A major update landed today for Action Launcher Pro bringing it to version 1.2. Action Launcher is a home screen replacement for Android 4.0.3 devices and up. Chris Lacy has also developed TweetLanes, a popular Holo style Twitter client, so we know we are going to get a beautiful experience from the start.
Unlike other home screen replacements that merely add additional settings and customization, Action Launcher is unique in a handful of ways.
The first and arguably biggest way is how you get to your app drawer. Instead of the Android standard of a button in your dock, the app drawer slides in from the left-hand side of the screen accessible either by touching the app drawer icon on the top left of the screen or swiping from the left edge of the screen.
Action Launcher also has a huge evolution on the traditional folders called covers. Covers allow quick access to apps like your Phone, but with a quick swipe or double-tap will reveal the contents of the folder. I have found many use cases including making a cover that will give me quick access my phone and with a simple swipe a few direct dial widgets. In the previous version of Action Launcher there was no way to edit the double-tap time (which apparently Chris can tap his phone way faster than me), but now we can edit the time it takes to double-tap.
In the newest version of Action Launcher Chris Lacy has added a lot of customization options in the settings menu including hiding apps from the app drawer, changing the grid dimensions (number of apps across and down), number of apps in the dock, and adjustable screen margins. Importing from existing launchers appears to have improved, but personally I now use Action Launcher exclusively, but importing from the Android default launcher works as expected.
The slide out animation has also been updated and is much more visually appealing. Instead of the apps being “crushed” they instead slide out from under your home screen.
By far the biggest update to Action Launcher has to be search. The old search functionality was non-existent and just took you to the Google Now voice search. Chris Lacy has taken search to a new level that is now the second biggest and innovative feature after the slide out app drawer. The new search allows you to instantly search your installed apps, contacts, music and a bunch more. I have found myself using the search rather than opening the app drawer for even quicker access.
If you have not taken the time to try out a new launcher you need to buy Action Launcher Pro. Chris Lacy has shown innovations and an imagination beyond any of the competition.