Action Launcher gains “Ok, Google” support and double-tap to sleep in latest beta

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 6, 2014

action launcher screenshot

The ability to use custom launchers remains one of the core features that are unique to Android, at a time when competing platforms begin to adopt functionality that used to be the mark of Google’s OS.

Up until now, custom launchers had one big weakness, though – lack of support for Google Now voice commands, like you get when you use Google’s stock launcher. This week Nova Launcher changed that, and it looks that another popular custom launcher will be following suit soon.

In version 2.1 of the beta release of Action Launcher, Australian developer Chris Lacy (also known for Link Bubble and Tweet Lanes) added support for “Ok, Google” voice activation, available for users of Android 4.4 or higher.

There’s more – the release sees the addition of a double tap to turn screen off feature, support for the Roboto Condensed font, more flexibility in customizing icon labels, Cover/Shutter indicators, and icons scale, as well as unspecified stability improvements. Chris also plans to add unread count support to Action Launcher 2.1, but that feature is not part of this beta.

Action Launcher attempts to break away from the mold of Nova and similar launchers, by offering a number of unique features, such as Covers and Shutters, which are hybrids of sort between regular icons and folders and widgets, QuickLaunch, a homescreen area you can invoke with a swipe from the side, and QuickDraw, which is a panel that lists all your installed apps for easy access.

Check out Action Launcher Pro and its free version in the Play Store, or sign up for the beta to try out the new features ahead of the official release.

  • David Fleck

    Yes! This is all I was waiting for.

  • Leandro Brandão

    in version 2.1 it will be the perfect launcher. i miss unread count of nova, and double tap to sleep of lg home. i bought this launcher when i had a galaxy nexus and is one of the best apps i have.

    • John Garlits

      I always come back to Nova, it’s just great. Breathed life into my old GNex for a time and made my G2 more bearable. You can recreate double tap to sleep in Nova. You just need the “Screen Off” app and to link it to the double tap gesture in Nova. I use Nova on my G2 and it works perfectly. Worked on my Nexus 7 too, though I had less use for it on that so I removed it. You still need the LG hardware I think to have double tap to wake, I think.

  • Smart Launcher already has all of that features.. Slowpokes xD

  • gettysburg11s

    Its good, I’ll give it that, but its not quite at Nova Launcher Prime level. I’ll keep Nova.

  • Blowntoaster

    Action, Nova…

    All Launcher dev’s take note, we want OK GOOGLE on all Launchers (Apex, GO). everywhere – the home screen, app drawer…everywhere.
    OEM’s too. we want this in our older 2013 devices (S4,Note3 the Original HTC One, etc).

    • Jayfeather787

      I don’t like the feature. I like to have it as an option, but it decreases battery life and slows down the phone. I personally would prefer to tap an app then talk, but that is why we have a choice. Choices are good.

      • Corbin Crutch

        Amen. I am all for all sorts of things but at the same time, whenever I think of them – I want them all optionally because I know some others don’t

    • Corbin Crutch

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. xD I love it

  • ineptone

    I loved Action Launcher Pro but recently went back to Nova Prime, despite seriously missing Covers and QuickLaunch, because I’m interested in achieving a super minimal look and Action Launcher doesn’t allow you to hide the dock. If that was included I wouldn’t even care about the other new features being added because it would make AL perfect for me.

    • chrislacy

      Settings -> Display -> Dock Enabled -> Off.

      • iantrich

        Straight from the source ;)

  • iantrich

    I’m a big Action Launcher fan, have had since the first week it came out, I think. I’ve tried others along the way, as many do, but always end up coming back to it.

    I do want to give a shout out to Mr. Query. A very minimal if not non-existent take on a launcher, but unfortunately to buggy for me. Hopefully the dev commits more time to it in the future. I want to see where it goes.