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.
Link Bubble is already a pretty great app, but developer Chris lacy is apparently not content to rest on his laurels. There is already a Play Store beta program you can join to get the latest tweaks and features. Just a few steps and you're in.
For anyone not aware, Link Bubble is an app that loads web pages in the background and stacks them up in a floating bubble.
We're lucky to have capable mobile browsers on Android these days, but the experience of poking around on the web is still flawed in a number of ways. You're often stuck bouncing between two or three redirects because of apps, mobile sites, and link shorteners. Then there's the fundamentally modal experience of only having one thing up on the screen at a time. The result is lots of wasted seconds waiting for links to actually resolve at the final destination.
Action Launcher is something special. The home screen replacement made its debut a short three months ago in December, and found its way into our hearts as one of (if not the) best app of the month. What makes Action Launcher a great replacement is that it's unique – AL is totally different from any Launcher we've yet seen, and it earns that distinction with a couple of signature features: first, all your apps are a quick slide away.
Last summer, we saw the launch of Tweet Lanes – a beautiful, functional Twitter app that – due to Twitter's reformed API – ceased active development just a few months ago. Today, Chris Lacy has issued a "further update" on the status of development, writing in a post to Google+ "just because I am no longer actively developing Tweet Lanes doesn't mean that development of the app has to stop."
Yes, after "countless requests" to do so (and an offer to sell), Lacy has taken the project open source – opening up the TL client itself, its SocialNetLib library, and its associated AppEngine project.