Are you torn on what launcher to use?General


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  1. smacky

    smacky Banned This Topic's Starter

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    I personally stick to the stock Froyo, but in case you were ever curious.

    [​IMG]


    Many Android devices ship with a default home screen launcher that, frankly, kind of sucks. The good news? You can install a new launcher offering better shortcuts, more home screens and extra configuration options. Here’s the lowdown on the most popular options.

    We recently discussed how to streamline your Android home screen and how to install a new home screen launcher. While I personally recommended LauncherPro, many of you noted that you’re big fans of other launchers, and rightfully so — there are a few really good ones out there. Today, we’ll go through the most popular three, noting each one’s special features so you can decide which one’s right for you.

    ADWLauncher


    YouTube - Battle of the Android Home Screen Launchers: ADWLauncher


    ADW is probably the most popular launcher out there and is the default launcher of the very popular CyanogenMod custom ROM. It’s the best option if you want to seriously change your home screen, whether through organisational changes (like adding more shortcuts to each screen) or visually (by re-theming the entire thing).

    Layout options: ADW offers numerous ways to re-organise your home screens. You can add up to seven screens, which is pretty standard for a custom launcher, but if you need to fit even more shortcuts, ADWLauncher offers the ability to choose how many rows and columns of apps you want on your home screen — up to eight each — so you can squeeze in as many shortcuts as possible.


    [​IMG]


    If that’s a bit too extreme, you can also choose to just squeeze apps together in the app drawer. This way, your home screen stays tidy, but you have to do less scrolling when you need something in the drawer. You can also set the drawer’s background colour, remove app labels (so you only see the icons) and tone down the 3D graphics effects.

    Usability options: ADW has packed a pretty large number of actions into its system preferences to which you can assign different shortcuts. For example, you can re-assign the home button to show a preview of all your home screens, open a specific app or hide the notification bar.


    [​IMG]

    Furthermore, ADW has a few gestures built in to which you can bind these actions. For example, by default, swiping up on the screen shows and hides the notification bar and swiping down shows the notifications drawer.

    Themes: One of ADW’s biggest draws is themability. It doesn’t get much easier to theme your phone than with ADW’s built-in engine — just download a theme from the Market (they usually range from free to about a dollar or so) and select it in ADW’s preferences. It will change everything from your wallpaper, icons and miscellaneous UI settings to give your phone a completely new look. Lots of themes contain icons for popular Market apps, too, so it won’t just be your pre-installed Google apps that get themed — apps like Barcode Scanner and Shazam will often fit in too.

    Performance: While many experience good performance from ADW, I (along with many others) find that it’s the worst of the bunch in terms of speed and stability. It can be a bit sluggish and I’ve even had a few force closes on it in the past. However, it also provides so many options that it may be worth it for some, and some of those options can actually help performance (like turning down the zoom effects in the app drawer). You’ll just have to try it for yourself and see how well it works for you, but be warned that all this customisation may come at a small price.

    LauncherPro

    YouTube - Battle of the Android Home Screen Launchers: LauncherPro

    auncherPro is my personal favourite, as it offers quite a few extra preferences and incredible performance (in my experience). It also offers a tiny bit of themability for those that have that itch, though you won’t be able to theme the entire UI; you can only change the dock. LauncherPro comes in a free version and a $US2.99 version, the latter of which features some extra widgets and widget settings. I pay for the premium version primarily to support the developer, but the extra widgets — though easy to go without — are still nice.

    Layout options: Like other launchers, LauncherPro lets you choose how many home screens you want, but it also offers a few other options. Like ADWLauncher, you can choose how many apps shortcuts fit in each row, though you can only do it for the app drawer itself. You can choose to organise apps in five shortcut rows on the home screen though, but that’s as far as it goes. If you’d like to, you can also hide icon labels, so you only see icons on the home screen and not the names of the apps below them.

    [​IMG]

    One of LauncherPro’s best features, however, is removing apps from the app drawer. Thus, you can hide the crapware that comes with your phone, or hide apps that you want running in the background but don’t want cluttering up your drawer. Of course, if you need to edit their settings later on, you can always un-hide them with just a few taps.

    Usability options: The dock is the centre of attention in LauncherPro, where most of the customisability happens. LauncherPro’s dock is scrollable, themeable and has a few goodies in there that can make your life easier. It features five shortcuts along the bottom instead of the usual two, and you can scroll through multiple docks as well, giving you a total of 15 shortcuts along the bottom of your screen.

    LauncherPro also has the usual usability enhancements, like enabling auto-rotation, choosing an action for the home key and hiding the notification bar. In addition, if you put something like Gmail or Messaging in the dock, you can enable dock badges for those apps, so you know how many unread message you have in each.

    Theming: While you can’t theme the entire home screen like in ADW, you can do your fair share of visual customisation on the dock. LauncherPro’s default icons are white, somewhat transparent versions of Android’s original icons and they look pretty good — but you can also use the default Android icons if you prefer. You can even add your own from your phone’s SD card, meaning you can make it look like whatever you want. Furthermore, if LauncherPro doesn’t contain an icon for a certain app, you can find LauncherPro-style icons for other apps around the net.

    [​IMG]

    You can also change how the dock itself looks. By default it’s invisible, but you can add a nice 3D glass, iOS-type dock (shown above) or a dock similar to the default Froyo launcher if you prefer.

    Widgets: If you decide to purchase the full version of LauncherPro, you get a few large, Sense UI-like widgets for your contacts, calendar, bookmarks and SMS messaging. Furthermore, you can resize any widgets (including the non-LauncherPro widgets) so they fit your layout better. Note that this resizing feature doesn’t stretch the widget itself, but resizing a 3
     

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  2. ToastPwnz

    ToastPwnz Well-Known Member

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    Nice post. I was always weary of LP because it had some funky permissions, but it came with Nonsensikal when I flashed it, and I'm happy with it so far.
     
  3. surgeon0214

    surgeon0214 Well-Known Member

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    I use Zeam Launcher. I was with LauncherPro then I found Zeam and I personally like it better.
     
  4. Batbriel

    Batbriel Well-Known Member

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    any diference on battery life by chance? :confused:
     
  5. smacky

    smacky Banned This Topic's Starter

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    When I did use it, I loved LauncherPro
     
  6. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member VIP Member

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    Personally I wouldn't expect a launcher to have much (if any) effect on battery life.
     
  7. prj

    prj Well-Known Member

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    LauncherPro sucked my battery life. As will any of the others. I assume because sense is still running in the background.
     
  8. Batbriel

    Batbriel Well-Known Member

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    does anybody knows if TWLauncher (the one from Samsung Galaxy) can be use on the eris? and where can be found ?? :D
     
  9. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    Batbriel likes this.
  10. adammsu

    adammsu Well-Known Member

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    Im all about LP. constantly updating, and the ability to add shortcuts and "intents".

    But you are right in your post, LP is all about the dock. scrolling, gestures, icons, what i was looking for back when i was trying to find a launcher.

    (one note, i wouldnt use a launcher on a sense rom, seems silly. Im running XTR 4.0.6 so something over the 2.1 stock seems prudent.)
     
  11. WormDoes

    WormDoes Well-Known Member

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    Awesome thread, Smacky! Thanks for taking the time to do this [​IMG]
     
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  12. surgeon0214

    surgeon0214 Well-Known Member

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    He pulled it from an article ;) haha
     
  13. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    He took the time to copy and paste from the link he provided at the bottom of his post:


    Souce: Battle Of The Android Home Screen Launchers: ADW Vs LauncherPro Vs HelixLauncher | Lifehacker Australia

    .. but it is good to see that information here all in one post, plus, providing the source of the verbatim information is good for more than one reason, not the least of which is that we have access to more of what that site has to offer if need be.
     
  14. WormDoes

    WormDoes Well-Known Member

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    Oh. Well, kuddos on the copy and paste skills, sir, haha
     
  15. VinniePaz

    VinniePaz Active Member

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    Maybe you guys can help me here. I have installed both ADW and LauncherPro to see which I like best. I'm wanting to keep both right now and switch back and forth which I like. Everything is fine except now when I press the "Home" button I get a pop up to choose between ADW or LP when I just want to go to the home screen.

    In LP I have the "Home key to default screen" button checked. And in ADW I have "Home button binding" option set to "Move to default desktop". So i really dont know what else to do. I also have Home Switcher installed if that matters. Thanks
     
  16. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    There is a "default" check box on that popup you may not have noticed. If you do not enter a check there, which ever launcher you choose at the moment will remain just that, a choice each time you "go home." ;)

    Entering a check mark in that check box will cause the prompt to not appear, taking away the choices.
     
  17. gonefishin96

    gonefishin96 Active Member

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    does lp allow you to rotate the home screen like you can with adw?
     
  18. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    Yes, there is that toggle in LP's preferences.
     
  19. VinniePaz

    VinniePaz Active Member

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    I get what you are saying, the only thing is if I set it to say LP then when I'm using ADW and hit the button it'll switch me back to LP :(. I know I could clear the cache and chose a different option, but I dont want to go through all that every time I switch launchers. I'm guessing thats my only option though right, no easy best of both worlds I guess.
     
  20. Kaessa

    Kaessa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Smacky.. lots of good information there. :)
     
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  21. goughy

    goughy Well-Known Member

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    I was using lp for a while and went back to trying tw again and now I wanna try lp again but I don't know how to get it started again. There's no application in my app draw. How do I launch lp as my default again?

    Edit: oops sorry. Did a search on lp and didn't notice this thread was in a device forum
     
  22. smacky

    smacky Banned This Topic's Starter

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    No problem, guys. Just passing on the knowledge.

    And the dude has VinniePaz as his username? Haha. I love JMT.
     
  23. VinniePaz

    VinniePaz Active Member

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    :D
     
  24. Hypo Luxa

    Hypo Luxa Well-Known Member

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    excellent info Smacky. Thanks for posting it here.
     
  25. CXXV

    CXXV Well-Known Member

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    I don't really see the difference between a launcher and selecting the apps page from the main screen via the soft button at the bottom.

    What is the real advantage. I don't see it :confused:
     

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