Originally Posted by bcrider
The answer to the first part of my question is now resolved by NoLED's launch apps feature.
I'm still wondering about the second question. I'm guessing it's either a marketing thing from Tmobile to get me to upgrade to the new phone with that feature, which is why I left Apple, or something I don't understand about Android os and how it's created for all different kinds of headsets.
To answer your second question there are ROMs out there that have unlocking shortcuts to things like your Messages, Phone, Homescreen, and other stuff. For this you should be rooted (guides all over the internet and on this forum) Here's a link to some ROMs if you're interested:
Samsung Galaxy S II Android
Also, the Vanilla RootBOX ROM I know for a fact has this feature you wanted. Compare them all to each other, and visit the XDA Threads for each. They all seem very intuitive and sleek