Aussie developer Chris Lacy has done some great work, starting with Tweet Lanes which was later handed over to the community to drive due to Twitter’s token limitations and now with the replacement launcher; Action Launcher Pro.
While Action Launcher has been around for a while, it has continued to gain momentum in its popularity over the last few months on the back of Lacy’s decision to give up his day job and become a full time developer. The updates since this decision have come regularly, with each one improving performance, polish and functionality. The latest update to Action Launcher, taking it to version 1.9 is no exception.
In his Google+ post announcing the update Lacy writes:
The focus of this update has been to improve the performance, usability and stability of the app across the board. I feel Action Launcher 1.9 is very similar to Android 4.3 in this regard – a subtle feature list, but chock full of changes that offer a vastly improved overall experience, as well as preparing the app for the future.
Which suggests there are some great plans for future upgrades and additional functionality to the app and a great understanding of the Android platform from the developer himself.
The full release notes which can be found here include a list of new features, optmisations, changes and bugfixes. As Chris himself noted, Bugfixes can take a long time when it’s just him alone doing the work. New features from the update which is available now in Google Play include :
- Update the base code from Android 4.1 to 4.3.
- Individual icons can be changed.
- Notification bar can be hidden (Labs).
- Transparent notification bar can be enabled on S4 (Labs).
- Trebuchet (aka CyanogenMod’s launcher) layouts can be imported.
- The dimensions of Home screen pages are calculated dynamically, meaning the app will display correctly on devices of all screen sizes.
As a user of the app for some time now, I can honestly say that the performance improvement is notable almost instantly on installation and can be seen in the CPU and RAM use on your device. This should in theory translate to better battery life day to day. More features have been added to the already impressive list also, the most interesting of these is the ability to hide your status bar or in my case on the Galaxy S4 I’ve made mine transparent.
More good things to come, we’re getting dangerously close to a 2.0 release, so it will be interesting to see what Chris can come up with.
Are you an Action Launcher Pro user?