In our Android bubble, we’d like to say that Apple reinvents some features with each new one iPhone or iOS version. While this is sarcastically true in many cases, Apple often adds a special twist that we hadn’t seen before. This was the case with the iOS 14 widgets, which, while hampered by various limitations, nonetheless provided a cool addition in the form of widget stacks. I’ve wanted something like this on my Android devices for months and now it’s arrived thanks to the popular third-party launcher, Action Launcher.
Widget stacks are a solution to the clutter and disorganization of widgets on your homescreen. Instead of placing multiple widgets with different themes and colors, knowing you’ll only need them intermittently, stack them on top of each other and just swipe vertically between them to keep your homescreen clean. The function has been implemented in the same way in Action Launcher.
The latest beta version of the app has added a new widget stack option at the top of the widget picker. Tap and drag it to your homescreen to create a blank stack. Then tap on it to reopen the widget picker and select an existing widget to add to the stack. After choosing your first one, you’ll need to tap and hold the stack to add a new widget or remove the existing one.
You can also resize the stack just like any normal widget. So don’t worry if you see a size of 5 × 2 or 3 × 3. You can switch between 1 × 1 and the maximum grid size on your home screen.
When you’re done, all you have to do is swipe vertically over the first widget to switch to the next. A dot display appears on the right, telling you how many widgets you are between.
However, the feature is clearly in beta as I ran into several bugs. In some cases, some widgets refused to load their content. I had this problem with Google Calendar, Keep and Gmail, then it mysteriously resolved itself. The most annoying caveat, however, is the incompatibility with scrolling widgets. In the example at the bottom right, you can see me adding a scrolling widget to the top of the clock for Series Guidance. It works until I start scrolling up and down but can’t trigger the stack gesture so I can’t go back to the clock widget.
Left: It’s great when it works. Right: Scroll widgets affect the stacking gesture, however.
This hampers the experience as one of the most useful stacks is the one where you overlay your various inboxes, note / to-do lists, or calendars to avoid duplicate widgets. Most of these require vertical scrolling, which interferes with the gesture of the stack up / down switch. Hopefully this issue will be fixed in future betas.
WHAT’S NEWv47.0-beta2: • 🆕: Introduction of widget stacks! Overlay widgets and scroll through them vertically! Select “Widget Stack” from Action Launcher’s widget list and stack! • 🆕: 2021 Supporter Badge! This year’s bonus goodies include 6 great background images!
- This news is about Action Launcher Beta Brings iOS 14-Like Widget Stacks to Android (APK Download)
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