Chris Lacy, Brisbane-based author of Tweet Lanes, has begun releasing information about his new Android application, Action Launcher.
A replacement launcher for your device, Action Launcher keeps things simple and fast.
While the UI generally doesn’t diverge far from the aesthetic put forth by Android 4.0+, the most distinctive UI feature is the action bar across the top of the screen, replacing Google’s ever-present search bar/button. It holds a rather more useful set of shortcuts: the App List, Search, the Play Store, and a menu button. Larger screen devices also see more options.
One of Action Launcher’s major features is the easily-accessible alphabetised list of apps that lives to the left of your main launcher screen. It feels a little like Windows Phone 7’s app list and behaves like Facebook’s menu, sliding out quickly when it’s needed and hiding away when it’s not.
Home screens extend away to the right, a familiar arrangement for users of iOS devices or Motorola’s new Razr HD. It works well when paired up with the App List on the left.
A long-press on the homescreen brings up the Customize dialog, offering you easy access to Apps, Widgets and Wallpapers. We’ll forgive him the spelling of Customize for now.
The Nexus 7 is also welcome to come along for the ride, benefiting as you might expect from the extra screen space:
Chris kindly took some time out of his night for a quick Q&A:
Action Launcher has been getting some attention for a couple of days now – Android Central’s Phil Nickinson teased a screenshot on his Google+ page (causing rampant Android 4.2 speculation), and today posted a first look. You can also find discussion on Reddit, or see Chris showing off his unique homescreen on Gizmodo today.
It’s still early days for Action Launcher, but it’s generating a lot of good early buzz. In my time with the application I’ve found it accomplishes out what Chris was aiming to achieve – it’s simple, easy to use and responsive. More importantly, it’s still installed – a rare thing for launchers on my devices.
We love to see new applications from talented Australian developers, and will be following it closely.
Are you excited to take a look at Action Launcher? Let us know in the comments!