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Chris Lacy
19,767 followers -
Link Bubble/Action Launcher
Link Bubble/Action Launcher

19,767 followers
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Action Launcher's December 2016 update adds unread badge support to the app. The addition of this feature to the app will likely come as a surprise to many long time Action Launcher users. While I included this feature (somewhat half-heartedly) in Action Launcher 2: Pro, I've long resisted doing so in Action Launcher 3.

I had two main reservations here:
1). The number and variety of permissions required to support the feature is non-trivial, and I'm rather anal about ensuring my apps request as few as permissions as possible.
2). Unlike iOS, Android does not have a system wide API to fetch unread badge counts for all apps. In short, unread badges are only ever going to work so well on Android. For example, unread badges can be reliably fetched for SMS messages, but there remains no bulletproof way to fetch the number of unread Hangouts, Allo or Facebook Messenger messages.

As of late 2016, I'm very pleased to report my permissions concerns are largely no longer relevant given Marshmallow's runtime permission system (which the vast majority of Action Launcher's users are running).

I maintain my reservations about the lack of proper, system wide Android APIs for fetching an app's unread count that works with all apps. However, the endless stream of requests and negative reviews over the last two years due to no unread badge support have proven too much for me to ignore any longer. As of the December 2016 update, Action Launcher will begin supporting unread badges, as best it can.

Unread badge support is being rolled out somewhat softly. The feature is labelled "Alpha", and at this point support is limited to displaying missed calls, unread SMS messages and upcoming calendar appointments, as well as unread email counts for Gmail and Inbox. It works really well for these apps.

I know many people would like to see this feature enhanced to support more apps going forward, so rest assured I'll be closely monitoring feedback around unread badges, and will look to enhance it as appropriate going forward.
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Action Launcher's December 2016 update is OUT NOW

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore

The goal with Action Launcher's December 2016 update was simple: address as much of the "Action Launcher looks great, but it doesn't support traditional_launcher_feature_x so I can't/won't use it" feedback as possible.

By far the most commonly requested feature from would-be Action Launcher users has been unread badge support, so a great many people will be pleased to know the feature has come to Action Launcher for core apps such as SMS, Phone, Calendar and Gmail.

Another highly requested feature is scrollable docks, which also arrives in this update.

In a move to better highlight some of Action Launcher's more unique features, the iconic Quickpage, a fully featured home screen panel that slides in from the right screen edge, is no longer a premium feature, and is unlocked for all users.

Oh, and there's a new option to use Android's new round icons, but only if they don't look like "an icon on a plate".

Believe it or not, there's still more goodies in this update. The full change log is as follows:

• NEW: Initial unread badge support ('Alpha').
Currently displays the number of unread SMS messages, missed calls, unread Gmail/Inbox messages and upcoming calendar appointments.
• NEW: Fully customize the appearance of unread badges.
• NEW: A new "Round (exclude white plates)" icon style. Use Android 7.1's round icons, but only if they do not look like an "icon on a plate"!
• NEW: Quickpage, a fully customizable home screen panel accessible from the right screen edge, is no longer a Plus only feature and is available for all users.
• NEW: Quicktheme support for customizing dock separator color.
• NEW: Move all dock related settings to their own group in the settings.
• NEW: Line style dock separator.
• NEW: Can use up to five scrolling dock pages.
• NEW: Option for infinite home screen scrolling.
• NEW: Layout/settings are backed up via Android's automatic daily backups (requires Android 6.0 or later).
• NEW: Add 2017 Supporter Badge. It is a one-off, non-recurring and entirely optional in-app purchase that customers can opt make.

Grab Action Launcher from the Play Store now. As always, if you'd see fit to leave me a review, I'd be very appreciative!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore

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Note: I've previously stated my intention to integrate Pixel Launcher style 'bubbles' and long-press activation for Quickcuts/App shortcuts. I had hoped this feature would be ready for this update, but alas it wasn't. Barring something entirely unforeseen occurring, these enhancements are scheduled to arrive in the next update.

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12/10/16
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😂😂😂

For what it's worth, the 2016 Supporter badge was definitely not "make it rain" levels of success, but it was worth doing again.
#pixelpushing

And then +Chris Lacy added "Supporter 2017" in-app purchase in the latest beta drop of Action Launcher, and it was all like...
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What is your single most wished for feature not currently available in Action Launcher?

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“For the most customization, slickest features and latest Google design influences, Action Launcher 3 is the best launcher available.”

#1 on Android Central's best launcher list for the 2nd year running. Not an entirely terrible way to start the day.

😊😊😊

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Action Launcher's October 2016 update is OUT NOW

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore

Four weeks ago Action Launcher debuted Quickcuts, bringing Android 7.1's app shortcuts to earlier versions of Android. In today's October 2016 update, Quickcuts are further enhanced with full support for dynamic Quickcuts when running Android 7.1.

This is particularly handy with the Phone and Messenger apps, which offer suggestions as to who you might want to contact next.

Other notable features in this update include an option to pick a global icon style for those Pixel owners who'd rather not look at half baked circular icons all the time, a complete makeover of the settings, new shortcuts to automatically open the keyboard when opening the All Apps drawer and more.

Full change log is:

• NEW: Full support for Android 7.1's dynamic shortcuts via Quickcuts (requires Android 7.1).
• NEW: Quickcuts, previously a Plus only feature, are now available to all.
• NEW: Add option to pick the global icon style. Allows one to use traditional icons rather than round icons when using a Pixel phone. Settings -> Display -> Icon style.
• NEW: When the dock and desktop have the same width, force the icons on the dock to have the exact same size and horizontal position as those on the desktop.
• NEW: Mimic final Pixel Launcher style All Apps. Notable changes include the app list displaying beneath the navigation bar and the use of full color.
• NEW: When opening the Pixel style All Apps drawer opens via a dock swipe, the speed it opens at is based on the speed of the swipe.
• NEW: When using Pixel style All Apps, swiping on the dock with two fingers will trigger All Apps search (with the keyboard on screen).
• NEW: Long pressing the caret page indicator triggers Quickfind (aka All Apps with the keyboard on screen).
• NEW: Completely revamped settings. Out with the teal, in with the Pixel blue!
• NEW: Remove 5 second delay when KustomLiveWallpaper loads apps.
• NEW: Add tooltips to help new users discover and understand Shutters and Quickcuts.
• NEW: Add setting for disabling all tooltips. Settings -> Help -> In-app tips.
• IMPROVEMENT: Update translations.
• CHANGE: Pixel Launcher related settings such as All Apps and folder style use "Pixel" name rather than "Nougat".
• FIX: When closing a Quickcut in a folder via an outside tap, close only the Quickcut, not the folder also.
• FIX: Fix a shortcut being converted back to a Quickcut after Quickcuts were disabled for that shortcut.
• FIX: Quickcut for jumping to Twitter's Direct Messages works again.
• FIX: Can't swipe shortcuts whilst All Apps is opening.
• FIX: Misc. stability fixes.

Note: Given Action Launcher's Quickcuts originally released before Pixel Launcher's app shortcut implementation was known, they look and behave somewhat differently. Personally I feel pretty good about how they function compared to Google's take (especially swipe 'n select), but I do know a great many people want to be able to mimic Pixel Launcher's look and feel here. I don't normally comment on future releases, but I'll make an exception here and confirm that in a future update, support will be added for a visual style for Quickcuts that more closely matches Pixel Launcher, as well has having them trigger via a long press, All Apps, dragging as shortcuts, etc.

Grab Action Launcher from the Play Store now. As always, if you'd see fit to leave me a review, I'd be very appreciative! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore


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New episode of my podcast, in which +Jesse Wilson returns to dig into all things Action Launcher with me!

If you're interested in a DVD style director's commentary about indie app development, give this a listen.

http://theblerg.net/podcast/32
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I've just pushed Action Launcher 3.10.2 to the Play Store. It has a lot of fixes, especially around Quickcuts (aka Android 7.1's launcher shortcuts).

Thanks to feedback from +Adrian Aisemberg and +Luke Klinker, I've also updated the instructions for adding Quickcuts support to an app[1].

A reminder to developers that by following these steps, you'll have done 99% of the work required to support launcher shortcuts in Android 7.1/Pixel Launcher, so developers of larger apps weary of supporting an API 'that only works with a random launcher' should rest easy there.

Finally, a shout-out to Tapet, Talon and Klinker Apps' Messenger for being so quick to add Quickcuts support. If you're aware of any others, please let me know in the comments so I can check them out!

Grab Action Launcher from the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.actionlauncher.playstore&hl=en

PS. Please leave me a review if you've not already done so!

[1]: http://theblerg.net/post/2016/10/1/integrating-android-71s-launcher-shortcuts-into-your-app

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New episode of The Blerg, in which +Phil Nickinson and I discuss all of today's Google hardware announcements. Give it a listen! 🎧

http://theblerg.net/podcast/31
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A look at Launcher Shortcuts in Pixel Launcher. I need to think on this. Initial impressions is I much prefer Action Launcher's method.
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