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Action Launcher's September update brings rumored Pixel phone features

It's September, which means another update to Chris Lacy's excellent Action Launcher, our favorite third-party launcher.

This month, Action Launcher offers a set of features that are rumored to be coming to the upcoming Pixel phones when they are expected to launch next month. Many of the improvements, such as swiping up from the dock to reveal All Apps, have been built through leaks and off-hand experiences.

The full change log is below:

  • Integration of Nexus Launcher's rumored All Apps drawer. Swipe up on the dock to reveal All Apps.
  • Two new Nexus Launcher inspired style folder types!
  • Add tinted dock background.
  • Customize the colors of All Apps, folder icons and the dock background via Quicktheme.
  • Add caret (^) page indicator.
  • Add Google "pill" widget.
  • Add date widget.
  • Many miscellaneous bug fixes.

I've been using the September update on my Moto Z for a month or so in beta form and have to say it is one of the most easily-recommended launcher experiences on Android, period.

Download: Action Launcher (free) (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

48 Comments
  • This or nova launcher? Which do you guys like more?
  • Nova.
  • Nova
  • Arrow.
  • Action here. For a lot of us it's maybe just a matter what what we're most used to. Gave Nova a solid shot, but couldn't leave AL
  • Exactly. I seriously doubt anything is going to get me to replace Nova, but if I'd been using Action Launcher for as long as I've been using Nova, I'm sure if he just as unlikely to switch from that.
  • Action launcher. You really have to commit to it for at least a week to really find out what sets it apart.
  • Usually Nova for me but I like the idea of AL and always reinstall it when there's an update and give it a shot, but usually end up back on Nova. I'm using AL again now - perhaps this time it might stick for me.
  • Started with Nova, tried Action but didn't buy it and didn't really like the free version.
    On my new moto i decided to give action a shot again and went all out and bought it too- the price of coffee for a super fast and really nice launcher, I use the both the drawers on either side of the home screens and the new Nougat style app drawer. Love it
    Great Job lacey
  • Nova. It simply... works.
  • And what doesn't works? All launchers simply works
  • Imagine that.
  • Nova. Action has SIGNIFICANTLY improved since we first bought it, but it's the little things that add up to make using Nova a more complete experience. Like the ability to add multiple apps into a folder with one press in Nova (it's tedious to pluck a single app and then put it in a folder, then Rearrange everything alphabetically. There's a button for that on Nova.) Or how Nova is smooth EVERYwhere in the interface with out any micro lag or jankiness in certain places.
  • It may be best to simply try the Free versions of both and decide for yourself which is best.
  • nova Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have both. Nova on my tablet. Action launcher on my phone. There's some basic features I think AL is missing (looping home screens, app drawer folders) but I still prefer it on my phone for the customizable search bar, quick drawers and folder covers.
  • Action is way cleaner and we'll put together.
  • Action... I was a long time nova fan, but Action has grown on me. I just tried Nova again, but I could only use Nova for a week before going back to Action.
  • I have Nova Prime on one phone and Action 3 Plus on another. I've installed Action 3 as a system app (requires root access) and made it like the Nexus Launcher since the update mentioned in the article and I really like it. It won't replace Nova as my launcher of choice since Nova has a few more things that I really like, but Action has really improved since the last time I used it.
  • I use a lot of launchers to make sure that my experience is always fresh. What I mainly use are Nova Prime, Arrow, Home UX, Lightning Launcher and Aviate while Kiss and Mini Desktop if I want to really simplify things. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nova as my base with Wave Launcher occupying the upper half of my left handed swipe options and SwiftOpen occupying the lower half of my left handed swipe options. All access from one home screen. Once SwiftOpen integrates widgets I will be able to drop Wave Launcher.
  • Action for me. Nova close second.
  • Nova FTW.
  • Hmmm stopped using widgets a long time ago. Just no need for me.
  • this or arrow`?
  • Both are great and very polished launcher. You really have to try it foe yourself to see what suits you. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can't figure out how to access that rumored new All Apps view. Swiping up on the All Apps icon gives me the same view I always had, I think...
  • Settings > app drawer > All apps > style > nougat And just below style, swipe on dock. Turn it on. So you can swipe up on the entire dock, not just the all apps icon.
  • Google Now ;)
  • Does the swipe up interfere with Samsung Pay on Samsung phones? It too is activated by swiping up from the dock area.
  • I installed Nova on my Galaxy S3 and while I liked it, I had severe battery draining issues due to Clock/weather widgets I tried, so I went back to TW and haven't brought it back up. While not exactly on the topic, what clock/weather widgets to you folks use and how do you manage to have them not drain the battery due to GPS or other data hogging. Oddly the stock TW weather/clock widget is miserly where batter drain is concerned.
  • I use Weather Timeline. Actually have two widgets, 1 current conditions, and a 5 day forecast. No noticeable battery drain, doesn't even show up on my battery usage. I set them to refresh every 3hours. If I need it updated sooner, I tap the refresh button manually. And I don't use a clock widget. Why? The time is always in the corner of the status bar (or on the lockscreen). Seems redundant to have it again, one inch lower.
  • That wasn't a problem with Nova, that was a problem with the widgets. You seem to have your finger pointed in the wrong direction.
  • If you know how to customize Nova, there's nothing you can't do with that launcher. I already have all these on Nova
  • Is any of this available in Nova Launcher? If so, how to set it up?
  • Watch! https://youtu.be/HSxA3BmPtg4?list=FLLoROLUb40A8lku_16zyOOA
  • Touchwiz.
  • W
  • With
  • Why?
  • T
  • Your
  • cause I like it.
  • F
  • Comments?
  • Nova pretty much offers very similar features and capabilities already. Not identical, but close enough. For example, you can swipe up to see the app drawer, have a tinted dock background, (and tinted folder backgrounds, too). Not sure what the "pill" widget is, but there are thousands (tens of thousands?) of widgets in the Play store to do almost anything you can ask for. And as he's done before Nova's developer will incorporate all the Google launcher functionality soon after release. Nothing against Action Launcher, but if you like Nova this isn't a reason to switch.
  • Why does that S7 have soft buttons in the picture?
  • Been using all the Pixel launcher's feature since a few days. Like them. The only problem with the Action launcher is micro lag or jankiness in certain places. As someone said above, Nova doesn't.
    Now, if only Moto would release Nougat, that would fix the annoying Marshmallow bug which causes slowness in the swipe down to pull notification area action in the launchers.