It looks like the "OK, Google" search hotword has now become a standard feature for advanced Android launchers. Nova Launcher added the search function in its 3.0 update earlier this month, and now its biggest competitor, Apex, has followed suit. Users who are on Android 4.4 can enable the voice-activated search function in Apex Launcher 2.4. Earlier versions, sadly, cannot access the functionality - you'll have to search with your fingers like some kind of sad troglodyte.
Now that the developers of the more popular apps in the Play Store have come to grips with the changes in Android 4.4, it's high time to see them take advantage of the new options. Such is the case with popular alternative homescreen Apex Launcher, which exits its KitKat-enhanced beta and lands on the Play Store today. The new version adds a host of visual tweaks to bring the launcher up to date with 4.4.
KitKat introduces a lot of much-needed features into Android, like better support for low-memory devices, a new storage framework, SMS integration with BLAH BLAH BLAH. We all know what the people want: transparent user interface elements! Following Nova Launcher's update to better visually match the KitKat launcher on the Nexus 5, popular alternative Apex Launcher now has a beta version that does much the same thing.
The beta version was released to the Apex Launcher Beta Google Group, which you can find here.
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.
What makes a developer great is a continued commitment to a great product, and Apex Launcher dev Android Does has it in spades. Their latest in a long line of updates adds a handful of features, most of which are designed to allow the app to more seamlessly integrate with Android 4.2. There's a new shortcut to the Quick Settings menu, as well as modifications to the shortcut selection screen for 4.2 devices.
It's National Custom Launcher Update Day! Didn't you know? Hot on the heels of Nova Launcher's recent update, Apex Launcher was also bumped up to v1.3. Only, with that update, the launcher decided to FC every time it was opened. Bummer.
You can't keep a good launcher down, so the Apex team just pushed a point update to the launcher - bringing it to v.1.3.1 - that fixes the FC issue, so it works like a top now.
If you've ever cruised through r/AndroidThemes, then you've probably seen some pretty impressive homescreens floating around. Some are ultra-minimal. Others are highly functional while still retaining an appealing look. Then, there are those that just stand out from the crowd because of a well thought-out layout.
The Sci-Fi Interface Theme by Reddit user Futant55 is a shining example of the latter. It has the look of something very difficult to create, but is actually just a few widgets precisely placed to fit in perfectly with the custom wallpaper.
The launcher on Android 4.0 is quite nice when compared to what Google was shipping before. If there is one complaint, it's that the stock launcher is a little light on features. But that's what custom home screen replacements are for, right? We took a look at Apex Launcher when it first came out and were impressed with the initial release. Now Apex Launcher Pro has appeared, bringing with it even more customization.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a look at Nova, a new launcher for Ice Cream Sandwich devices that brings some nice features over the stock offering. Another new launcher designed for Android 4.0, dubbed Apex, landed in the Store this morning and it, too, is pretty incredible. I spent some time playing around with it earlier today; here is a quick look at what Apex has to offer.