GCA, an Android launcher app inspired by Chrome OS design, gets a massive rework in version 2.0

For Android users, there’s an abundance of options when it comes to custom launchers. Almost every noted custom launcher brings a new flavor to the user experience. While a lot of launchers focus on giving you extra features, GCA, a custom launcher inspired by Chrome OS, takes the route of simplicity and minimalism. GCA is a single screen, single widget launcher, designed while keeping low-powered devices in mind. While the first version was developed especially for Android Go devices, the version 2.0 update is aimed at more fluidity and flexibility of usage.

GCA is developed by XDA Senior Member Nx Biotic, who recently released the pre-beta to the v2 of the launcher. The updated version has been written from scratch and differs from the previous one significantly. The new version comes with improvements to the shelf as well as new customization options for the app drawer. The developer has also introduced “Sheets” which slide out of the right side of the screen as an overflow menu and offer quick access to various settings and quick actions.

App Actions are also available in overflow menus in GCA Launcher. You can also tap on the “>” arrow to access more options. Additionally, the apps in the drawer can be arranged in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Work and personal apps can also be segmented into two different tabs in the app drawer.

The search bar at the bottom of the home screen is persistent and even visible when the app drawer is open. It can be used to search installed apps, for searching apps on Play Store, and for web search. Additionally, the launcher also supports navigation gestures from Android 10. Meanwhile, the developer is also working on a feature called “Focussed Customization” which will restrict customization to minimize bugs.

A lot of the new features, including Sheets, are currently under development. Since this is a pre-beta stage, be prepared to face some bugs and crashes if you use this as your primary launcher. You may if you’d like to contribute to the development. You can pass on your feedback to the developer on their forum thread. You can also pledge to buy the final version of the launcher to support its development. Meanwhile, if you’d like to try the first version of the GCA launcher, you can use the Google Play Store link below.

GCA Launcher v2 pre-beta thread on XDA Forums

Developer: Ryan Gocal
Price: Free

About author

Tushar Mehta

I am a Senior Editor at XDA. I have been reviewing gadgets for over five years and gained experience by working for prominent tech publications in India before joining XDA. I enjoy fiddling with all smart objects and my love for software customization dates back to the Symbian S60 days. I like to devote my spare time idealizing the romantic union of technology and philosophy or spacing out on Pink Floyd. You may email me at tushar@xda-developers.com

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