July 13th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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A home screen replacement based on simplicity
Simple Home (Seach for "Simple Home" on Android market)
The Android home replacement that focuses on simplicity! I have developed a home screen replacement which I consider to be 1. Light/lightweight 2. Simple and 3. Fast. It is nothing fancy at all, but it focuses on quickly finding your apps, which is the key feature of the launcher. I used to be a developer on a big home replacement project and there I came to the conclusion that a lot of the stuff in the regular launcher (and in other replacements) is really not necessary.
- Live wallpaper, a very nice feature which gives the user some eye candy behind the launcher. However, in the long run, this feature usually drains your battery, currently one of bigger problems with Android phones, and does really not add anything that an app is not capable of doing.
- Widgets, nice little mini-apps that you can place on your desktop. These does as well not add any functionality that an app won't give you. I kind of liked the toggle widgets at first, but once I found the in-app toggle apps I now consider these to be superfluous as well.
- Folders, well this I think depends on what kind of a person you are. I can of course understand the joy of organizing your stuff in neat folders and so on but I am generally more the "auto-arrange" kind a guy. I like it when things are automatically nice a tidy and when an system gives you that option I don't see any reason not to use it. I used to have an Iphone, where it was nice in the beginning to re-arrange apps and create new pages/sections. But after a while, when installing more and more apps, it just became tedious to do the re-arrangements. I couldn't get a clear overview and I had to move a lot of apps to get somewhere near a setup that worked ok. Auto-arrange ftw.
Simple Home has 3 major features and another thing is that you will always see the launchable application list (where all the apps are..apparently).
- Filter, which give you the possibility to quickly filter the list and narrow down the number of apps displayed in the app list
- Visualization, where you can decide how many columns there should be in the app list grid, or even display the app list as a vertical list.
- Auto-arrange, apps will, one they are launched, automatically be arranged according to frecency (How frequently and how recently an app is/was launched). There is furthermore also the option to change the sorting to alphabetic, just frequency or just recency sorting.
It works on my G1 with Android version 1.5 and it works on my Nexus One v2.2. It should support all screen resolutions (tested on emulator) and it should be fast (all DB handling is asynchronous). Somebody complained that it was slow on some device, but it is ok on my G1 which makes me think that it might not be the home screen that was slowing down his/hers device. Using many columns on a slow device might be heavy, but as far as I've seen the FPS have always been decent.
Let me know what you think, if you like it/dislike it and if you agree/disagree!