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LauncherPro Beta: It's Smooth Sailing

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  1. JustinEvil

    JustinEvil Guest This Topic's Starter

    Launcher Pro Beta

    I'm the world of the android marketplace there are many home replacement apps. GDE, Home++, Helix Launcher, etc...they offer great ways to customize your android experience to your liking, be it through installing different skins and completely changing the UI, to more subtle features such as simple giving the option of having more home screens. However, common problems with these apps that i have found are that they can be subject to force closes way more often than the standard android launcher, as well as almost unbearable lag, depending on your device of course. When I was first made aware of Launcher Pro, I was admittedly skeptical at first, after all, I had uninstalled every single other launcher replacement because of the instability it caused with my Droid. I am happy to say I have been using launcher pro for several weeks now and I don't see that changing in the near future.

    What is Launcher Pro?

    Launcher pro is a replacement for your stock android launcher. It allows you to customize your android experience more than you would normally be able to with a stock device. It does this by adding an extra "Preferences" button that appears when you use the menu button on the home screen of your android device. There are many settings and features so far in this beta program that allow you to tweak various things to your liking. [​IMG]

    One of the first things I noticed about the android 2.1 update for the Droid was that it didn't include the 5 home screens option that was featured on the Nexus One. I am a big fan of widgets, so my home screens are usually completely filled when I have only three screens available to utilize. Launcher Pro adds the capability to have as many as 7 home screens available to fill with widgets or applications from your app drawer. You simply select the number of home screens you wish to have active from the preferences icon that Launcher Pro includes. With all these home screens, some might think it could be a minor annoyance switching between them to find a specific screen on the fly, so for this kind of situation, launcher pro has included a feature that is essentially the same feature found on new HTC Sense 2.1 android devices, which through a multitouch pinch on the home screen displays all open home screens as mini cards to choose from, all with a smooth transition to boot.

    Another useful feature that Launcher Pro includes is the app drawer found on the Nexus One, minus the 3d effect. Beside the new app drawer is a small dock of sorts that allows you to conveniently place up to 4 different programs that will be available to you regardless of which home screen you are currently on. I have my dialer, google voice, handcent and browser icons on my dock for easy access.[​IMG]


    Some of you may notice that many of the features I listed above are not entirely unique to Launcher Pro. In fact, most of them are available in one form or another across the various other home replacement apps you can find in the android marketplace. What I believe sets launcher pro apart from the other home replacement apps, is its speed. Thats right, Launcher Pro is FAST, and very smooth. Scrolling from one home screen to another is very smooth and does not stutter as can happen even even with the normal android launcher on some devices. I uploaded a video here to serve as an example of the kind of smooth scrolling and multitouch pinch features you can find with Launcher Pro Beta


    For my testing, I use a Motorola Droid that is rooted but has no custom ROMs or over clocking enabled. Applications open quickly and general ui performance seems to work very smoothly indeed.

    As a side note however, it is worth mentioning that the homescreen doesn?t perform perfectly all the time. I have noticed that things can get very laggy from time to time while in my car dock. I?m not sure why this happens but since it is still in beta I?m hoping that issue is cleared up by the time this app leaves beta.

    Wrap Up

    After testing Launcher Pro Beta I have made it my default launcher. Even without the perks of having more home screens and the new app drawer and dock, the speed and responsiveness make it more than worth the FREE download from the marketplace. There is simple no reason to not try it out for yourself. I give it a 10/10.

  2. gwlaw99

    gwlaw99 Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    You did not mention all the settings under Advanced Settings including:
    5 rows of icons instead of four. This is a major feature no other launcher adds.
    Toggle elastic scrolling
    Toggle 3D app drawer (your review says you can't do this)
    Customizing number of apps per row and column in app drawer.
    Customize open speed of app drawer.

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