There are dozens of great launchers for Android, however going back in time a few years, our choices were a bit different. One of the biggest players, and likely one many of us remember fondly, was ADW Launcher. It had tons of great features, but above all else it was fast, fun, and powerful. However that was a long time ago. ADW hasn’t seen an update since mid-2013, but now it’s back with a new design and some great new features.

ADW Launcher 2.0 brings the entire launcher up to 2016 standards with Google’s Material Design and tons of configuration options for pretty much everything on your homescreen. Some of the biggest standout features to me include the ability to create your own custom widget from within the launcher, all of the optional plugins available, and just all of the amazing customization options that are available. This update probably won’t have you dropping something like Nova Launcher right away, but it certainly deserves your attention.

The changelog for this update is far too long for us to show you, however some of the highlights are listed below. The full list can be found on the ADW blog.

  • Dynamic UI coloring using wallpaper colors.
  • Added fast scroll app drawer style.
  • Added option to change the top panel/widget.
  • Added option to change the content type of bottom panel (dock/widget).
  • Added new wrap folder mode to folders. This mode lets you launch the first app in the folder on tap, and show the folder contents on swipe up.
  • Added new fast application search in app drawer.
  • Improved app categories in app drawer.
  • Improved context menu for all desktop objects. When you drop an object on the desktop, tap on the edit icon for show the context menu.
  • Added new Custom Widget object. You can add new custom widgets from widget list, import them from friends and other developers, create, edit and share your own.
  • Added some initial extensions for the custom widgets (time/battery)
  • Check out ADWExtensions pack for more extensions (weather, gmail, etc).
  • Added template manager. Remove, add and share templates easily.
  • Added backup manager in advanced settings/system. Now you can import data from Action Launcher 3, Nova Launcher, Google Now Launcher, Apex Launcher, etc.

ADW Launcher 2.0 is currently available for free from Google Play, however you’ll need to opt-in to the beta program on Google Play in order to download it. To get the full experience, you’ll need to fork over $3.99 for ADW premium. This adds several extra features including even more desktop transitions and app drawer styles, unlimited custom widgets, and much more.

If you’re planning to check it out, you’ll also want to download the ADW Extension Pack, updated ADW Notifier, and the ADW Cloud Plugins for Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.



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Ben Schoon

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