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Why Action Launcher is the only launcher I use ...

I don't recall exactly when I got fed up with every launcher that wasn't Action Launcher. But I do remember why. I'm not all that adventurous when it comes to my home screens. I know what apps I want out front, and I know where I want them. And what I don't want is for the spacing to be all jacked up between the only widget I use (opens in new tab) and any apps or folders. And maybe between the Google Search Bar, which might or might not have its own spacing issues of its own, depending on whether it's permanently embedded in the home screen, or overlaid as a widget.

And to be fair, this was some time ago. Nexus phones handled things just fine. And I'm pretty sure Motorola did (and still does), too. But way back when I took the plunge on Action Launcher, which did away with the typical app drawer full of icons and moved things to a side-sliding list. Those of you who came from the early days of Windows Phone will note that this sounds familiar. And I wasn't exactly a stranger to that sort of thing either, having been a longtime user of the precursor to Windows Phone, the Microsoft Zune HD. Long live the list.

But really, I was here for the adjustable spacing.

Fast forward to mid-2015. Action Launcher 3.5 is fresh on my phones (for whatever reason I still don't use a different launcher on my tablets). And it's still the only launcher I'll use.

First, a disclaimer: Against my protests, Action Launcher's developer bought me a salad in San Francisco earlier this year. I believe it had chicken on it. I, however, have purchased more than one version of Action Launcher on more than one occasion with my own allowance. So I think we're even. And that includes the chicken.

Also, a confession. I don't even use some of the best, most unique parts of Action Launcher. There's a wealth of settings inside this thing. Let's break it down.

The Quickdrawer

This is the aforementioned replacement for the standard app drawer. Actually there is still the standard option for an app drawer in AL3.5. You won't want it.

This scrollable list is 100 times faster to flip through than a grid of icons. And you can do it with just one thumb, without having to move the phone around in your hand to make things more comfortable. And run down the right-hand side of the Quickdrawer to quickly move from letter to letter, so you can go from 1Password to YouTube in no time. You still can drag apps out onto the home screen just like you would a normal app drawer, or up to the top to uninstall (that might currently be a beta thing, iirc), or to get to the application info.

You've got sorting options here as well — name, most used or installation date. But for me the more powerful option is to hide apps that you never use. And that's a godsend if you're using pretty much any phone that's not a Nexus. I don't worry about apps I can't uninstall — I just hide them.

The Quickbar

Quickbar

This is one of the new options in AL3.5, and it's a good one. You can now stick app shortcuts inside the Google Search Bar. I stick to just a few — Google Play Store, the voice search microphone and the Android Central app (opens in new tab), because having Lloyd in there is awesome. I've seen folks fill it to the gills with app icons, but I prefer to have just a couple. Regardless, it's a great way to save yourself a little more room.

Covers

This is an old standard for Action Launcher. Folders are great, but they're just containers for apps. I keep a folder for all my social networking stuff. But if I had one app I used way more than the others — say, Google+, I'd be better off turning that folder into a cover, with Google+ as the lead app. (Whatever is on "top" — or at the top left of the folder — will serve that purpose. Once a folder is converted into a cover, you tap it to simple launch that lead app, but swipe it to actually open the folder to get to those other apps.

It's a really cool shortcut. It's not one I actually use — if an app is in a folder it's because I tend to use it pretty frequently — but it's still a really cool option.

Shutters

This one might even be better. I love widgets for their functionality. But because there's no standard style for widgets, having more than one on a screen can ruin the overall look and feel of things pretty quickly. (That's a big reason why I only have one widget on my home screen — and a transparent one at that.)

Shutters take an app that has a corresponding widget — say the Android Central App — and sticks a couple lines on the bottom right of the icon. You tap to open the app per normal. But swipe up and the widget will launch, on top of the home screen. Then just dismiss it when it's done. It's a great way to get the temporary functionality of a widget without the permanent disfigurement of having a bunch on a screen all the time.

That one will change your life.

Quicktheme

As the name implies, Quicktheme is a quick and easy way to theme your home screens. You've got a number of options here, but I generally just let it theme things based on whatever wallpaper I'm using. And that gets to be pretty fun if you use a wallpaper app like Muzei (opens in new tab). As the wallpaper changes, so does the theme of the UI. Pretty cool.

And that's not all

Covers, Shutters, Quickdrawer and Quickbar make up the meat of Action Launcher. (I don't even have to adjust the spacing of the grid manually anymore, which is great.) There are still more customizations available for the swipes and gestures you'll use with AL. You also can back up your layout, and import layouts from other launchers to make setup even easier. (I generally just start from scratch, but then again I'm way too used to setting up new phones.) There's also the Quickpage, which gives you a little 4x4 app drawer accessible at all times, from the right of the screen. Have apps you use a lot? Stick 'em in there.

Plus, a lot of work has gone into Action Launcher to make this full featured home screen replacement easy to use. This is pretty nerdy stuff, but it's also not something that feels like a chore to use.

Action Launcher pricing

There was a bit of a to-do about Action Launcher 3 moving to a freemium model, given that we'd already paid once for an earlier version. You can download it without paying a cent, but features like the Quickbar and Quicktheme and Shutters and Quickpage are behind a $4.99 in-app purchase. To me this was a new app, so I gladly paid for the upgrade. (In fact, I went so far as to do the $9.99 "Plus & Donate" option because this is an app I use more than any other, on every single phone I own. And because I think developers should be paid for their work.

And also because of the chicken.

Download: Action Launcher 3.5 (opens in new tab)

188 Comments
  • Nova or nothing. Q. E. D! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Negative!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yup! Been using Nova until now!
  • Yep! I tried action launcher and it lagged horribly and I couldn't search for my apps like I did with nova prime Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • ^This. There's a reason Nova has 10 million+ and Action is at 1 million+. I tried Action and it was alright, but as usual, I end up coming back to Nova. There's always something not quite right with the many other launchers I've purchased over the years, for my personal tastes anyways. But that's the coolness of Android. You can choose watchya like.
  • You know, besides the fact that Nova is MUCH older than Action launcher.
  • And then there's me. Who uses the stock LG launcher because I never found anything wrong with it. I changed the home screen icons to the ones found on stock Lollipop and honestly, if you remove the LG stuff, you could've mistaken it for a Nexus.
  • I feel the same way. LG stock Launcher on my G3 is fast, smooth, and reliable. I replaced all the standard apps with their Google counterparts. I have Google Calendar, Messenger (the Google SMS replacement app), Google Camera, Google Clock, Google Keyboard, etc. My G3 could be mistaken as a Nexus. Plus I am able to hide any apps I don't use (I.e. all the apps that are replaced by their Google counterparts). Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why would you replace stock camera which is far better than Google's? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait... you got rid of LG's camera app for Google camera? Isn't LG's camera app supposed to be one of the best features of the phone?
  • Absolutely, Google camera is one hell of a downgrade coming from the LG camera. The lg camera pretty much amazes me. Add Xcam to it and you really won't find better photos on mobile if you know how to tweak the settings. Next-us
  • He uses a G3... Posted from my "Jack Of All Trades" LG G4
  • I have the G4 and the LG Calendar is the BEST calendar app I have used since I got on Android in 2010. I loops into Google Calendar but give you a much better layout IMHO.... and most of the other apps are actually using Material Design and are a little faster and smoother than Google Apps. It's not perfect but it's really really close with a camera that blows Nexus out the water.
  • I was about to say I'm still using the stock launcher on the G4 and have no reason to change it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And then there is me, I have had apex since the start and just cannot get out of it. Still not a fan of tw, sense, LG whatever. The customization options are too much. Yeah I only have stuff on 3 screen but dammit I have 7! Lol Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • The only one I can tolerate is Sense... but I have Nova Launcher on my M9 and I love it.
  • +1 sense is the best of the lot Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • And then there is me who would rather eat beef Nachos as opposed to chicken salad........ Wait what are we talking about? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mmmmmm..... Beef nachos Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • +1,000,000 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I prefer chicken in my burrito and beef on my nachos. "Why?" You may ask. Because I'm related to the most interesting man in the world and we like to keep things edgy, yet classy. That's why.
  • I love Apex, though I'm playing with Action Launcher on my new Note 5. I'm confused by a point in the author's article, though. He/she claims that Action Launcher provides control over widget spacing. If so, how? There are no such options that I can find. Unlike Apex, which offers a wide variety of widget spacing, screen borders, and icon/font sizes.
  • Lg launcher doesn't support icon packs or changing the grid size or resizing the icons. All OEM launchers suck.
  • Looks nice. Just wish they'd (LG) get rid of those ugly square icons. The phone and camera icons in particular are hid.e.ous.
  • You only use one homescreen , Phil? Posted via the Android Central App
  • i never use more than one either. a row of folders and the google fit widget. anything more and i spend too much time hunting around.
  • I've always preferred horizontal scrolling and using half a dozen or so useful widgets on 4 or 5 screens
  • Nevermind. You win AC... your mobile comments app has a mind of its own
  • The syntax and spelling in this article is atrocious Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wow. Yep. I've gone back through it. Sorry about that. And, uh, please end your sentences with punctuation. :p
  • Zbohlman, new editor and chief of android central, ha. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives. ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • We getting a 'Phil' article in the morning? Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • "...syntax and spelling...*are*..." ;-)
  • Glad I didn't have to be the one to say it. Lol.
  • ......dammit Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does anyone know what calendar widget Phil uses? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wondering the same. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can't tell if serious... First paragraph, second link. "Pure Calendar"
  • Thanks, I was skimming right to the meat and potatoes, didn't see it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Transparent Weather Clock?
    It's got a few nifty shortcuts of it's own! Posted via the Android Central App using my Samsung Galaxy S5 now rocking Lollipop on AT&T
  • I used to use Nova all the time and swore by it. Action Launcher all the way now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Android  http://www.androidauthority.com/microsoft-arrow-launcher-android-private...
  • Nope.
  • I've been really happy with Action Launcher. The Quickbar really blew my mind when it was added on.
  • Isn't there a typo in the title? But anyway, Nova launcher is the best! Posted via the ONE M9
  • Considering I heard few complaining about paying for the new app, I think you're being a bit disingenuous. What people were upset about was the play store listing shenanigans, which were confusing and unnecessary. All that being said, I've bought every available version of this app and still just can't find it compelling enough to move away from Nova. There are a few missing features, a few slow downs (though admittedly, most had been fixed last time I tried it out), and a few issues that make Nova a better fit for me. Lacy is still one of the best developers on Android though and I can't wait to see what he produces in the future. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nova > Action Launcher Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have the premium AL3 and nova, and I love both and switch between both all the time. Generally speaking, I feel the need to change my crap out periodically to keep from getting bored Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ya I've been apex-nova-AL3. usually in that order for a while now
  • I totally agree on having to swap things regularly getting bored. I'm exactly the same. I also upgrade my phone at least yearly for the same reason. The perils of geekdom!
  • We get it Phil ... You love action launcher !!! Haven't you already published similar article before saying why you prefer action launcher?
    Is it because people voted that Nova is the most preferred launcher? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope. I wrote this one because we're writing about launchers. Alex did GPL. Jerry did Nova. Edit: Also, because chicken.
  • It must've been tasty! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Any issues with stock sms on the G4 with AL3 pro? Tells me that it's been removed. Contacted dev. Just curious if it was my phone or all G4s. Thanks
  • Cool ... Thought you had written something similar, probably heard you talk about in one of the podcasts may be. Will probably go back to Action launcher for a couple of days to see if my experience is better this time around.
  • Don't listen to him/her Phil. We love Action Launcher and we (I) want more articles on the glorious Action Launcher 3!!!!! Viva Phil!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I know Phil has posted an 'I love Action Launcher' post because it's what got me to get it over a year ago. Still using AL2 despite purchasing AL3 because: -My Wallpaper doesn't line up right if set to not scroll on the 4 screens (AL2 can have up to 5 screens, why does AL3 only have 4, no more, no less?) -Old Google Play 'suitcase' icon available in quickbar seems ugly and very 'Gingerbread' to me, prefer the 'arrow' Play icon in 'older' Action Launcher 2. Why the old style icon in new version? -Up until very recently, new settings seemed more complicated than in AL2. -Something about the text font on AL3 homescreen icons isn't as nice as those in AL2 for me.
  • Al3 has exactly as many screens as you put something on (Based on the latest google launcher)
    I use a widget called invisible widget so that my home screen can be empty(I'm using the dock) and then i have full screen widgets on my next couple of pages.
  • Lol. surprised that it took so long for an action launcher plug from ac after the recent nova write up. Sorry but nova is far superior to action in every way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol to you...because Android! Be together, not the same. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Quickdrawer simply can't be matched by any Nova feature, and that's the only reason I am using Action instead of Nova Prime.
  • No it's not. Action Launcher 3 is far superior. I play around with Nova on occasion but I always come home to Action Launcher 3! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Smart launcher pro is the best. Great features and simple. I love it. All I need is one home screen and a few widget screens.
  • I agree. I've gone through multiple phones and tablets and Smart Launcher the first thing I download and use. It too has shutters (pop-up widgets), and a unique listing of all the apps. Smart Launcher is more than a slightly modified stock launcher, it is unique and functional.
  • Although Phil was apparently on too many Red Bulls, at the time of writing, ;-) I believe he has convinced me to give Action Launcher a go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good deal. You are going to be glad you did! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I know Nova is more feature rich, but I keep going back to action launcher. I like it even more on the Nexus 6 because you can pull the app drawer out without having to go all of the way to the left side of the screen. Add in quick page that can also use covers and you're good to go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Even though I dislike Action Launcher, I find it informative to know about how AC editors use their launchers. I'd love to see a similar series about keyboards. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I second that, mostly because I'd love the chance to show off TouchPal again. Their auto-correct needs work, but the themes, gestures, and emoji and on point, at least.
  • There she is!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Was I supposed to be hiding? My bad.
  • LoL Posted via the Android Central App
  • And poof! Posted via someone's Note 4
  • POOF!!!
  • I think that would be a bit dull. They all use SwiftKey Posted via the Android Central App
  • As do I! Posted From my Verizon Galaxy Note Edge via the Android Central App. And Don't Eat The Yellow Snow!
  • Nice piece, Phil. Maybe I'll finally try it.
    Chicken.
  • Do it!!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I alternate between Nova and Action 3.5. The big takeaway here is that Action keeps force closing arbitrarily. On my Note 3, G2 and G Pro 2, Nexus 4, Action force closes for no reason. Nova has NEVER EVER forced close on any of the mentioned devices. But yeah, using Covers, Shutters, Quick bar, and Quick theme WILL change your life...
  • The G2 is amazing :-) that's all I came here to say lol LG G2
    Nexus 5
  • That's... Something. My brother swears by the G2. But how's the launcher on YOUR G2? Does it force close arbitrarily...? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I used GNL and Nova, but for some reason I keep going back to the stock LG one. I never had any issues or anything, I just like the way the phone looks with it. LG G2
    Nexus 5
  • I admit, action launcher is indeed one if the best launchers out there. Between it and Nova, I find myself unable to stick with just one of them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I need a scrolling dock, but I don't recall seeing it in Action launcher Posted via the Android Central App
  • Who needs a scrolling dock when Quickdrawer is superior?
  • I keep my apps categorized in folders in the dock. It's been a lot quicker than using the side bar. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's in the widgets Posted via the Android Central App
  • Is it possible to change only icons but keep the stock launcher? I don't mine TW on my GS6 but I do find samsung icons to be horrific. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes. Go check out Awesome Icons on the Play Store. It's what I use on my Note 4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Pure Widgets was the first apps I ever purchased on Android. Coming from a Blackberry back then, they made the transition rather smooth. I also keep only one main screen and have Nova set so every app folder has a "cover" I swipe up for my main app and click to access the folders..
  • Here's a thought for everyone saying x or y launcher is best....maybe, just maybe, they are all really good and one is the best...for you. It's possible different launchers cater to different types of users, and that's actually best for the platform. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very well stated. Nova Launcher is STILL the BEST.
  • People like you constantly make this completely redundant comment. If someone has stated a personal opinion it doesn't need to be quantified with a suffix 'this is my personal opinion'. It literally goes without saying. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nova Launcher is without peer! It ain't even close!
  • NOVA! Posted via my Beastly Galaxy Note 3
  • I love Action Launcher. I find myself going back to Nova every now and then but it doesnt last long. AL is customizable enough for me. Plus I like the covers for folders and the slide out app drawer. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nova have Cover(long press a Folder and there is option for it to only show the top left icon).
  • "SUPER-DUMB-ONLY-QUASI-RELATED" QUESTION ALERT (also, "LONG WINDED ALERT") I'm currently using Google Now Launcher instead of the default Touchwiz on my Galaxy Note 3 (I'm also using GNL instead of trebuchet on my cm12 modded HP Touchpad). I use it in order to have as close to a "pure" or "vanilla" Android experience as I can on a Samsung without rooting, and had originally not planned to use anything else. However, after reading all the recent AC reviews and comments for other, more high octane launchers, I decided I wanted to try them out after all. So I downloaded the free versions of Action, Nova, and Apex to try them out before I commit any money. So that I can easily switch from launcher to launcher, what I decided to do is create a folder with all my launchers in it. I figure, I'll launch one, set it as default, configure it, use it for a while, and when I'm ready to switch, I'll just go to the folder, select a different launcher, set it as default and repeat. The thought behind this approach is to avoid a) having to dig through settings menus everytime I wanted a change, and yet, b) so I wouldn't get asked which launcher I wanted to use every single time I hit the home button. The folder has the app icons for Nova, Action and Apex in it presently, and I wanted to put the others in there too. HOWEVER, I can't find app icons ANYWHERE for Google Now Launcher, for Touchwiz Home or Touchwiz Home light. They all show in my list of installed apps in settings under "ALL", and they all appear as apps I can use when hitting the home button. But I can't find any way to get GNL, TW, or TWL app icons into this folder! PLEASE HELP! If I can't find some way to bypass either digging through settings every time I want a change, or seeing a list of launchers every time I hit home, then it will probably not be worth my time, and I'll probably just stick with GNL full time, deleting Nova, Action, and Apex. So, lemme know! I do have a terminal emulator, so if I need to use it, fine, just tell me what to tell it (assume I don't know terminal very well). THANKS A BAZILLION! :-D p.s. if I can make this work, are there any other launchers besides GNL, Nova, Apex and Action I should try? I don't want to mess with anything HOLO, nor any iOS or WinPhone clones. Just Lollipop / Material Design based stuff. Thanks!
  • From what I understand, you swap between launchers and created a folder with some launchers but can't put in GNow and Touchwiz launcher icons in the launcher folder? I don't think there's a workaround for it. You could check the "Activities" shortcut in Nova Launcher (long press -> widgets -> activities) and find, say the relevant "process" for Touchwiz and/or GNow there and save that activity onto the home screen... Alex Vause Says "Hi."
  • Okay. So to the best of your knowledge, there's no known workaround going through GNL, but there might possibly be one going through Nova? I suppose I can look into that! :-) As far as switching between launchers, it's not something I've started doing yet, but was something that I wanted to start doing, yes. :-) Tell Alex I said hi too. :-D Posted via the Android Central App
  • Update: I just installed Home Switcher by Twisted, and it seems to work just fine. Now I should be able to switch between launchers pretty effortlessly, and explore. Maybe I'll settle on one of the new launchers, and quit using the others. Or maybe I'll end up saying screw it, and just going back to Google Now....or maybe I'll just stick with this setup where I'm constantly switching launchers depending on what mood strikes me that day. Who knows? But that'll be the fun of it: Exploring, discovering, and seeing where it all leads. Should be fun! To that end, I've currently got Touchwiz Home, Touchwiz Home Easy, Google Now, and the free versions of Nova, Action, and Apex.....anyone have any other launchers they recommend I try out? Thanks! Posted via the Android Central App
  • You should definitely try Smart Launcher 3 Pro. Its app drawer alone blows everything else out of the water, but there are lots of other great features, as well.
  • I've tried to use it several times. The only way you can get the full experience is to upgrade. That approach isn't for me. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah bruh, paying for a devs hardwork is for the birds! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah. Paying money in exchange for goods and services is ridiculous. I doubt it will ever catch on. Oh wait..... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have no problem with paying, but I want to try it first especially when I have paid for Nova, Apex, and several others over the years... All of which had features enabled for a period of time to try. This one isn't the same, and not even the option to try and refund, since the upgrades come in-app. Could be great, but the trial/purchase model leaves me cold. Posted via Android Central App
  • Cubfan...just buy it..you have 30 min to decide if you do not like it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No you don't Posted via the Android Central App
  • @Cubfan....... I know money doesn't grow on trees but you seriously need to give a paid version a try. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I switched to Action Launcher from Nova after my M8 got the Lollipop update, which somehow didn't play nice with Nova. Those issues have been fixed since then, but so far I stock to Action. There is one thing I miss about Nova though, the multiple dock panels. Oh well, came have it all (or? hoping for an Action update : )
  • Scrollable dock is redundant when you have quickdrawer, don't see it getting added to AL.
  • What is the calendar app/widget he is using in the article? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pure Calendar Widget
  • You covered it all Phil. I love action launcher as well. I've used Nova prime for the longest time but when I actually gave action launcher some time and learned it, I realized that the launcher was way better than I ever thought. These features actually serve a purpose and one your dialed in you wont want to use anything else. It really is great. Next-us
  • Action Launcher 3 is amazing. My favorite feature is the ability to color the search bar. I was using Google Now Launcher for the longest time until they turned the search bar bright white. Action Launcher 3 came along with its many useful features saved the day!!!! Great job Chris Lacy!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I switched to Action Launcher from Nova after my M8 got the Lollipop update, which somehow didn't play nice with Nova. Those issues have been fixed since then, but so far I stock to Action. There is one thing I miss about Nova though, the multiple dock panels. Oh well, came have it all (or? hoping for an Action update : )
  • Use quick page on the right hand side to store more icons than five docks can on nova.
  • Holy crap, that launcher looks atrocious. I'll stick with Nova, thanks.
  • Stop Posted via the Android Central App
  • Stop what? The launcher actually looks atrocious, and I'm actually going to stick with Nova. Perhaps you ahould stop.
  • They basically look the same LoL Posted via the Android Central App
  • Note to self: Buy Phil Chicken Salad Posted via Android Central App
  • And you too can have your very own native advert Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'll pass on both. From my Note 3 to thee
  • Nova is my curtain launched of choice, but since I've switched to Nexus devices I can't give up Google now on the left. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google Now Launcher is amazing! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nah I'm good. I liked action launcher 2 and paid for it then three months later action launcher 3 drops and not only do i have to pay again which i don't mind if it's new content, I'm basically forced to pay for the features i had already unlocked on action launcher 2...I paid for nova several years back and haven't had to pay for a single upgrade. I don't mind paying for a devs hard work but if you're going to charge me for an app, make sure it's for new features not the stuff i already paid you for. Kthnxbai. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Only one dock row? That one broke the deal for me. Back to Nova.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol..I guess you got used to Nova...give it a nice try..you will like it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You don't need rows of dock, Action Launcher has Quick Page, which was sadly missed from this article.
  • Not to mention that with AL3 you can have upto like 16 possible resized apps in ONE dock... It's crowded with quite that many. I however, I have 7 covers in my dock resized to 70% and need none clogging up my home page...
    Add to that, just one widget. Transparent Weather Clock.. And my home page is Clean.. Posted via the Android Central App using my Samsung Galaxy S5 now rocking Lollipop on AT&T
  • Well dammit Phil, I just loaded Nova back on my phone and tablet! Jerry's article was so inspiring. Now I'm torn and in danger of losing all the joy of that decision. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I used to use action launcher and nova at one point but after owning a nexus device (n6), I have found that the stock GPL is the best. It's the simplest, smoothest, least complicated launcher.
  • GPL? Are you talking about the Google Now Launcher? GNL Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, sorry I did mean Google now launcher.
  • Downloaded it to try it out on my M7. Thought I'd be smart and have it import my current Sense theme so I wouldn't have to start from scratch. Bad idea.... Crashes right out the gate. Started trying to configure things by hand instead... CRASH. Looks like all the really good features are in the paid version which I wouldn't be opposed to getting, although if I can't get the base version to work there is no way in hell I'll drop coin on it. Uninstalled. Too bad too.. Looks pretty nice. Maybe I'll try it on the M9 I'm getting this week. Maybe. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I see your using the LG G4 Phil Nickinson. I have it as well and go back and forth from Nova to Action Launcher. Do you experience lag and slow touch responsiveness? I do fairly often and is getting to be annoying. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just cant switch away from the Google Now Launcher on my main device, on phones that arent my daily i run Action launcher 3.5 happily, and for good reason, it's amazing, but there is one thing stopping me using AL3(.5) on my daily driver. the swipe to google now. i know i can set a gesture to launch the now app etc or i could swipe up from the navbar, but its not the same, it's seamless on the GNL, and it should be, its in the damn name, every other way feels like a hack, like a cludgey way of doing something, of launching an app that is about being seamless in many places of your life, i try every other month or so to swith to AL3 on my daily, but it doesnt last more than a few days. everyone has their favourites, Nova was good forr me back when i had ICS and Jelly bean, Launcher Pro back in the Gingerbread days (still waiting for that rewrite though) and for a while before the GNL launcher become official i used AL and i freaking loved it. the only launcher that has come close in that sort of seamless-ness was Blur, by the dudes that developed Talon and EvolveSMS, i think its safe to call it abandonware now, but it was cool, instead of swiping to google now i was swiping to Talon, and if i used EvolveSMS instead of hangouts i would be able to swipe over once more to do that. But again, nothing comes close to the GNL for me.
  • I use AL 3.5, and double tap a blank spot on the screen to invoke Google Now. Doesn't feel cludgy or like a hack. Is as quick as a swipe.
  • How does one get that calendar/agenda "naked" widget?
  • And there's me that uses the Google Now Launcher. I've gotten too used to that look after getting an HTC One M7 GPE a few years ago and now have to have it on all my Android devices. Plus, being able to access Google Now from just to the left of the home screen is excellent.
  • Yes it is Android All Day Everyday!
  • AL3 has the same option to swipe left for Google Now ... You can customize both left and right swipes too as well as vertical swipes with 1 or 2 fingers.
  • How? I can't see it anywhere in the settings.
  • I keep coming back to Aviate on my G3 and S5. I gave up on Action but I haven't tried the updated version yet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm really disappointed in what Yahoo has done with the latest update to Aviate. They took away most of made Aviate special and replaced it with a cheap Google Now knockoff powered by Yahoo services. I rolled back to an earlier version, but I don't really want to be stuck without ever getting updates again.
    So the other day I installed Nova for the first time in years and spent several hours customizing my homescreens. It still felt "meh" compared to Aviate. Then I tried Buzz Launcher and, again, spent several hours customizing my homescreens. I was able to approximate something that came close enough to replicating some of the design and features of the old Aviate (without spending much time at all on customization) that I liked so much.
  • I have tried it. But I always go back to Nova launchers. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been using Action Launcher 3 for the past 6 months and it is absolutely great. I love having my home screens look simple and clean cut but with covers and shutters, they actually have a ton of apps and widgets in them. Also the list and quickpage options are awesome. If you haven't tried it you should!
  • That quick drawer looks like something out of android cupcake..
  • Matches that awful widget Posted via the Android Central App
  • I try others from time to time, but I'm always circling back to Action Launcher. The Quickdrawer is truly the best (so much think Google tried to imitate it in the M preview), and Covers are the shiz!. The addition of the new Quickbar is a really big bonus. I did stick with the GEL on the first release of the M preview, but they took the letter separations away on the update so I've moved back to Action Launcher yet again.
  • Hi Everyone. Phil mentioned the ability to hide unwanted apps in the Quickdrawer. I have downloaded AL3 and paid for the full version, but I can not seem to find how to hide unwanted, stock apps (My XperiaZ3 has quite a few). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • Settings -> App Drawers -> Hidden Apps
    Check the boxes for the ones you want to hide and hit OK Posted via the Android Central App using my Samsung Galaxy S5 now rocking Lollipop on AT&T
  • Thanks heaps, for the life of me I couldn't find it.
  • This dude must be joking! A day after we (android users) clearly choose Nova as the best and preferred launcher, this dude writes this garbage? This must be a prank! Posted from my AT&T Samsung Galaxy S6
  • If only we'd just written about Nova Launcher and sung its praises and ... Oh, wait. That's exactly what we did. That, and just because I prefer something it doesn't mean I think you shouldn't be able to use anything else. That's not how life works, son.
  • @Jamez..... Please stop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Been using paid Apex but will give AL a try. thanks Phil!
  • Love Action Launcher 3.5.
  • I have been using the Nova Launcher premium edition for a while, but after reading your review I decided to give the Action Launcher a try. I even bought the premium version just for Shutter option and it's amazing. I agree with you Phil, wished Nova launcher had this, and Nova would be perfect. For now I'll give Action Launcher a try. I have found it lags a bit more than Nova Launcher though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nova is better IMO. Posted via Android Central App
  • Kept to my Xperia stock launcher,won't try nothing else, maybe on my blu phone. But ACL can't replace Sony's launcher. But since features are pretty cool tho Posted via the Android Central App
  • WOO STRAYA Posted via the Android Central App
  • can someone please share the space wallpaper visible in the screenshots?
  • If you're not using the Google Experience Launcher (or whatever it's called now) then you're missing out on a big part of the google experience. THis is probably the primary reason I don't use any other launcher - as you can't easily switch to it like you can with the Google launcher.
  • I like the simple interface of Touchwiz. All of my stuff is in folders and organized. I have tried several launchers and I just don't see the point. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Smart Launcher is amazing. I have tried about every launcher out there and you just can't beat it. App orginization is intuitive and easy to use. The homescreen is neat and uncluttered. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really have no knowledge of launchers. I just use whatever comes stock on my phone and roll with it.
  • Looks sweet, can't wait! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I stick with Action Launcher 2 Pro. Tried AL3 few times but it always looked worse than old version. And no way to check does it has all features I use without buying full version suxx.
  • Phil, Would you be so kind to post the little white Lloyd AC icon. TIA
  • Never used it before. Just installed it... Awesome launcher! Thanks for the tip.
  • Totally agree. Action launcher ftw. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Loved every minute of it until widgets and folders began to disappear randomly and would not return until a restart of launcher. If happened frequently on my note 4 so I had to go back to apex.
  • So that means both the best launcher and the best pod-cast app are from Down Under. I've never felt more Android-proud about being Australian :)
  • I like the on page. I only have 2 because one of them is calander widget month by candl apps for full screen month calander with events marked. I want to like action launcher and try it from time to time just never sticks. Have particular shortcuts I always use in nova and hard to change Posted via the Android Central App
  • I gave up on Action Launcher when the developer gave up on me as a paid user. Posted via the Android Central App
  • this vs nova Posted via the Android Central App
  • Absolutely a great launcher! I used to be a dedicated Nova user...now I'm not! Posted via the Android Central App
  • OK, I took the plunge. I even purchased the Pro version. I am digging the cover and shutter options. The only thing, like Nova, is that I lost The Facebook notification bubble, on my Galaxy S4.
    I've tried a couple apps, even one that was supposed to be for AL. No luck.
    How can I get the Facebook notification bubble back? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hey Phil what wallpaper is that? Can you link it here or on twitter? I'm @harrisonlevelup over there. Thanks! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Even with the bait and switch on the upgrade from AL2 to AL3 and even though AL3.5 imports from any launcher except AL2, I am still curious to try AL3.5 Pro. I also like how AL3.5 is the only app I will need to buy a second time. I take that back, I did buy Tasker again. But the price did not increase, and I got more for my money when purchasing again (ie. install on multiple devices compared to just one).
  • Trying out Action Launcher now. It is true the Quickdrawer cannot be fixed in the left side of the screen?
    Muzei is cool, though I would prefer that it blurs the background after 2 secs rather than start with it blurred. Know any apps that do that? I don't want to double-tap to enjoy my background pic. Posted via the Android Central App
  • 10 months late to the game. I'm gonna give it a go. Right now I'm using Nova Prime (like most of the world).
  • LOVE this launcher and that's saying something coming from Nova arguably the best to date but no padding support....?? Boo (unless I'm missing it somewhere. The Google search bar and dock line up vertically perfect but any widgets such as power toggles with the same icon count and size don't scale to the screen edge like every other launcher. anyone have any ideas? here's a link to what I mean (if links work here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80999047/Screenshot_20161007-121721.png Thank You in advance :-) Faslane
  • Evie Launcher seems the best one for me. easy and simple. looks beautiful, looks futuristic, blur effects, ioS style.
  • Is the backup to Google Drive complete? Will I just have to install the Action Launcher Pro on my next phone and all the home screens will be the same?