Aug 4th, 2012

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]

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