If you’re looking for something special to customise your device with, look no further and read my full review of the ASAP Launcher for Android.
First of all, I would like to thank the developer of the app Tim Clark for giving me a promo code to use the Pro version of the app in this review. I also need to mention that I’ve been testing this app on my current daily driver, the OnePlus One running Android 6.0.1. That also means that my opinions inside this review will be based on the Pro version, if you want to use this launcher as your daily driver I would personally recommend buying the pro version to get all the functionality and support the developer. With that said, lets dive into the review.
Just like every other launcher, it sits on your home screen, but the ASAP Launcher gives your home screen a different look; way different from what I was used to before.
The biggest thing I needed to get used to was the removal of the app drawer, or at least, it has been removed from the place where you would normally find the app drawer in Android. If you start using ASAP launcher you’ll notice that swipe actions from all the sides of the screen, or at least swiping in from the left and right, becomes part of the way you use your phone. Swiping in from the left will bring up the app drawer. The only downside here is that I don’t love the way it’s implemented as you’ll need to scroll a lot to find the app you want to use.
Swiping in from the right was something I only figured out a few days after I started using this launcher and it brings up a set of quick toggles such as to enable/disable your Wi-Fi, change your brightness level and switch on/off airplane mode. You’re able to customise them to your liking, and more toggles can be added or if you don’t use the ones placed there you’ll always be able to remove them. The only option I’m currently missing is to disable the quick toggles bar as I really don’t use it due to the quick settings integrated in Android only being 2 swipes away from the top, and they give me a lot more functionality.
Swiping up from the bottom will bring up the dock drawer showing a few most used app for quick access. The dock is fully customisation so if you want more or less apps in there you’ll always be able to change this. It’s still pretty limited though as you’ll only be able to place 15 apps in here, but I still like the way the developer implemented this feature and hopefully he’ll add more spots to the dock drawer so it becomes really usable. Maybe it could even replace the app drawer at this seems to be way more usable.
Something that really appeals to me in this launcher are the cards at the side of the home screen, so lets dive into them. There are 4 cards available in total besides the home screen, and I’ve tried them all for a few days, and I eventually stuck with the weather and calendar cards as the others (Contacts and to-do) aren’t things I need to access quickly. Heck, I don’t even make to-do lists, and as it isn’t able to connect to Google’s to-do app it gets even less usable.
The weather one is probably the one I like the most as this makes the weather app which I normally use (Weather Timeline) redundant and it makes it far easier to see the current weather. One thing I need to mention though is that the weather forecasts aren’t really what you could call accurate. At the moment of writing this review the sun is shining and there are no clouds at all while the weather card shows that it’s raining heavily. But when it does work accurately I love it. The only thing I’m missing in the cards department is a place to see all your incoming mails making.
During the review period of about 15 days in total I never encountered any slowdowns with ASAP Launcher, which means the developer did a great job in optimising the launcher from top to bottom. If I would need to point something out it would be the high RAM usage of the launcher which is laying around 200MB of RAM, all day. So if you’ve got a device with 1GB of RAM, this may not yet be the launcher for you, although this may be solved in the near future. If you want to know home much RAM its using at the time you read this review, just download and install the launcher and feel free to let us know down in the comment section.
The settings are easy to use and look good although you may click on the wrong settings tab a few times before you find out where everything sits inside the settings. If you’ve found everything it’ll be a piece of cake to change everything you can change about it. Do note that the settings may change and be different from the images shown below.
Looking at this launcher, design is certainly one of the most important aspects, besides being pretty damn functional.
Let’s start off with the home screen, which looks pretty clean actually with a weather / time widget up top. With the standard settings the widget is white, but if you buy the Pro version you’ll be able to choose every colour to match it with your wallpaper or just the colour you like. There’s no option to choose your exact colour though as the developer didn’t include a hex editor.
Swiping in from the right just shows you the quick toggles, which looks good but it’s nothing surprising. Although you may not expect a lot from it, it’s pretty damn boring in the design department. Some may say this is a good thing, while others may agree with me. So just take this opinion with a grain of salt; to each their own. The same can be said for the dock drawer. It all functions like it should but it may just be a bit bland.
Swiping in from the left will show you the app drawer, and editing the colours here is also available. I do like the design of this aspect but like I mentioned earlier in the review, I don’t like the way it functions. This could be one of the areas in which the developer planned to provide design over usability.
Now let’s go to the most interesting parts in the design, the cards, and the weather one specifically. Just like every other, you’ll be able to change the colour of it, but I actually decided to stick with the colour it comes with after installing it, white. At the bottom it shows the weather for the upcoming 5 days, albeit it only shows the weather for the entire day and not every hour which is much better than it being non-existent. Depending on the weather and time of the day it’ll show you a nice image up to match making it pretty nice to look at. Something I’m missing though is the ability to add more cities. (Note: the picture below shows the weather in Malaga, but I don’t live there )
The app is currently available for free, but only using the free version means missing out of a lot of things which gives ASAP Laucnher it’s functionality such as the options to change the colour of the cards, app drawer, dock drawer and quick toggles. If you want the Pro options you’ll need to pay €1,52 for the normal version and at €3,02 if you want to support the developer even more. This price is for in The Netherlands though, so you may find different prices if you’re living in other countries in the EU.
With that out-of-the-way, if I would compare this launcher with Nova Launcher Pro which costs around €5/$5, and I’d definitely suggest giving ASAP Launcher a go over Nova Launcher, as for me Nova Launcher brings the same look to the table as the Google Now Launcher, and at a premium. ASAP Launcher shows me what developers are able to do in the customisation department.
I’ll end this review answering the question of whether you should or shouldn’t buy this launcher, or even use the free version. The answer, for me, is clearly yes. I’ve even tried switching back to the Google Now Launcher, and normally I can’t find a launcher which keeps me coming back, but I couldn’t stop coming back from the Google Now Launcher. The functionality and customisation of ASAP Launcher as well as the performance, despite the slightly uninspiring aesthetic is a great combination. So, if you’re willing to spend a few bucks on the launcher or even use the launcher without all the pro features, I’m sure you will enjoy the experience. Do note though that you may be out of your comfort zone with this launcher the first few days as you really need to get used to the way everything works.
Do let me know in the comments down below if you liked my review and if you want to know more about it, I’ll try to answer every single question!