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Apex Launcher Beta now with Android 4.1 base, smoother than ever


Apex Launcher happens to be one of the most popular third-party launchers in the market, along with its major competitor, NOVA Launcher. In fact, odds are that if you have Android 4.0+, you are running one of these. Though both launchers happen to be nearly identical, Apex Launcher feels a bit smoother to me, and it has just gotten better.

The New Apex Launcher Beta version 1.3.0 is based on Jelly Bean’s code, bringing some notable performance improvements and a slew of new features. All Project Butter puns aside, this beta version is smooth. It feels much faster, while keeping its good fps when going from homescreen to homescreen (the only reason I prefer Apex).

This upgrade also brings the following enhancements:

  • When placing widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room
  • When they are too big, widgets resize on their own to fit on the homescreen
  • Quickly remove apps/widgets by flinging them to the edge of the homescreen
  • Major performance boost for homescreen and drawer
  • New app enter/exit animations (JB only)
  • Switched to phone layout on 7″ tablets (e.g., Nexus 7)
  • Added background for widgets in the drawer
  • Fixed icon ordering bug within folders

As well as these bug fixes:

  • Unlimited drawer tabs and new drawer management UI (pro)
  • Improved drawer tab switching for vertical drawers (pro)
  • Fixed Play Store widgets on JellyBean
  • Fixed paid theme (icon pack) issue on JellyBean
  • Lots of other improvements and enhancements
  • Updated translations

The most notable improvements are the performance boost, the icon/widget adding and re-sizing features, and the new 7-inch layout (which could be seen as a negative thing by some).

Chances are most of you have the stable versions only. I have been running Beta versions since I started using Apex, and I must say they are rather stable, with the few exceptions. This Beta version works very well, and it is definitely worth a try. If you would like to check it out, just go to Apex settings > About Apex Launcher > Automatically check for updates > Beta Version. After that, simply tap on “Check for updates now” and you should get the newest Beta version of the app.

You can also download it from here, if that gets too complicated.

[Via: XDA Developers]




  • Emad Zia

    Still choppy on my s3. Wtf

    • Stefan van Manen

      Yep, if you have CM10 running on your S3 than you should know that HWcomposer isnt fully functioning…..

      • http://www.facebook.com/emad.zia Emad Zia

        ha you lost me. i know what cm10 is but not what HWcomposer is.

        Everything runs fine with it on my stock gs3, (havent done cm3 yet, although i’m rooted and i need to) but the home screen transitions are terrible, especially if you put on any effect (i like the tablet transition).

        and in all the reviews of the s3, (this is my first samsung device, so excuse me if this is old news) why has no one mentioned the SHITTY feauture of no scrollable wallpapers? what kinda iPhone crap is this? nad yes, i know there’s SUPER easy ways to fix this, but still. great phone, but besides the screen, I dont find a reason to hold on to this thing after the razr HD comes out.

        • Stefan van Manen

          Well its responsible for rendering the UI. A non fully functioning HWcomposer means you wont get all the buttery smoothness of Jelly Bean ;).
          But if you have a stock ROM running on your gs3 you wont get the Jelly Bean smoothness this article is pointing at ;).

          About you complains…..scrollable wallpaper or not thats/transitions etc. are launcher features, if you dont like stock launcher then download an other one from the market. Problemo solved.

          • http://www.facebook.com/emad.zia Emad Zia

            i did say that i know theres easy ways to fix this, but it’s horseshit that samsung cant somehow include scrollable wallpapers…

  • peanutsrevenge

    I’m always reading about apex and Nova but hardly ever Go! launcher, how Come?
    I find the Go! package to be great as a whole with most essential apps having a Go alternative that work with the same themes. far superior IMO.

    • oneillperson

      Agreed, plus the fact that they work on Gingerbread.

    • Dave4321

      I used go for a while but it felt sluggish after using Nova.

    • bob

      ummmmm cause go is absolute garbage riddled with malicious and unstable viral code.

      • johnforamerica

        Can you source that info?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nimerix Michael Pearce

      for the same reason I decided not to install Windows ME on my new i7 system.

  • xVFTx

    Works amazing on my rooted S3

  • KeIIer

    Way more choppy than the current market version on my galaxy s2.

  • Val

    I’m happy with adwlauncher ex. Use it on gs3, razr, xoom, and galaxy tab. To much work to switch them all now

    • Frankie Abaddon

      IMO I found adw to be out dated for anything higher the Honeycomb. Please note haven’t even went back since Apex. So a little background on my history but adw great launcher used it for years worth every penny I spent.

    • Zenstrive

      yes, I still love ADW.EX

  • jjrudey

    Thanks for this, working great so far.

  • Dan Grover


    In fact, odds are that if you have Android 4.0+, you are running one of these. ”

    That seems like a bit of a bold claim. Any reason to think that the majority of 4.0+ users (approx 66 million people world wide) are using a custom launcher?

    • Dvrcowboy

      A majority of devices running 4.+ also use Sense UI (at least in the US) and lots of people don’t like Sense

      • Dan Grover

        True though those anecdotal statements might be, that’s not really an answer.

      • Tommy Thompson

        I think you mean Touchwiz.

    • EJ Bergara

      A closer vanilla Android experience.

  • http://twitter.com/Leraeniesh Leraeniesh

    Very laggy on my kindle fire for CM10.

  • Zenstrive

    I still see no reasons to move from ADW.EX….

  • substring

    The widgets that come with the free version of the Apex Launcher are very plain. Not as good (and pretty) as the stock that come with my Galaxy S III. It does not have much choices on clock/calendar combo widgets. I found one that looks decent, but when I tried to put it on a home page, I kept getting the error message of “there is no more room on this home page”. But the page was blank?!?!?!

    So I uninstalled the Apex Launcher and went back to the TouchWiz on my Galaxy S III.

  • picaso86

    Its too laggy in my Razr Maxx, I am not sure what is going on?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/impu153 Nadir Comoglu

    I see lot’s of people complaining that it’s choppy/laggy/buggy. I’m running it on a Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean 4.1.1 and I must say, it is nearly as smooth as the stock launcher. Comparing 1.3.0 (beta) with 1.2.5, 1.2.5 is, like, REALLY slow and laggy.