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2 min read 7 comments

Apex Launcher beta gets the KitKat transparency treatment

As more and more device owners in the Google and Motorola families await Android 4.4 KitKat's arrival OTA, many other handset owners are looking at a long, long wait before they will even hear about the possibility of when they might get an update. Never fear, another alternative launcher has just got a KitKat makeover, meaning you can get transparent system bars on your phone right now.

apex launcher logo
© Android Does

Apex Launcher is one of the most popular launchers around right now, and for good reason. While the new version is still in beta version, that means a release candidate can't be far away. If you want to try it out you just need to become a member of the Apex Launcher beta group and then download the APK and get busy.

apex launcher 2 2 beta screenshot 01
Transparent system bars and white icons: the KitKat-look arrives on Apex Launcher. / © Android Does

Other than the transparent system bars and new icons, there's not much else new in the beta version 2.2 that you wouldn't already know and love from the regular Apex Launcher. There's tons of customization options, resizable icons and app drawer layouts, cool transitions, gesture controls and more.

Have you tried the beta version yet? How do you like transparent system bars?


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  • Is the transparant progressbar restricted to rooted phones??

    • Good question @Joost, I know most of the other launchers require root for the transparent system bars (because it requires a specific KitKat API). I don't have root on my Nexus 4 and I have the transparent system bars, but I am running KitKat so I already have the necessary API for transparency. So I can't really answer your question! Nothing I read about Apex beta mentioned KitKat or root being required, so I'm not sure, but whether I toggle the ''shadows'' box in the Apex beta settings or not, I still have transparency, so I don't know if that's a bug in the beta or because of KitKat OS!

      • So to get the transparency - assuming it supported I should uncheck the box for shadows.....gonna try it, couldn't find the function on the first look.

      • Ok...can't get an transparent statusbar on my Padfone 2 (running 4.1)...mhh maybe I just need to root it than.....or ASUS has to release an update finally....

      • Yeah, I'm thinking root might make the difference. It does on all the other launchers.

  • "While the new version is still in beta version, that means the alpha release can't be far away."

    You're right that alpha release can't be far away, because it was already released. Let me clarify, as you are obviously not a programmer: the alpha release is the first release (there is sometimes pre-alpha), then goes beta, then something like release candidate 1 (RC1), RC2, etc. and then the official release, with probably many in between steps (different builds or something). I'm not talking about Apex here, as I don't know about its current stage, this is just a clarification on terminology. Here's more info to all who are interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle

    • Correct as always @Bojan! On both terminology and my non-programmer status. Thanks for clarifying and for providing my lesson for the day. Much appreciated.