Thursday, December 11, 2014

(App Review) Action Launcher v3


For those of you who like the Google Now Launcher or even Epic Luancher but want a UI that matches Google+ or any of the other modern Google UIs along with some Material Design, then Action Lancher v3 is for you. I say v3 because v2 has some of the same elements but is based on the Holo UI which would look odd compared to many apps getting their Material Design updates or using Holo UI on Android 5 Lollipop.



What sets version 3 apart from version 2 of the same app and other Google Now based launchers is its many theming options, speed and ease of use. Overall, it fits well into Material Design which still retains many of the same features of version 2. One of these features is the shutters option (Pro version only), Swyping vertically (aka cover) on an app icon opens its default widget (may need to be set if multiple widget options are available). This makes app control easy when on the homescreen without needing to open the notification drawer or access app functions while saving space as well. The other feature brought forward is the quick action bar which can be set to a search bar, app drawer link with quick app search or just plain search. It can be disabled as well if that is desired. At the moment, it seems that the only feature not brought to version 3 is the quickpage. Otherwise, version 3 starts to set itself apart

The biggest new feature is the material design theming options. Once your desired wallpaper is set, the app will be able to determine matching colors for the app drawer and action bar. The Theme setting under Settings > Quicktheme will determine which color to choose so a color picture or even hex codes are not needed. If the wallpaper is changed, the color theme will automatically adjust to match the wallpaper so going to settings is not needed if the wallpaper theme is still desired. Material Light and Dark themes are also available if a color scheme is not desired.

The app also supports three gestures. Swyping right will open Google Now (the app says Swype left but I'm not sure why), swyping up will open the launcher settings and swyping down will open the notification drawer.

Otherwise, the app is a lot faster than the prior version which is always a definite plus. It's support of swyping right to open Google Now makes the transition from Google Now very easy as well. As far as Android versions go, it currently requires Android 4.1 or higher. To summarize, it is worth checking out with the free version providing a good taste of what is offered if you want to try before you buy (which I have already done because I like this launcher that much).

Google Play - $Free (IAP, $4.99 Pro Version, $9.99 Pro Version + Donate)