A Beta version of Apex Launcher is now available to download for phones running Android 4.0 or above. What’s interesting about this update is that the launcher is based on Jellybean, 4.1.1

For many this will be the earliest taste available of improvements such as Project Butter as many will no doubt be waiting a lifetime for Networks to roll out Jellybean updates.

The change log so far for the Beta version is as follows:

Beta updates available via Apex settings > About Apex Launcher > Automatically check for updates > Beta version, if you are already running a previous version of Apex.

v1.3.0beta2 (Aug 4, 2012)

Added custom widget picker (requires JB or root)

Fixed widget resizing bug

Fixed issues with widget overlapping (pro)

Fixed quick search bar widget position bug

Fixed animation with transparent drawer

Fixed bugs in the theme engine

Misc fixes and optimizations

Updated translations

v1.3.0beta1 (Aug 1, 2012)

Rebuilt based on Android 4.1.1 Launcher, lots of JellyBean goodness

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

Other improvements and bugfixes

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

v1.2.5 (Jul 11, 2012)

Improved unread Gmail notifications (pro)

Some of the features are reserved for the paid version which is fair a fair deal considering the amount of features that are available on the free version.

If you have used a different launcher before, all of the key features such as screen transitions and the ability to use all of the phone in landscape are present, but the key features in this Beta are the ones the have been taken from Jellybean.

We have experienced some minor issues with the launcher but it is still in Beta. Even with the minor issues this is a must have for any phone running ICS or above and comes highly recommend.


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