I was given a notice by Google play that I can no longer keep GSDmobile on Google Play any more because it does not abide by the updated new guidelines because it houses contact information and uses a different IP that i don’t own so with that being said, I will be removing GSD Mobile from google play this month.
only a handful of users used it so it wasn’t a big loss, just a little ill hearted as it was just a freelance project I made during my own time.
if i get enough request, I will definitely revive it and host it on my own terms on my portfolio site but for now, it will be dieing.
Drywall will be receiving a big update hopefully soon. I plan to completely revamp it to be a a wallpaper dashboard and styles utility app. Drywall will maintain a healthy collection of wallpapers pulled from reddit, it will have a wallpaper manager interface to modify your current wallpaper or apply a new one, it will also gain a new styles preview were users can see how their current wallpaper will look with icons and shapes.
Beside Drywall will be a new app called Carpenter. What I can say about carpenter is it’s been in planning for sometime now, has been inspired by the GCA Community and will interact with Icon Packs. I will have more details in the near future about it.
No’me will be receiving a maintenance update. there are a few things about the dashboard id like to change up and revamp based on Material you so i cant wait to get started on that and adapt in some changes for android 11. No’me is actually my most successful free app right now and maintaining it is very important to me.
as always, GCA Launcher development will continue but i like breaks every so often. allows me to recharge my batteries and re think on some things I’ve been working on and choose how I want to approach things. Some things I want to work on is a revamped widget support, new icon pack dashboard selector with new options, new sheet options, upgraded gesture support and drag n drop support for the shelf and app drawer.
Il be sure to keep everyone in the loop of development and il have an in depth GCA Launcher 2 release video here sometime soon. just depends on my free time and availability.
You see correctly, This we launched GCA Launcher 2 on Google Play!
The Insider Preview will still go strong as i have alot of testing todo for many new things to come.
I expect alot things to happen in the next few days with us hit the ground running with GCA 2 in the wild now. we have competition, Lots of competition as the new team behind lawnchair start development on their new update while nova launcher creeps in with Nova 7? I think their on now… no worries as GCA Launcher is tackling a new angle and theirs nothing that could scare the community for competition.
I hope to see some new faces in the telegram group soon. I wanna hear back on what some members have to say about the new changes.
see you all around as il have more to talk about later!
This month we officially launched GCA Launcher 2 beta and the results have been pretty good. No bad triggers have been sent off as there is so much more happening that it was hard to pinpoint anything bad going on with development. Users can tell in this beta that things are being taken seriously. Changes are being made to accommodate user request and device upgrades. Its alot of work and were just getting started.
The latest insider preview introduced Glance Sheets which are only available to Shelf apps and are triggered by swiping down an app. These sheets show you a great deal of information. First, beside its label, shows a notification badge indicating how many active notifications it has. Second if the app has a widget, it inflates it in the header of the sheet. If the app has has multiple widgets, you can set a priority widget to your favorite each time the sheet inflates. This development alone has GCA Launcher headed into a direction of widget enhancements. Right now, the launcher doesn’t support 100% of androids widgets and my goal is to change that this year. Below the Glance sheets widget are App Shortcuts and Priority Notifications available to the user. These sheets were to compliment the App Sheets and make a faster way of accessing app information for your favorite apps.
For the past 3 years, ive been developing a unique interface i wanted to distribute to all my apps to distinguish them from the crowd. In our latest insider preview, GCA Launcher’s settings interface feels complete. I will be tearing out the suggestions from the expanded minibar to its own little area soon. It’ll have a cleaner interface soon. What’s really been the struggle is android 11+ rewrites how alot of layouts are treated so you’ll notice alot more padding and space available so im trying to create a unified system. Fragments will no longer overlap which just means if your on the general tab, clicking it again won’t reopen the fragment. It will still close the minibar if its expanded. Im looking at triggering an indicator in the minibar to indicate which category the user is on. This is already identified by the toolbar title but for bigger devices, this may be needed.
I introduced a new category in the data management category called Launcher services. The latest insider preview brought a reworked system of communication with the Google Play Services which brings over the air updates and version control, better launcher upgrade add-on purchases and security, and cloud compatibility. Even tho a good number of devices don’t have Google Play Services, I still want to depend on it for version control, security and in app purchase reliability and security.
I took some time to fix a bug that has been lingering in gca launcher for 2 years. This brought to the table a reworked database for color schemes, more dynamic color control from your wallpaper to work just like Android 12s theme system to bring it to all users. Im still working out the kinks but soon all the windows, menus, toolbars, and buttons in GCA will be theme able in some way.
Another bug that has been haunting me forever is the padding and spacing for apps in the drawer and shelf. While writing the code for glance sheets, i had a site of realization to fix this issue. App labels will now arrange themselves properly in the space given to them. The word “Google” was also filtered out of google apps so they are cleaner. This whole process was abit challenging because i had to take the app label, figure out how many words were in the label, filter them, seperate them and get the correct spacing. While doing this tho, i caused several other issues through out the launcher so il have to pinpoint them.
Some bigger changes im bringing to the table soon are Ofcourse Widgets. I will admit that widget code is a nightmare and how data is stored and accessed. My goal is to understand this nightmare and allow user data to be stored and managed do widgets operate correctly.
The Search functionality sux in GCA Launcher. I want to create a universal search function that’s accessed from the searchbar or a sheet function. Ultimately, i want to remove search from the app drawer or just simplify it to just apps and than have another search window that goes through the motions of digging through Recent Apps, primary and secondary app list, recent search topics, playstore items and global search so we’ll see that start being pieced together soon.
Recent Actions will be reworked soon. Right now, i have the launcher saving data that’s to redundant and could be simplified if tackled correctly.
Gestures will have more actions, launchable apps, and a better screen off feature.
In general, I want GCA Launcher to feel like a completely new experience from other launchers on the market.
This june, I plan to launch GCA Launcher 2. There are many more things il be focusing on. Widgets, more complex app icon editing tools, ui improvements, Shift Companion. The reason for the Add on Store was to fund the project for the time this project stays in development. The more funding, the more support and features you’ll see. If funding stays fueled, il be able to push out more free features like Glance pages!
Now, I will be setting some time aside to update No’Me and Drywall. These 2 apps will be getting a maintenance treatment and UI changes to compliment android 11 and 12 release. GSD Mobile is also expected to get an update but that’l be more complex.
I hope i see alot more discussion about GCA Launcher soon. It needs a good review in the near future.
With the release of GCA Launcher 2 around the corner and exiting the beta phase on Google Play, I wanted to provide a list of features that will be considered paid features in GCA on release. This list will continue to grow as new ones are released or evolve.
I want everyone to understand that GCA is on its 3rd year of development. Alot of ups and downs. Its not based on any launcher project to exist, its code is 110% original and is a very unique experience. If we want that experience to grow and further itself, i need a way to fund the project and time i want to invest in. The Pledges got us to where the launcher stands now, imagine a constant flow of income? Regular updates, security updates, new features on a regular basis, more device and platform support, just all positive. With my life going in all sorts of positive directions, my projects are actually not exactly important to whom i interact with on a daily basis so making sure my time is invested carefully, i can fight a battle between my personal time for app development and time invested in family and work.
Current list of paid features
Adaptive Icon Fallback Type 1
Adaptive Icon Fallback Type 2 (there could be a type 3 in development…)
Icon Provider (allowing to manually choose custom icons)
Custom Icon Provider
Fluent text shadows
Shift Companion Page
Options for Adaptive Splash Screens
And more to come
As a reminder, some of the higher tier features do cost more than others but if you purchase a pledge of premium or greater value, they all drop to a standard discounted price.
Some features may appear during weekend prime time at a discounted price as well, some features may even be on a timed release window for events.
I hope no one takes this approach negatively, GCA has been available for 2 years to try on Google play and we’ve had the insider preview available to users to try everything free. I would only hope you had the time to try everything out and decide what features you’d like to have.
These will also have a preview mode so you can see a demo of the feature first before buying it.
The Insider Preview of GCA Launcher 2 is now live but before you jump in, here’s a few things to note!
This is an insider preview which means its a branch off of my developer preview which is where i build an update, give it a test drive for myself and make changes before publishing based on likeness and performance. You should NOT depend on this build as a daily. Have a secondary launcher on hand to fallback to. GCA Launcher 2 will be published on Google Play when i am satisfied with it. I am in no hurry. The launcher will use a private way of introducing updates to users before launch. Once the update is published, the ota updater will just act like notifier.
Everything in this build is not final, it can change at any moments notice or be up for discussion in the telegram group chat.
I highly suggest installing No’Me launcher manager from google play. Not because im the mad mind behind that app as well but its very handy to allow yourself to switch launchers during testing.
Do not distribute this apk / build to any other site without my permission, its just not worth it.
You will need to uninstall the Google Play version of GCA Launcher FIRST before installing the Insider Preview. It is a debug signed apk so license and permissions and databases will collide and make your life miserable.
Report your findings to the telegram channel and not the Google Play review site. I am actually not interested in you using the insider build of GCA Launcher 2 unless you make an effort to communicate back in the group chat (Unless your an xda blog writer, your reasons are obvious) . No one will bite, i promise and any user who judges you because of your feedback will be monitored.
Their are many theme and style issues. Please report them as you discover them. Report any crashes, freezes, spelling errors or unwanted results to the channel. I want to hear it all. Please attach logs when deemed necessary to help take correct action. I already have a long list of issues i have personally discovered but il be comparing them to live audience. Also take a look at the interface of settings windows. Could they be simpler? Are they complicated? Are yoy confused when approaching a settings window.
Everything in the Insider Preview is Free. Premium features will be identified and allow you to purchase them ahead of launch during testing but you wont be obligated to make any purchases. This allows us to note if any changes are deemed necessary and test them accurately.
Suggestions and Ideas are gold jerry. Please talk to us in the channel. GCA Launcher was inspired by chromium OS and as their may be obvious differences, we still focus on some similarities for the mobile environment.
I am Me. I am currently the only developer in the GCA Project. I have spent lockdown redefining the goals of GCA Launcher and hope that i have made promising results.
GCA Launcher code is completely home brew. It is in no way shape or form related to Googles Launcher3 or Pixel launcher source code. If any feature is ported over, it is completely reinvented from the ground up. There are many obvious features i have tried reinventing from other launchers but have approached the ideas from different angles so they provide different results. It is intended to be unique from other launcher experiences and work well with large devices and one handed instances.
GCA Launcher is designed on an os compatibility awareness api meaning some features will be locked out or removed if your device cant support it. I have done everything in my power to make everything back ported as far back as possible. Even going as far as building a custom icon database to allow (homebrew) adaptive icons for anything below android 8. GCA Launcher even supports Android Go but with limitations. These limitations are to and from the amount of ram/memory your device has, cpu count, os version and skin (Miui, emui). These all affect the performance and reliability of most of the features in GCA Launcher.
As a final note. You know what to. I hope you enjoy tinkering around with GCA Launchers new features and capabilities. Put them to the test, experiment and show me what you have discovered and how you feel about the changes that were made. Thank you for the support team!
I am finishing up the more complex sessions of GCA Development so that we can head right into the insiders preview builds this month. I will have a vidoc available to watch in the next few days to lead us into this brand new journey of custom launchers.
Im expecting the developer preview of GCA Launcher to be available by March to Telegram group members.
Right now, Im finishing up development on the brand new features. People Lock, which allows users to lock apps in the Shelf, Groups, and App Drawer. Brand new badge indicators to show users action priority. Brand new Badge features and options. A brand new Color Scheme system were users can select through a theme selection that was very similar to the theme selector in V1. Finally ofcourse is the brand new companion page that hasnt been revealed yet of which allows users to have various tools on their homescreen.
With the release of Android 11 and Android 12, development has slowed just because it brings immediate attention for support. Releasing GCA Launcher 2.1 does have hopes to support the latest right out of the gates. All i ask is to have patience.
Translation for priority languages will come over time this year as patches. English will be the main priority language.
We’re getting closer to the new release of GCA Launcher and the one topic everyone wants to hear more about are Add-Ons
Add-Ons will not only keep the launcher experience kicking and fuel the project, but its something that really hasn’t been explored in premium launchers before? As GCA Launcher goes deeper into development, im starting to rework previous features in more depth. One thing ive been working on this and last month has been Active Notifications.
When as app like Facebook presents a notification to the user, the app sheet shows a particular new item called a notification card or an active notification. This notification can be previewed and activated from the app sheet even if you’ve accidently dismissed it from the statusbar. This is one step forward to allow the user to take control of their desktop. To further enhance their android experience. Now, if this doesn’t toot the horn for notification handling enhancements, Dynamic Badges (similar to those found in Nova Launcher) will be available as an Add-On. Badges have been reworked to look better, behave better and do more.
With the Add-On feature, we are simply replacing the idea of a pro key. It just doesn’t work in this day and age anymore. The developer offers a subscription or pro key, you buy it, your offered everything going forward. 3 years later, the developer isn’t making any money, updates slow down, the users get upset, what’s the problem? The developer is no longer making an income thus losing prophitability to work on any updates going forward. What usually happens that side projects are invested in to help build the funding. How this will work in GCA Launcher is that the now Pledge system will be completely reworked to be an Add-On store (Drywall included). Users browse the categories of Add-Ons for specific categories of settings. An example would be badges, you’d see Dynamic Notifications. It would cost some change to buy it, you unlock it after purchase and now that option is available. There will be theme options for the launcher settings, there will be icon customization options, and more. This allows the user to pick and choose what they need for their homescreen setup and keeps funding alive as sometime down the road, you may end up buying all the options just to have them. As updates come to GCA Launcher, so will new premium add-ons. Pledges will remain the same but have a more balanced system with the add-ons in place. The ota stats system will also be reworked so the system can create its own goals based on what the user base puts forward to support development.
Why pro features? Why add-Ons? GCA was to be a free app, what happened? Simply put, it grew. Its database got complex, the user base requested more, the community grew and what i thought to be a small project grew out of balance requiring funding. I personally would like to see development jump into a sequel next year or a more complex version of GCA Launcher come to light but before that is able to happen, I need the project to make money so that’s where that stands.
The GCA Launcher Insider preview will start the first quarter of January as it has been abit complicated to get it moving. Many changes have been implemented to allow android 11 to merge in smoothly while adding compatibility to older OS devices. Im opening many doors to develop new features and options to users in the next phase of development. We’re taking premium options to the next level.