If it weren’t for the Android N Developer Previews and Material Design, I would think we had all traveled back in time. The first half of 2016 saw the return of legendary ROMs AOKP, Paranoid Android and SlimRoms and now the blast-from-the-past trend spills over into the app realm as the legendary launcher ADW finally gets its 2.0 update.
It’s quite an advanced launcher with too many features to fully try out after just one day. One of its unique features I haven’t seen in other launchers is the native widget editor – you can make and edit your own widgets without the need for a third-party widget app like Zooper Pro or KLWP.
According to Android Police, ADW 2.0 has been in development since 2011, though thankfully it looks nothing like its Gingerbread glory days. What it does look like is Action Launcher 3 Pro (at least in a couple of features I’ve noticed so far – I’ll do a full review later) . It includes dynamic wallpaper-based colors, even using color names like “Light Vibrant”, “Dark Vibrant”, “Vibrant”, “Light Muted”, “Dark Muted” and “Muted” just like Action Launcher. It also includes a folder option that’s a spitting image of Action Launcher’s Cover feature. In fact, when I imported my setup from Action Launcher I saw something I’ve never seen before when importing settings into one launcher from another: the homescreen looked almost exactly the same, right down to the Cover-esque small squares overlaying my icons on the bottom-right.
I’ve also recognized some features from other launchers such as Nova integrated into ADW, but I’ve never seen so many of them integrated into a single launcher. Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t some launcher out there with more features – I just haven’t personally encountered one. You can read more about this long-awaited second generation of the venerable ADW in the developer’s blog post and/or view the video below:
If you want to kick the tires on ADW 2.0 for yourself, opt in to beta or download the apk from APKMirror. A couple of additional notes: there’s an in-app purchase of $3.99 that gives you access to more app drawer animations among other things, and you might want to get the following free addons:
UPDATE: While various 1.x updates were published in the intervening time (the last one coming in 2013), according to Android Police development on the eventual 2.0 update began in 2011. The 2.0 update and the various 1.x updates were apparently worked on concurrently.