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SlideScreen Pro: Great, if pricey home screen replacement

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Kid A, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Kid A

    Kid A Guest
    Thread Starter

    Tired of the standard Android home screen? Do ADW, Helix and LauncherPro all come off as too ordinary? If so, Larva Labs' SlideScreen Pro may be the replacement you've been waiting for.

    What is immediately apparent as soon as launching SlideScreen is just how much of a departure it is from the standard experience we've all become used to. The premise is simple: information is laid out in a series of horizontal rows. These rows are divided into two sections, above and below a central bar which shows the date, time, weather, battery life, and signal strength. The upper section is comprised of recent calls, messages, your Gmail inbox and calendar events - personal stuff. The lower section includes Facebook status updates, tweets, any RSS feeds you may have subscribed to via Google reader and stock updates - public stuff. Tapping an entire row or the icon to the right will take you to a related app, webpage, or SlideScreen's handy built-in text reader. Better yet, you can choose to hide, say, the Twitter feed if you don't have an account. Simple, right?

    Well here's where it gets exciting. That center bar can be dragged up or down to show you more of your most recent information. If you drag it all the way to the top, SlideScreen will show you one feed exclusively. Tapping the icon to the right now changes which feed your looking at. It's all very intuitive and thought out, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that it took some time to get used to. Having all your information upfront without having to cycle through various home screens and widgets can be a bit overwhelming at first. But once you get the hang of it, SlideScreen can be a real time saver.

    Not only is it practical, it also looks really slick. Each row is color coded, and everything from the type of font used to the smoothness of how the information bars slide over each other is pretty nice to look at. Thus far I haven't encountered any bugs with the recently released version 1.19, and the whole experience runs fast even on my Motorola Droid.

    So what's the catch? First, accessing your apps becomes more of a pain. By pressing your phone's menu key, your transported to your new app launcher, which is comprised of a dock for eight apps as well as storage for all the rest. Instead of having most of your apps neatly organized where you can access them effortlessly, you'll need to do a bit of searching. Second, on the actual home screen itself there is no space for an Email client. It's Gmail or nothing, which is a huge oversight that the developer claims will be rectified in a future update. Finally, there's the obvious - the price, which at $6.99 is definitely steeper than all the other launchers out there.

    Is the price justified? I'd say so. You're not just getting a few more home screens or a 3D app launcher; you're getting a unique experience, with all your most relevant information in front of you, that looks gorgeous. That said, it is completely different, so if you aren't sure if you want to take the plunge quite yet, I advise following the developer's suggestions and downloading the free, ad-supported version first. Overall however, I've really come to love Larva Labs' work here, and the benefits far outweigh the minor faults.

    Developer's site link here


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