In this day and age it’s hard for developers to create truly unique launchers. The line between enhancing the experience and making it a convoluted mess is very thin, and it’s easy for one small miscue to ruin the entire thing. Well, Chris Lacy — the developer responsible for TweetLanes — has decided to try his hand at a launcher replacement app.
His rendition is called Action Launcher, and it’s designed to get you to where you need to go within one second of you deciding. The launcher utilizes an apps try that can be accessed using a swipe to the right.
What comes up is an alphabetized list of the apps installed on your phone that you can either scroll through in a traditional list format or jump between using the letters on the right side of the pane. We’ve seen a bit of this in the likes of TouchWiz and Pantech’s own Easy Mode launcher, but it looks very refined and simple in this app that anyone can download.
The home screen features a persistent action bar with several different buttons. From left to right, you can open the apps list, open search, open the Play Store or access more of the launcher’s settings using an overflow menu.
Another key element that sets this launcher apart are Covers. Covers is a unique feature that allows you to expand on the traditional home screen shortcut that we all know and love.
Say I have a shortcut to my browser — tapping it once will open the browser in whichever state is most appropriate (depending on if there was a session saved to memory or a new session altogether). That’s nothing new, but double tapping that same icon could then bring up a few bookmarks to my favorite websites. Likewise, touching the dialer would bring you up to the phone’s default dialer app, but double tapping that same icon could bring up shortcuts to quickly dial my favorite people.
Sure, folders work well enough for most people but this is a truly unique way of keeping the clutter down if you tend to have a lot of shortcuts you like to add to your home screen. This would be perfect for someone like myself who loves second level app shortcuts but rarely use them because I prefer my traditional folders to take center stage. Now, I don’t have to compromise. To get an idea of how this works be sure to watch the quick demo video up above.
Finally, Action Launcher makes it easy to change the launcher however you like. Holding down on an empty part of the home screen gives you one touch access to the ability to place shortcuts and apps, as well as set your wallpaper.
The developer is asking for $4 to own the launcher, but is it worth that much? Early reports indicate there are some bugs keeping it from being the blissful experience we’d like it to be, like an odd bug that doesn’t allow one to add a widget where there should be enough space to do so.
Other sentiments expressed include the desire to have features that other popular launchers, like Nova launcher, have. We’re sure the developer will add tons of different options and fix bugs in a timely fashion as he has with TweetLanes, though, so those worrying about support can rest easy knowing that Chris Lacy stays on top of things as well as any developer in the game. If you like what you see then be sure to give it a try in the Google Play Store.