Files—you've gotta love 'em. They make more room for apps and contacts and more space on the homescreen. Stock Android files are somewhat limited in the scope of their functionality. If you would concur with this statement, check out our review of CircleLauncher, an application that promises multi-functional files in widget form.
Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy S3
Android version: 4.0.4
The stock Android folder feature is okay, but there aren't that many options to configure the feature and adjust it to one's personal needs.
CircleLauncher is a breath of fresh air in this department: its fully customisable and comes with lots of features.
Select a widget and wait for the list of configuration options to pop up. First off, select which launcher you want: apps, contacts or bookmarks. Next, select the elements you wish to include and how the folder is to be displayed: in the form of a circle, a horizontal or a vertical line. You can also choose how large the circle is to be, as well as the overall design for a given folder or ADW / Go Launcher themes.
Next, select an icon and font for the widget, which, BTW, can also come from an ADW or CircleLauncher icon pack.
Select a folder in order to display the contents; the rest of the screen is dimmed when you do (the level of dimness can also be adjusted). Full screen is also available, as is a vibrate alert.
All settings configurations can be saved so that you needn't worry about them disappearing.
The size of the widget determines how many elements will fit into a folder, so keep this in mind when selecting your widget. Still, I find CircleLauncher to use space more efficiently than standard folders. Icons shrink as more elements are added, all the while remaining large enough to allow easy access to an app. There's also a great option for drawing circles , thus enlarging elements.
CircleLauncher leaves a lot of room for the imagination—and for any OCD tendencies of packing everything into folders! However, there's no mode that permanently displays a folder's contents.
My tip: Name folders according to actions, rather than categories. For instance, rather than create an 'eBook' folder, call it 'Read' instead. I found this to make things even more intuitive.
Screen & Controls
CircleLauncher is relatively intuitive to use, but the controls are no master piece.
Non-key features are harboured in the menu for further options.
The files come in a standard kind of design; there's room for improvement here.
Speed & Stability
CircleLauncher lruns very well: smooth and solid.
CircleLauncher costs one Euro, a very fair deal, IMO. There's also a free version that comes with less features.