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Has your launcher pro expired? Read this lifehacker article.


  1. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Well-Known Member

    http://lifehacker.com/5727669/how-to-stop-launcherpro-from-bricking-your-phone
    Someone posted a question about this a few days ago, and I replied that he must have been mistaken. Turns out that he was right - there's a hidden timer in launcherpro.

    So far this only affects user who did not pay for the license. But this is just ridiculous. Unless if the developer comes out soon to apologise, I am moving over to zeam launcher.

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  2. Jazziette

    Jazziette Well-Known Member

    That is who I purchased my LauncherPro Plus from just yesterday and it failed to download for me or do anything at all. This was just a few minutes after I had downloaded LauncherPro Free version from the same person. It seemed to corrupt my screen and not being familiar with it I dumped it and made an attempt to warn others over on the Huawei Ascend forum since that's the phone I have.

    I think I will try the ADW ex that others are recommending and see how it looks. Thanks for posting this here!
  3. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

    You know, I'm not defending Fede's boneheaded actions here, but I have to say, you can have a stable installation of LauncherPro that doesn't have any of these problems - I do. I never installed a beta version, I downloaded the free version and paid via PayPal to get a registration number, and I've never had any of these issues. It's a great launcher, if it's stable on your phone. I've got GO Launcher, and it's ok, but LP is still my favorite.
    Jazziette likes this.
  4. Jazziette

    Jazziette Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmm....that is interesting. LP is the only app I have downloaded since I got my phone over a month ago that I've had a problem with. I bought the pro version through Paypal so I hope I can get a refund. If not, I'll just chalk it up to experience. It could be that no matter what it just isn't stable on my little Ascend. I took a look at the ADV Ex and the demos you can see at the Market didn't excite me enough to purchase it. Do you mind if I ask you why you are using GO Launcher instead of LP, if that is your favorite? Is it not compatible with your Captivate?

    So far I like the way my Ascend looks without a different launcher but maybe I'm missing something.

    Thanks for your post!
  5. Loch

    Loch Well-Known Member

    Wow....not a great idea to be talking like that. Does not exactly breed confidence for new users...
  6. zachchapter1

    zachchapter1 New Member

    I was able to work my way into the LauncherPro forums and found LauncherPro's developer, Federico's, most recent post. He hasn't posted anything in the forums since December 24th. There was only 1 person out of the 16868 members online (That memeber was me) and there were 3 guests, so there is definitely something more than just the lock-ups going on here.

    Anyways, Federico's post was indeed about the lock-ups, though it was of no help and addressed no issues about the lock-ups. Here is his quote posted at 8:56 PM on January 6th. (His time zone is 6 hours ahead of US Central Time/5 hours ahead of US Eastern Time.)

    | Re: "This version of LauncherPro has expired"
    | by Fede
    Roze and Jazziette like this.
  7. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

  8. manderle

    manderle Well-Known Member

    +1. How many of you either installed an old free version (never bothered to update it) or it was part of the ROM that you installed? Just curious, how many ROM developers asked Fede's permission to bundle the app? Maybe he could have warned them?
  9. Jazziette

    Jazziette Well-Known Member

    As a relative noob still (I've only had my phone a little over a month) I feel compelled to say something in Federico's defense. I don't think anyone ever stops to think how hard these developers work on these programs. On another forum I read where Federico posted (a while back) how he had been working for weeks (without a dime coming in) on the LauncherPro Plus before he released it. As it turns out he created a great program and IMO it is deserving of being a 'paid for program'.

    So, how long after someone releases a 'free version' should a developer have to wait for it be allowed to expire? Should it always be free?

    With so many users loving LauncherPro, it appears he is a successful developer and perhaps lacks some communication or business skills which he will hopefully and probably improve on in the future.

    Just my two cents worth... :p
  10. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    It didn't have a TOS or EULA popup on first use warning of that?
  11. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    The first version of LP I installed had a warning as to its impending expiration.

    I made the purchase to the full version long before that, but I have to admit that I can't remember how long the beta version was supposed to be good for, 30 days? 90 days? I don't know. Many who kept the beta were surprised, it appears, and many of them didn't have it very long.
  12. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    Looks like the developer removed the expiration date and it will never be an issue again.

    Ironically for me, I paid for Launcher Pro, enjoyed it for a while, but right now I'm running stock Sense and Samsung TouchWiz on my phones...
  13. Snazzy

    Snazzy Well-Known Member

    I have used LP since I found it and purchased it as soon as the Pro version came out and it is the first application I reinstall after my almost daily wipes playing around with ROMs. I like this application and I think it is the best home replacement solution available.

    I'm certain the developer did not intend to brick any phones with this expiry scheme but sadly that is what the final result was. This is a very good example of poor planning with disastrous results.

    I would be curious how many phones are "bricked" as a result of this debacle.
  14. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

    This is a bit of a long post, but to show you that I'm not slandering Fede. My opinion is all based on what I've seen as a LP user from the beginning of the life of the app and what I've research when I heard about this.

    There are some Android users who use 'free' apps that 'donate' to the developer to get him/her motivated on his/her app. When an app is really good this is the case for these people. I've donated a couple of dollars to dev for applications that I thought were amazing. I bought the LP+ soon after it was release and so did quite a number of people if you read his blog when he just released LP+, there were hundreds of 'i just bought your LP+' from customers. Be sure Fede had a strong following from day one he released LP.

    Now, there are other ways to expire an app. I've gotten beta apps that expire, a good example is swype. It's coded so that when it's XX/XX/XX date, the app stops working. It does NOT force you onto its website so that you have to download the latest version or buy the app. Not everyone has data on their phone or might have had it turned off when this happened. The result is as you've seen. If he wanted to 'expire' LP, why didn't he do that? Instead, it seemed that he wanted to make sure you HAD to install the updated app. Maybe this was a lack of foresight from him, people do make mistake, but I doubt that. I'll explain it in the next paragraphs.

    Doing a bit of research, this issue appeared beginning of August base on the earliest forum post I was able to find. LauncherPro+ was released mid July. Fede updated LP when he released the LP+ and I believe that this was when he place the expiry code into the app. As stated, I bought LP+ soon after it was released so I never experience this problem. I knew LP expired but I didn't realize how restrictive and confining it placed the user in when it expired. Fede 'fixed' this issue in September by putting in a notification a couple of days before the app expired. This is nothing more than a bandage solution as he did not take out the codes that only allow you to use the browser only when LP expires.

    I might be a minority but I am very very careful when I install and update an app. Not sure if you know, but when you update an app, you are basically installing it again. If the dev puts something malicious in an update, you’re caught it in with the update. Anyways, I do a full research of the app when an update occurs. I check the new permission against the old one to see if anything changed, if it did, I’d email the developer asking what the new permission is for if he/she did not explain it on his/her site. I read what people on the market posted of the updated app. I read forums, I check out Android blogs to see if there are any issues reported. I don’t update until a couple of days AFTER a dev releases an update for an app. I’ve skipped LP updates before because some update had bugs in them. If I was still on LP at the time, I’d be screwed too and it would have been too late. I did not have data, ADB debugging was off as well as the ability to download unauthorized apps not from the market. Unless I had system used in the last 6 apps used, the only solution would be a factory reset.

    When Fede realized that there was an issue with the expiration of the app, did he blog an apology/warning of the issue? No, he did not. He DID leave a couple of posts in the forum about it but not everyone uses his forum. So in September/October he updated LP with the expiry date time but he did nothing about disabling how the app restrict the user to only using the browser if the app expire. I think he received a lot of complaints where he decided to disable the expiry in December 2010 from his post in his forum. Nothing was mentioned when he announced the this update. So it took him 5 months to do this. Yes he's busy, but when something is this 'critical', it sould be dealt with immediately.

    From all of this, how can I trust a developer that I find deals in unethical business conduct? All in all, I am just greatly dissapointed in Fede and have lost faith, respect and trust in him as a developer. LP has one of the most intensive permissions requirement for it to function, he basically has access to everything about you on your phone. It's a great deal of trust that myself and many of his customers placed on him when we accept to use his app. We have faith that he shall not do anything with the permission and access granted to him that would compromise us. Seeing how he dealt with this, I do not have confidence in LP anymore. To me, a developer is only as good as his words and actions, no matter how great his app may be.

    If anyone want to correct me if my analysis is incorrect or if I left out any details, please do so.

    Regards,
    -Roze-
  15. Jazziette

    Jazziette Well-Known Member

    Roze, thank you very much for that very well written and carefully thought out and researched opinion of this LP incident and how the developer, in your opinion, failed to handle it correctly.

    It answered any questions I may have posed as to if what he did was honest and ethical.

    Now I have to decide what to do with the LP+ that I have. I hope that Fede will do something to ensure users that this will not happen again in the future. It really is a cool app!

    Thanks again for all the time you took to write this up for us to read.

    Cheers! :)

    PS...I just now saw where you included my quotes and you responded to my post inquiring as to if there was any defense for what Federico did. Thank you again very much!
  16. Szadzik

    Szadzik Well-Known Member

    Paid for Plus version as soon as it became available. Really worth the money.
  17. lennyjew

    lennyjew Well-Known Member

    I remember seeing it in one of the first builds of LP I used as well. It must have been overlooked during an update and probably took out the notification while fully intending to remove the code for the timer.

    It happens.
  18. RichSz

    RichSz Not Entitled VIP Member

    If you ran into this issue then you haven't paid for the app but are using the free version and you AREN'T supporting the developer so you need do nothing new in protest.

    I agree his response is overly heavy handed even though warnings were issued. This does show how many people were (legally) using his labor for free. I find the threats of boycott humorous because these folks have effectively been boycotting LP since they installed it by not financially supporting the developer.

    It's like if I said I'm never buying a Lady Gaga CD again. I never have and never would anyway so my protest is moot.

    So I don't taint this thread further, anyone please direct your angst towards me via PM.
  19. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

    I did, too, thus avoiding the problem. I always pay developers for their programs, they make my life easier, so I pay the small amount they want. Or the big amount, if I really like the program - otherwise I don't sue them.
  20. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

    [​IMG] I couldn't agree more! Pay the developer for your program and keep it up to date, and you won't have problems like this.
  21. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Well-Known Member

    I paid for the program too after testing it for just one day. Looks like the issue is now resolved, but this kind of behaviour is unacceptable in the first place. It shouldn't have been included at all. An app that prevents you from using your phone? Sounds like the textbook definition of a virus.
    cmidi likes this.
  22. enigma83

    enigma83 Well-Known Member

    ...after reading all these posts.. this is not a developer i want to support. Even though I paid for LP+ i am uninstalling and heading towards camp ADW... I would rather not wait it out a see where his next mistake maybe
  23. cmidi

    cmidi Member

    Rich, I agree with you to an extent, however, I think you forgot about why free versions of apps exists. It's a way for the developer to test the market for interest and a way for the consumer to evaluate the app BEFORE they purchase it.

    When I have interest in an app, I download the free versions of the category leaders and compare them for their features, ease of use, appearance, reviews, etc..., but most importantly, how they perform on my phone (reliability). Then I buy the one that best meets my criteria. That's my processs and I sure I'm not alone.

    Those individuals who were negatively impacted now have a really bad taste in their mouth and now many of them won't use or purchase the app. I'm one of those people (especially since I read somewhere that this very same thing has happened before). I had recently downloaded ADW and LauncherPro to evaluate and was strongly leaning toward purchasing/making a donataion to LauncherPro. Not anymore. So, future revenue WILL be impacted.

    I just hope that the timing of this didn't negatively impact people with emergencies who needed a functioning phone.
  24. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

    Good points, cmidi, the problem is, that beta is months old - so if you've had months to try something out, why haven't they purchased the app and supported the developer by now? I don't blame anyone for acting on the bad taste in their mouths, that's the price Fede is going to have to pay for this screw up, but if they had only updated their software none of this would be happening.
  25. Jazziette

    Jazziette Well-Known Member

    Whenever I get something for 'free' I consider that I'm taking a risk of some kind. Like...there's a catch somewhere. Same with anything beta. And I feel that I share the responsibility if something goes wrong.

    But when I pay for something I expect it to do what it says. It's not like these apps cost a fortune or anything. Most are really inexpensive.

    In fact, they are so cheap I'm becoming an APP ADDICT! Where is APP ADDICTS ANONYMOUS! HELP! I'm spending all my money on APPS!!! LOL

    No, seriously. After reading all these posts, I do have mixed feelings about the developer but then seriously hasn't that been going on forever with data and technology? The developers get you hooked on something and then let you use it free until you get dependent on it and then suddenly they want you to pay a fortune for it.

    The problem here, as I see it, is that there was something in the program that screwed up your phone if you didn't remove it before it expired. That's the part that I think is bad. If he wanted to make you upgrade to pro he could have just made the program not work some other way.

    Instead of having a popup saying it was going to expire he could have updated it to showing a popup that gave the user an opportunity to buy the pro version and clearly stated that.

    Just another of my noob IMHO opinions!!!

    I tend to agree with Reinbeau. If you are going to continue to use the free version just go ahead and pay for the pro version. That seems like the ethical thing to do from a user point of view.

    Still....Federico should have handled it differently.

    :D

    I really do like the program, however, and I plan to keep it (the paid for version).

    But then....on the other hand I can understand if someone has hard feelings about it because they had a bad experience. This is the price Federico will have to pay. He will have to work at gaining back the confidence of those who trusted him and felt betrayed.

    Paid or not paid.
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