While Android O is slated to be rolling out to a few devices in August – namely Pixel and Nexus devices – there are plenty of other people who are wanting to get their hands on some of Android O's features. Luckily, the developer of Action Launcher, Chris Lacy, is bringing some of those features to older versions of Android with the latest beta update to Action Launcher. This brings the third-party launcher to version 26.
Some of the changes in this version include the new shortcuts UI that Android O is introducing. As Lacy says in his blog post, he believes that the UI is actually a step back visually, but it does add a bit more functionality. So that's present in this beta. There's also the changed widget picker in this beta, which is accessed through the app shortcuts UI. Making it easier to add widgets to your home screen. There's now full notification dots support, which is a big feature of Android O, that Action Launcher is bringing to older versions of Android. It is also bringing a dedicated "Icons & App Shortcuts" setting page, which is pretty self-explanatory, but allows you to adjust all of the settings as you see fit. There's also now a revamped user interface for selecting apps that are hidden from the app drawers. Of course, you can see the full changelog at the source link below, which has even more features added.
It's important to remember that this is part of the beta, which you do need to opt into. It's pretty easy to do, but this is done so that those that don't want to deal with bugs and such, simply don't have too. It's unclear how long it'll take until these features are available on the stable version of Action Launcher, but it'll likely happen once Lacy is able to get all of the bugs ironed out in this release. Which is an important thing, especially for hardcore users of Action Launcher. And since it is one of the more popular third-party launchers out there, there are definitely quite a few that fall into that user group.