If you’re looking for something special to customize your device with, look no further. The ASAP Launcher may not be updated anymore, but that doesn’t make it less of a refined and clean launcher to use. The launcher gives something no other launcher could. So, without further ado, let’s find out if it’s worth buying.
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, though he had no influence on the editorial outcome of this review. I also need to mention that I’ve been testing this app on my current daily driver, the OnePlus 3T running OxygenOS 4.1.6 based on Android 7.1.1. Given the fact that I got a promo code for this app, it means that my opinions 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, let’s dive into the review.
The biggest thing I needed to get used to with this launcher 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 are available from all the sides of the screen. 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, you’ll need to scroll a lot to find the app you want to use. Other than that, it looks great, and falls in line with all other parts of the launcher.
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’ll be able to customize 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 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 apps for quick access. The dock is fully customizable, 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 sides of the home screen. There are 4 cards available in total, 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 isn’t all that useful, really.
The weather card 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. When it does work accurately I love it, and that’s the case from time to time, it’s a nice added feature. The only thing I’m missing in the cards department is a place to see all your incoming mails, which would probably be one of the preferred cards for most.
During the review period of about 15 days in total I didn’t encounter any slowdowns with the ASAP Launcher, which means the developer did a great job in optimizing 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 usually around 200MB, all day. So, if you’ve a device with 1GB of RAM, this may not be the launcher for you.
The settings menu is easy to use and looks good, although you may click on the wrong settings tab a few times before you find out where everything sits. If you’ve found everything, it’ll be a piece of cake to change everything you can change about it.
Looking at the 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 the weather / time widget up top. With the standard settings, the widget color is set on white, but if you buy the Pro version you’ll be able to choose to match it with your wallpaper or just the color you like. There’s no option to choose your exact color though as the developer unfortunately 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. Swiping in from the left will show you the app drawer, and editing the colors here is also available. I do like the design but like I mentioned earlier in the review, I don’t like the way it functions.
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 color of it, but I actually decided to stick with the color 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, though it is still 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 it, 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.)
I’ll end this review by 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 customization of the ASAP Launcher, as well as the performance, despite the slightly uninspiring aesthetic of some parts of the launcher, 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.
The app is currently available for free, using the free version does mean that you’ll be missing out on a lot of neat features. If you want the Pro options you’ll need to pay €1,52, supporting the developer even more and also getting the pro version costs €3,05. Do note that I live in the Netherlands, and the price may not be the same in every country.
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!