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[APP][5.1+] GCA Launcher V2 PRE-BETA

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Last August, I released to the Android Community a new type of launcher that was inspired by Chromium OS using a single screen homescreen gui that I had hoped to bring on a new generation. GCA Launcher was written about on XDA Developers and gathered over 10k users in just weeks. I had released it in a bad timeline as Android10 was just coming out and alot of things in the android world was changing quickly. Many request were being made to make the launcher a better experience for everyone and because of it being a free launcher, I had to think how I would approach these request. Some months later, A monkey wrench was thrown at me as I was tidying up my GIT and a very very bad bug had taken its tole. GIT bugged out and I lost over 48% of GCA Launcher source code, the other half was bugged (java was mixed with xml, just a freaken mess). I sat on this for a few months. I worked on my Drywall App, I worked on my No'Me App and than I started development of GCA Launcher v2 with a new Vision behind it.

So, Here we are several months later and im here to present to the xda community the Pre-Beta of V2. This is a pre-beta which means im leaning on the xda community to get some real time feedback on a few things, figure out if the launcher is working properly and just get some data before I start publishing this update on the Playstore. Being a pre-beta, there are some unfinished features, there are parts of the launcher due to change and if you are currently using GCA Launcher V1 from the playstore or xda labs, its highly suggested you uninstall that before trying V2 pre-beta. While you try out V2, Experiment with it. Watch how the apps behave with the launcher. Experiment with some of the customization thats available. See how it behaves on different devices and OS requirements. Make sure all current features are working properly. Any graphical bugs, report out (do a forum search first before you report something and if someone has reported it, just like their comment so it gives me an idea how many of you have this error or complaint). Any crashes or if something doesn't feel right, let me know.

Current Features
  • Launcher has been rewritten from the ground up to open up the framework of the launcher app to introduce new features
  • Launcher supports Android10 gesture system but alittle buggy atm. Im working to cure this on launch.
  • A revised single screen interface introducing a new layered material design.
  • Launcher Sheets are a new approach to app menus. Pixel launcher uses pop menus, we will be using Sheets.
  • The Swiftfeed Companion page is an optional second screen im working on(in the pre-beta, you can test the gui) Development will start soon after launcher functionality is dependable.
  • The Launcher Shelf (Dock) has been separated from the App Drawer which gives the launcher a layered material interface. It also opens up a drag feature il be working on later for the Shelf.
  • Shelf can now hold up to 12 favorite apps. Favorite apps can be switched out by long clicking on the Shelf Item and switching out the application package in the Sheet Menu. The Shelf can also use a 2 row feature for taller devices and scroll for smaller screens.
  • The Shelf and App Drawer apps will feature different system shortcuts and features in the app sheet. App Sheets can be opened up by long clicking on an app.
  • Apps can be customized in the App Sheet and mirror results from the Shelf to the Drawer. Apps can be toggled to use an icon pack, adjust the icon scaling in the Adaptive Icon Shape and adjust how the Adaptive Icon tints itself and use custom titles.
  • The Shelf features a revised searchbar that can be toggled to the Top, Bottom or Removed completely. The searchbar features a shortcut to open the launcher menu, a global search feature, an assistant shortcut and has an option to store and track the usage of App Shortcuts to feature a recent actions holder.
  • The App drawer features the pixel launcher carot indicator. It acts as an all apps indicator and button.
  • The App Drawer has 4 main styles. Vertical Grid, Horizontal Grid, Smart Grid and Smart Vertical List. Smart Grid and Smart List uses Flex Layout Manager to determine the space available for your apps and makes calculations by itself to determine whats best for your device.
  • The Blacklist is for the Primary Tab of apps that blocks apps. The Whitelist for the secondary tab is to show apps.
  • The App Drawer is built on a fastscroll functionality. It does not have a drag indicator as of right now. Its built on the idea of being smooth and fast. As the App drawer rises, the Shelf will shrink to allow better access.
  • Recent Apps now uses Usage Stats Data. This gives Recent Apps a 100% reliable stat and not clutter up the app drawer when its not in use. The list will update on a regular basis.
  • Recent Apps don't have a long click listener (no sheets).
  • The Shelf and App Drawer are theme separately based on the launcher theme and style. Android10 dark mode is also considered in this occasion.
  • The App Drawer has 2 tabs for the user. The primary tab and the secondary tab. Long clicking on a tab will open up the respective Black or White list. Both tabs update and sync respectively
  • App Shortcuts are generated based on the Android OS and can be found in the app sheets when set to the default launcher(Android 5-7 will have custom shortcuts in the future, developing something currently)
  • GCA Notification Badges have been rebuilt from the ground up. When enabled in the android notification settings, an apps priority notification will appear in the app sheet when a badge is lit. Users can choose between a pixel like badge or an underline indicator.
  • Launcher notifications (updates, firebase messages and alerts) are saved in the notifications window.
  • Users can block apps from showing badges and priority notifications.
  • Launcher sheets can be accessed from the launcher menu.
  • The launcher homescreen can use a single widget. This widget can be swapped out by using the Widget action in the launcher menu or if your on Android 8.x, you can access widgets from an apps system shortcut
  • Widgets can be resized by long clicking on them and a resize module will appear (WIP).
  • The launcher settings will theme itself on Android 10 light or dark mode.
  • Launcher settings features smart suggestions that appear on certain variables available
  • Launcher features a revised theme system based on Pixel Launcher. As the wallpaper changes, theme system will automatically update its color scheme. The color scheme can be swapped in the theme and style settings. This does not apply to live wallpapers unless a static wallpaper was applied.
  • The Launcher was built on Android 10 as a focus so different features are locked out based on the operating system your using.
  • Launcher features an assortment of customization. I will be working on what is called "Focused Customization". It limits how much customization the launcher has to limit on bugs but also brings in important customization we care more of.
  • GCA Launcher is free but has a feature called Pledges. Pledges are an in app product you can buy to help support development. Pledge prices change over the weekend for a discounted price. Purchasing a Pledge gives you an in app title. Pledges are what made V2 possible.
  • System Shortcut options that are available (Application Information, Application Usage Stats, Battery Usage, Notification Channels, Sharing, Playstore link, Relaunch application, Uninstall application, Widget preview and clear notifications) Clicking the small arrows above quick scroll through your options.
  • Long clicking on an Application Shortcut will automatically add it to the recent actions list in the searchbar (for ex: I usually have incognito tab for chrome and my apps from playstore)
  • The launcher relies on built in gesture system. Currently, this gesture system is not customize able but is in the progress of being so. (Swipe up to open app drawer, swipe down to open statusbar, double tap to open launcher sheet, long click for launcher menu)
  • GCA Launcher uses my Drywall app as its main wallpaper provider app. Download it as an optional add-on for extra wallpaper management features, otherwise it will allow you to choose your wallpaper app.
  • Users can adjust the icon size and text size for their app icons

What's on the roadmap of development
  • Groups Sheet | Allow users to create folders of apps accessible from the homescreen
  • Search Sheet | Allow users to perform a global search
  • Notifications Sheet | Allows GCA to keep track of all available notifications for the user
  • Widgets Sheet | Allow the user to create a list of accessible widgets from this sheet
  • Add focus mode
  • Add app lock
  • Better widget performance and reliablity
  • Shelf Drag and Drop
  • Swiftfeed Companion Page with available API to develop addons
  • Add Android 5.0 Support, Possible Android 4.4.4
  • Add full support for Android Tablets
  • Better adaptive shape ovveride options (MIUI is not affected by shape ovveride)
  • Smoother icons with more icon customization
  • Add a listener to add homescreen shortcuts (allow google weather to add a homescreen shortcut somewhere)

I hope you all enjoy this project as Iv'e been pouring many hours into it. Its been one heck of a challenge for me.

Links:
XDA Original Post
V1 XDA Thread
Drywall Wallpaper Manager
Launcher Manager for Testing Launchers

GCA Telegram Channel
GCA Telegram News Channel

Download : Pre-Beta_V2
(Download will also be available in the Telegram News Channel)

Screenshots below
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25th March 2020, 05:35 PM |#2  
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General Note:
This is a pre beta of which means parts of the launcher are not even functional yet. I did a pre beta to find errors i couldn't find myself and to get feedback on the progress we currently are at. If you see a page that is blank or something isn't functional, chances are it wasn't ready for the public yet. Please be patient with things.

Common Questions:
Why does GCA Launchers Adaptive icons behave so differently compared to the ones found in stock launchers?
-That is because the icons use a different mechanic and were made from scratch so everyone could enjoy adaptive icons and it not be exclusive to 7.1+ users. My icons can be modified from the icon to the shape override.

Can we get a launcher import option?
-No, not currently. Almost all launchers that exist use the base of Googles Launcher3 which adding an import option for them is easy. I would have to take the database, tear it apart, create a converter and place the data we need were it belongs. We are not there yet.

The System UI seems to behave differently from other apps.
-GCA Launcher has a theme engine similar to pixel launcher and trys to make the choice of a light or dark navbar or statusbar. Using Android10s dark mode may confuse things but eventually il have it all sorted out.

The launcher interface isn't what I expected. Shouldn't it behave like pixel launcher?
-No, it behaves like it should be. How it was designed.

Does it support quickswitch?
-It never will unless Google changes the api for the recents provider. I blame the lawnchair team of this common question as many users have assumed this is a premium feature now and should be supported by all launchers now which isn't the case.

Does this launcher support dark mode from android10?
-yes but we have some work todo yet

Why do things look weird in the launcher settings? Preference category is hard to read and matches the toolbar color.
-Try changing the color scheme in the style settings. This is the GCA theme engine at work.

Ratings:
If you post a rating for GCA Launcher coming from V1, more than likely i will dis regard it. V1 is being deprecated soon and all bugs and errors you will find in V1 on the playstore are being disregarded. V2 is a rewrite with new features and new bugs.

3/27/20
-Started development of App Groups (nothing functional for public yet)
-Added support for Android 5
-Added launcher restart option in general settings
-Minor fixes the homescreen android widget
-SystemUI Theming tune up
-initialized launcher settings suggestions
-Fixes for Android 9 and 10 theme recognition
25th March 2020, 07:24 PM |#3  
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  • Initial Crash on some Android devices (it is taking place on random roms, i don't know what's causing it yet)
  • Widget resizing is weird
  • Some widgets dont' save initial setup data
25th March 2020, 09:13 PM |#4  
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That's a ton of changes. Do you have any screenshots or screen recordings you can share?
25th March 2020, 09:24 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MishaalRahman

That's a ton of changes. Do you have any screenshots or screen recordings you can share?

I can most definitely do that
26th March 2020, 01:37 AM |#7  
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I updated the build earlier to fix something for Android 8 users and ended up screwing something up for Android 9 users so il be keeping tabs on everything as much as possible but I will not be able to do anything if no one says anything. Please provide feedback as much as possible. Thank you in advanced.

Those of you keeping me informed of crashes, thank you, thank you, thank you
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26th March 2020, 04:07 PM |#8  
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Newest build fixes problems with android 9 and 10 crashing in specific windows of the launcher
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27th March 2020, 06:16 AM |#9  
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I just installed this and have only played with it for a few minutes. A couple things I have noticed.

The status bar icons and time take on the same color as the wallpaper. I installed and ran it with a white background. The status bar icons were white, when I changed to a black background they changed to black as well.

I can't get the size of the icons to save. When I go to settings>theme and style>launcher icon I change the size from small to normal but when you click ok and go back into the setting it says small again.

I also would get where the phone would default back to the stock launcher.

Maybe I didn't play around with it enough but how do you set apps on the dock?

I will mess with it some more tomorrow and let you know if I find anything else.

Also I am on a Pixel 4 XL on March update. Not rooted or unlocked
27th March 2020, 09:44 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatdrc

I just installed this and have only played with it for a few minutes. A couple things I have noticed.

The status bar icons and time take on the same color as the wallpaper. I installed and ran it with a white background. The status bar icons were white, when I changed to a black background they changed to black as well.

I can't get the size of the icons to save. When I go to settings>theme and style>launcher icon I change the size from small to normal but when you click ok and go back into the setting it says small again.

I also would get where the phone would default back to the stock launcher.

Maybe I didn't play around with it enough but how do you set apps on the dock?

I will mess with it some more tomorrow and let you know if I find anything else.

Also I am on a Pixel 4 XL on March update. Not rooted or unlocked


Shelf apps can be changed by long clicking on a Shelf favorite and their will be a Favorite option to select a different package. This option isn't available in the App Drawer apps so it might be easy to miss.

When changing the icon sizes, make sure your changing the icon size and bot just the text size. Both options are in one dialog.

Id your having a hard time switching out your default launcher, you can use my No'Me app i have listed above. It helps alot.
27th March 2020, 11:24 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nx Biotic

Newest build fixes problems with android 9 and 10 crashing in specific windows of the launcher

The app in your GDrive is (always) updated ?
Going to test your launcher by curiosity.
Thx !
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