Action Launcher

If you're using Chris Lacy's Action Launcher, there's a pretty sizable updating waiting for. Version 1.20 brings a helpful search feature right there in the Action Bar. It's able to search through your contacts, apps and even music, giving the results there there on the home screen. Action Launcher's unique "Covers" -- think folders with more functionality -- have gotten even better and now serve as app shortcuts as well as a folder with more options inside. There also are options to hide apps from the app list, some visual changes, and you can import home screens from other third-party launchers.

We've got the entire changelog after the break (Lacy jokes that it's too long to fit on a single Nexus 7 screen, which is saying something), and some demo video is ready to go there as well. The update should be live in Google Play any time now.

Action Launcher 1.2.0 changelog:

  • NEW: Quicksearch - filter the apps, contacts and even music on your device, directly from the action bar's search button.
  • NEW: Covers can now be opened by swiping vertically on the cover icon, double-tapping the icon, or both. A swipe is the default.
  • NEW: Added tutorial, detailing covers, the sliding app drawer and Quicksearch.
  • NEW: Users can specify apps to hide from the app drawer.
  • NEW: Vastly improved the animation when opening the app drawer.
  • NEW: Allow configuration of the number of rows and columns on a homescreen page.
  • NEW: Allow configuration of the number of columns on the dock.
  • NEW: Added support for importing a layout from Apex, Nova and TouchWiz, in addition to stock Android.
  • NEW: Added support for expanding and shrinking the padding on the edges of the screen.
  • NEW: The double-tap time to open a cover can be changed via the settings.
  • NEW: Added setting to disable automatically opening the notification panel after a downward swipe.
  • NEW: Added ability to resize any widget.
  • NEW: Display a dialog highlighting the new features of this release.
  • CHANGE: Remove the "Apps" text from the action bar.
  • CHANGE: Automatically close the app drawer when resuming the app.
  • CHANGE: All buttons on the action bar are the same color.
  • CHANGE: Never display the Customize button. Instead this button always resides in the overflow menu.
  • CHANGE: Items in the sliding app drawer are the exact same height as the action bar.
  • CHANGE: Revert to using standard AOSP behavior for homescreens. The default page is in the 'middle', rather than the far left.
  • CHANGE: If there is a single homescreen, or the default homescreen is displaying, pressing Home opens the app drawer. Otherwise, jump to the default homescreen.
  • CHANGE: Modifying the number of homescreens now uses a pretty NumberPicker.
  • BUG FIX: Vastly improved the performance when scrolling through homescreens.
  • BUG FIX: When rearranging items in a cover, the cover image updates correctly on the homescreen.
  • BUG FIX: Change wallpaper apps load correctly
  • BUG FIX: Swiping from the very edge of the screen will change a homescreen on all devices.
  • BUG FIX: The Direct Dial widget works correctly on Samsung devices.
  • BUG FIX: Fix action bar going MIA at times.
  • BUG FIX: Shortcuts to just installed apps are displayed on the default home screen.
  • BUG FIX: Width of the app drawer displays correctly on 10" tablets.
  • BUG FIX: The app drawer no longer incorrectly opens when dragging an item on a homescreen.
  • BUG FIX: The 'Page indicator' setting no longer has a mistaken dependency on the 'Dock seperator' setting.
  • BUG FIX: Clicking a hardware home button when a device is powered off and there is no lockscreen no longer mistakenly opens the app drawer.
  • BUG FIX: Adjust default page margins so that TouchWiz widgets display correctly.
  • BUG FIX: Widget previews no longer display indefinitely on ICS.
  • BUG FIX: Shortuct widgets can be created on ICS.
  • BUG FIX: Fix FC when moving widgets on ICS.
  • BUG FIX: Fix FC when duplicate shortcut IDs are used.
  • BUG FIX: Fix FC when importing a layout with no items in it.

Reader comments

Action Launcher 1.2.0 update brings new search feature, improves covers


I took the plunge today and decided to pick this up. I always like to see a developer try and put a new spin on something like this.

UPDATE: BEWARE if you use Lux:

Well... I was enjoying it, despite an annoying bug that was causing the launcher to crash and restart sometimes while trying to add widgets. Then, I let the screen turn off. I use an app called Lux that allows me to very precisely control the screen's auto-brightness. I went to unlock the phone and as soon as Lux tried to set the auto-brightness, the whole phone wigged out. Lux kept crashing and restarting, and the brightness somehow got locked to 50%. I actually had to clear the default launcher, set it back to Nova (which took some patience with the phone in the state it was in) and reboot the phone to get it to stop. I'm back on Nova for now, but I will keep my copy of Action Launcher and email to dev to see if he has any ideas.

All that said, it's a good launcher with a *ton* of potential. The design was really cool, and even after only half an hour I am *seriously* going to miss the "Cover" feature.

Nova launcher has the same Cover feature. Edit a folder and you'll see the option to change the icon and activity to launch when tapped.

Are you sure that Nova has that feature? I've got Nova Prime and all I see in the folder edit menu is "Add" and "Sort".

Nova Prime has a very similar feature which allows you to assign an additional app to each icon. Long-press on any folder or app icon. Choose Edit. The Popup will allow you to assign swipe actions.

Ah... I was clicking the "three dots" for the context menu once the folder was already open, not long-pressing on the folder itself. Thanks for the info.

I bet the guy that left this comment in the Play Store yesterday feels like he wants a redo:

"January 30, 2013 - Version 1.0.0
You ask for 3.99 and only one update over 2 months"

Agreed, I bought into the hype when i saw it the first time. It was nice to see a change of home replacements but now i'm back on apex launcher.
The fact that an update came out today got me excited, but as soon as i updated, it wasn't much of a change. Pretty disappointed.

Ditto. I'm not sure where people came up with the *expectation* that mobile apps should be updated weekly. As a software developer for a living, I can promise you that *most* of the time, you're not going to be able to add anything significant to the code in less than 2 months by the time to factor in testing and bug fixes. It's a lot different when it's just one guy versus a whole team. Software development isn't magic, and complex code can take some serious time.

Sorry, but I think that's pretty stupid. Tweetlanes was a twitter app, and Twitter is sort of cutting off developers. I would have stopped if I was him. I think we're still lucky to have Falcon Pro in development.

Nah, Lacy seems to be responding very very well to feedback, clearly he worked hard to get this update out the door, and it brings a lot of welcome changes. Just as I was getting used to the leftmost home screen being home, he goes and switches it back to middle though! Otherwise, I love the customizability, people might complain about gestures, but I think they're sorta useless and detract from the pure Android feel. I think he's stuck pretty close to stock android with this update, and the launcher is blazing fast on Nexus 4

I'd think about getting this but I don't trust the app won't be abandoned as mentioned by someone else...

I'll say this in the limited contact that I have had with Chris online.

He responds very well in regards to issues that popup during RC testing. Questions and concerns brought to him regarding testing this release were responded to fairly quickly in my opinion. He is in Australia after all, so the time difference can be an issue.

It has been discussed many times that Tweetlanes development was halted because of the token ceiling. Seeing as it was a free app, it is tough to really complain when the developer is not likely to see much in the way of a reward for the time spent on an app knowing that the future for it is already limited.

Thankfully there are no token limits for a launcher, and while I fully agree that this is expensive, I think it is headed in the right direction.

Just my $0.02.

Yea..this launcher is a waste of $3.99. Too bad the refund period is so short. Uninstalled and chalked it up to a good beer