels).
  • NEW: Option to disable drawing of Cover/Shutter indicators (Settings -> Display -> More... -> Cover/Shutter indicators).
  • IMPROVEMENT: Icon scale can be configured for items on Home screens, Dock, Quickpage and Folders (previously was only applied on Home screens).
  • IMPROVEMENT: Display app icon shortcuts on Settings menus that require you to select apps (Hidden apps, 1-Swipe blacklist, etc.).
  • BUG FIX: Misc. stability improvements.

Beta testers will recognize a number of these features from recent test builds. The unread counter currently only supports Gmail, SMS, phone calls, and calendars. It's still in beta, though, so more apps might be added later. As for why it's a separate app, Lacy has explained that he didn't want Action Launcher to request all those permissions. Sensible.

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.about.me/kendallseabury Kendall Seabury

    "Beta testes"


    Also, you can switch Gmail to Cloudmagic and it works perfectly.

  • Sigmund

    Which was that launcher? Looks extremely clean o.o

    • http://www.about.me/kendallseabury Kendall Seabury

      It's Action Launcher.

      • Sigmund

        Thanks a lot!

    • sweenish

      You didn't even read the headline?

      • Sigmund

        Fail, I need comprehension skills x_x

  • BarKa

    great update but still too much work required. once done will be best launcher available ever

    • Sashank Narayan

      Too much work required? I don't see what you mean. Sure, there are a few bugs just like any other app, but the launcher runs great, especially with the latest update. Been running it for more than a year now. If by 'too much work' you mean that you expect all the features and options from other launchers in this, the developer said that's not going to happen to avoid feature bloat.

      • BarKa

        bro, the bugs may be one or two like unread count one and the feature required is more options in unread counts only which will come with later updates but i mean to say "too much work" is.... it may seem us a small update for chris lacy it will too much. he will have to think about cover,quick cover and everything wth this option so my words for him not for the launcher

  • Brad

    "Beta testes will recognize" haha, that is the one that means balls...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

      Yeah, fixed. but had a giggle first, of course.

  • TheRunner024

    My favorite launcher.

    • APOI

      is it Better than Nova

      • TheRunner024

        They're both great Launchers. I just like Action Launcher a little bit more.

        • APOI

          I would love to hear more about why do you like it more, plz explain it in a bit detail, Thanks in advance

          • TheRunner024

            It's fast, minimal, and it has enough customizable features to satisfy my needs.

          • APOI

            Good to know that :) i will sure be trying it

          • gjuetari

            which icon pack is that?

          • TheRunner024

            It's the Lumos icon pack.

          • gjuetari

            thanks :D


    what is that LWP?

  • Gsizzle

    Nova eats this for lunch. No competition.

    • Cesar

      I used Nova Prime exclusively for about a year and thought the same thing. Then, when I actually gave Action launcher a shot, I never returned to Nova.

    • Someone

      No it doesn't. While I agree that Nova is one of the best launchers (and it's THE best stock-like launcher), Action Launcher has some great features that Nova lacks. I'd say if you want the best stock launcher, go to Nova, and if you want something different, the go for Action Launcher.

  • Adi

    "55m"?? o.O

  • Cesar


  • ddpacino

    I'm probably alone here, but that looks hideous to me.

    • dobbsy

      Not alone.

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    Can someone plz make me understand why the "unread notification count" handlers need to be a separate app for all launchers? Nova has Tesla Unread, Apex has Apex Notifier, and now Action. None of these work with another launcher. So, why not make them part of the launcher itself, rather than releasing them as separate app?

    • ltredbeard

      Maybe it was added after you read the article, but you should read the last two sentences (if you count the one word sentence as a sentence).

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        I don't recall reading that earlier. Might be a ninja edit by Ryan or maybe I didn't read it the first time. Consider me informed in any case. :)