In some regions, you might get every feature for free
Chris Lacy, developer of go-to Android home screen replacement Action Launcher, is celebrating the release of its 50th version with some substantive feature additions and a major shift in the app’s business model that will give more premium features to every user, esepcially for those who nominally can’t pay for them.
In his Medium post, Lacy acknowledges that Action Launcher’s freemium model has made it nearly impossible for free users to have a good experience to want to spend for Action Launcher Plus.
With Action Launcher v50, more Action Launcher Plus features will be available to every user, though how many more will be dependent on market based on two factors: whether in-app purchases are available, and; if Action Search is able to generate affiliate revenue from Bing.
In this dynamic freemium model, half of Plus’s features are coming free in most commercial markets including the U.S. and Canada. In regions where in-app purchases are blocked — India and Mexico, for example — all Plus features will be made available if users enable Action Search. If neither in-app purchases or Bing revenue is available, free users have full access to Plus features. Brazil, Turkey, and Ukraine fit in the last category.
Of course, Lacy would hope his users will want to use Action Search regardless of whether each search makes him money — it’s universal device-and-web search after all — and the experience has been improved with the inclusion of recently-changed settings in suggestions and the ability to apply your search to a number of different targets including Wikipedia, YouTube, and other apps.
If you’re interested, here’s the full changelog:
• NEW: Greatly reduce features requiring Plus upgrade and make the app more appealing to non-paying customers.
• NEW: Action Search displays recently changed settings in its history, allowing one to tweak settings changes directly from the home screen.
• NEW: Add Search Target bar which displays at the top of Action Search results. Allows one to direct searches directly to popular services such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Play Store, etc.
• NEW: Settings displays dedicated search bar.
• NEW: Shortcuts to recently changed settings display at top of settings. Toggle on/off via "Help -> Recent settings".
• NEW: Customize Action Search sources.
• NEW: "Open searches in browser" setting.
• NEW: Add initial Action Search suggestions that display if there's no search history.
• NEW: Add Google Search shortcut to Quickbar's quick select panel.
• NEW: Display Plus banner on settings toolbar.
• NEW: Add 10th wallpaper to 2022 Supporter Pack.
• IMPROVEMENT: No longer request WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission. The only code that used that was legacy backup code which has been disabled for more than a month.
• IMPROVEMENT: Revamp Help menu items, including adding FAQ link.
• IMPROVEMENT: Change picker settings UI to use a bottom sheet style picker.
• IMPROVEMENT: Increase max auto complete suggestions from 3 to 5.
• IMPROVEMENT: Improve algorithm for identifying settings items to display from an Action Search query.
• FIX: Squashed dock/search box on large tablets (thanks myculito#1992, Sid6Niner#5646, Grantman#1499 and others).
• FIX: Increase default workspace margin for devices with gesture navigation.
• FIX: Google search opens to google.com in a browser if the Google App is not available/disabled.
• FIX: Stability fix using composite emoji in Action Search (thanks ritsl#1461).
• FIX: Prevent opening widget picker when desktop is locked.
If you haven’t had a reason to try or even come back to Action Launcher in a while, v50 might be it. You can download from it the Play Store. And if you’re looking to support Chris Lacy in other ways… well, he doesn’t have a public tip jar, so get Action Launcher Plus and become a 2022 supporter.