As most of you know by now, Action Launcher 3 is what I use on all of my devices. I love the feature set and developer Chris Lacy puts a lot of effort and dedication into the app. He is also pretty responsive to user feedback. 

The December update for the launcher is live, bringing a number of changes. Here's the changelog:

• NEW: Unread badge support ('Alpha'): currently displays the number of unread SMS messages, missed calls, unread Gmail/Inbox messages and upcoming calendar appointments.
• NEW: Fully customize the appearance of unread badges.
• NEW: A new "Round (exclude white plates)" icon style. Use Android 7.1's round icons, but only if they do not look like an "icon on a plate"!
• NEW: Quickpage, a fully customizable home screen panel accessible from the right screen edge, is no longer a Plus only feature and is available for all users.
• NEW: Quicktheme support for customizing dock separator color.
• NEW: Move all dock related settings to their own group in the settings.
• NEW: Line style dock separator.
• NEW: Can use up to five scrolling dock pages.
• NEW: Option for infinite home screen scrolling.
• NEW: Layout/settings are backed up via Android's automatic daily backups (requires Android 6.0 or later).
• NEW: Add 2017 Supporter Badge. It is a one-off, non-recurring and entirely optional in-app purchase that customers can opt make.

As many of you will notice, Lacy has added unread count badges for the supported apps on your homescreen. This is a long-requested feature by AL3 users, so it is great to see it added. Keep in mind that it is in the alpha stage and only supports a handful of apps (Gmail, Phone, SMS, and Calendar) due to limitations in Android itself. Scrollable docks are now available, too. Personally, I have never had the need for these features, but lot of other people do.

 

Also of note is that the Quickpage, a sort of full "homepage" that slides out from the right, is no longer a premium-only feature. Icons have gotten some love, too — specifically, you can now have round icons without the "dinner plates" that dismay some of the AP staff.

It may be small, but I am super excited about the automatic cloud backups of my homescreen layouts. The update hit my phone already, so I have just started digging into the changes. It should be live for everyone, so be checking for it.

Action Launcher 3
Action Launcher 3
Developer: Action Launcher
Price: Free+