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.
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.