Chris Lacy has had a busy few months updating his popular Action Launcher. Since a major overhaul in June, the app has added numerous features that mimic the way the Pixel launcher works in Oreo, bringing features such as the Google Feed, notifications dots, and shortcuts to almost any Android device. The last update, to v27, included new theming options and a Pixel-inspired weather widget. The beta for v28 is now starting to roll out, and it comes with full support for adaptive icons and a light navigation bar.
Is your home screen feeling a little drab? A bit on the boring side? You might need more color, more customization, and a dash of Android O style. That's Action Launcher, and it has even more of those things today. A new version of Action Launcher is rolling out with ample new customization options and a weather widget.
Chris Lacy's Action Launcher got a massive update recently, introducing new branding, more free features, an animated Android O style clock widget, and more. Together with its already useful feature set, including shutters and covers, it's cemented its place as one of Android's best launchers. The latest Beta is now available, as announced by Lacy on his blog, and it includes a number of features that Google has added to the Pixel Launcher in Android O, such as notification dots and a new UI for app shortcuts and widgets.
A new version of Chris Lacy's Action Launcher is rolling out today, and it brings an all-new feature that makes it a snap to search your apps. Well, I guess it technically makes it a swipe. Quickfind is a built-in search box in the app list that's accessible with a simple gesture. That's not all that's new—there are a number of other thoughtful tweaks and changes in v3.6.
Chris Lacy's Link Bubble floating browser was a cool idea right out of the gate, but you might notice that development has been slow. Today Lacy explains that his little indie dev company simply doesn't have the resources to do what needs to be done with the app, so he's sold Link Bubble (and TapPath) to an unnamed US startup. What does that mean to you? For starters there's a huge update today.
Action Launcher v3 came out a few months ago with a ton of refinements and a slimmed down feature set. I thought it was quite a nice app, but the lack of certain extras irked some users. Developer Chris Lacy has been hard at work pushing updates to the launcher since then, and today is a big one. Action Launcher v3.2 adds so much stuff I'm going to use our snazzy new multi-column layout for the changelog.
YouTube is a somewhat respectable internet destination, but that doesn't mean you want to turn a kid loose on it. HomeTube is the newest app from Chris Lacy, and it aims to make it easier for kids to watch the YouTube vids you deem appropriate. You can even give it a shot for free.
Developer Chris Lacy's last release was Link Bubble, an app that loads web pages in Chat Head-like bubbles that float on the screen until you need them. The newly released TapPath seeks to refine the mobile browsing experience even further by assigning different actions depending on how many times you tap a link.
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.
Android fosters a wide and varied app ecosystem, enabling companies both large and small to produce compelling software. The ability to write an app and easily distribute it to most of the world has given rise to independent developers like Chris Lacy, the man behind Action Launcher, Tweet Lanes, and most recently, Link Bubble. Chris took some time to answer a few questions and tell us a little about his experiences developing apps for Android.
AP: What attracted you to mobile development, and Android specifically?
Chris: Before I developed mobile apps I was a game developer. Given my interests in gadgets and technology, developing an interest in the mobile space was natural.