Aug 26, 2010
Ah, the Android home screen. It’s the first argument in any Android vs. iPhone debate. Not only can you put all kinds of widgets and shortcuts there, but you can replace the stock home altogether. I mean, your iPhone toting friends only just got wallpapers. Anyway, the way I like to keep my home screen is neat and tidy. I keep most widgets on screens adjacent to my main page so I can appreciate a nice nature-scene wallpaper. Launch-X Pro is a handy and very customizable widget that has furthered my goal of home screen tidiness. And at .99, it might be your ticket to home screen bliss.
Launch-X Pro has two parts: the application and the widgets. In the app you can create widgets that appear as a row of shortcuts on your home screen. You can select up to 49 shortcuts split into 7 different pages within each widget. Besides apps and contacts, anything that appears in the â€œshortcutsâ€ menu when you add items to your home screen can be added.
When you’ve selected your items, you can fiddle with many appearance options. You can change the opacity of the background, the number of shortcuts on each page, and icon size. When you’ve chosen all your options you can arrange your items and preview before you hit back to save your widget.
After finalizing your widget you can place it on your home screen. It takes up the space of four widgets in a row so you may need to clear space. What’s great is that you can now fit up to 14 shortcuts where you previously only had four! On my widget I unchecked â€œshow items namesâ€ and decreased the opacity to make it blend in with the wallpaper. Pretty, eh? You can create lots of widgets and place them where ever you want. I’ve got one for apps and one for contacts that I keep on an adjacent screen.
However, there are some improvements to be made for future versions. For example, you can’t swipe between pages of shortcuts, you have to tap on a small button to switch. I’d much rather just create another widget and put it on an adjacent screen because swiping is just too much fun. Also, you can’t drag icons between pages, and they appear in the order they were added. This can be a hassle and needs to be fixed.
I find the contact feature in Launch-X Pro far inferior to the â€œpersonâ€ shortcut already included in Android. If you set your contact to â€œsend messageâ€ it doesn’t open up Google Voice while the Android contact shortcut does.
Launch Pro-X is a really handy widget, especially for those who don’t want to switch from their home stock home app. That can be a pain because of the overload of options and fiddling it takes to get used to the change. With Launch Pro-X, you can be up and running with your newly freshed-out home in minutes. So, try it out, I’m pretty sure you’ll find it worth your .99 Euro cents.