Okay, so I wasn’t planning on writing another homescreen replacement app review today, but LauncherPro recently got an update and thus new features. It isn’t without just cause that LauncherPro’s popularity is steadily increasing, and seeing as I’ve been meaning to review this app for a while I thought today would be the day to do so.
|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
Here's the Market description of LauncherPro’s features:
• Super-smooth scrolling
• Animated screen previews (like Exposé or HTC Sense)
• Up to 7 home screens
• App drawer (2D and 3D!) with a fly-in effect and smooth scrolling
• Scrollable shortcut dock
“Super-smooth scrolling”... for sure! The app’s perfomance is stellar.
The “Animated screen preview” is also a really useful feature which can be accessed by pulling your fingers together on the screen.
There are other homescreen replacements out there that provide more than seven screens, but the ones featured in this app are more than sufficient in size.
The app performs very well indeed on the Nexus One, even in 3D mode.
My favorite feature is the “Scrollable shortcut dock”. You can put up to 15 shortcuts into the lower half of the screen and access them via sliding from within every screen (5 are visible at once). You can insert applications, links or an extra button for the App Drawer.
Another useful feature that shouldn’t go without mention is the fact that you can de-install apps simply by pulling them onto the recycle bin, waiting for two seconds and then letting them go.
LauncherPro is not only compatible with Live-Wallpaper but also with scrollable widgets.
Probably the most important aspect of a homescreen replacement is its performance, without which even the coolest features are pretty useless. If the homescreen is lagging it’s a no-go. LauncherPro on the other hand performs very well and has cool features. Not bad!
Screen & Controls
As is usually the case with homescreen replacements, after having installed LauncherPro it can be launched by pressing the home button or else set is as your standard.
The shortcut dock in the lower half of the screen is already set up with links, but they can be changed by pressing on them for a long time. You can set up further shortcuts by scrolling through the dock to the left and pressing on the plus sign. You then have the option of choosing the following from a context menu:
• App Drawer
You can also select from all the options available to you on your phone by pressing homescreen/links for a long time.
You can view the screen-preview by clicking on the Home button twice or by pulling your fingers together on the display.
In order to change further settings, click on the Menu button followed by Preferences. You can then select the amount of screens you’d like as well as your default screen. You also have the following options:
• Auto-Rotation on/off
• Scrollable Widgets on/off
• Select Dock Backround
• Screen Indicator on/off
• Show/hide app icons
• Wallpaper Scrolling on/off
You can switch on the pimped out 3D App Drawer in Advanced Settings. I didn’t encounter any problems with this on the Nexus One, despite the warning message “Experimental. May cause instability“. You can also determine the amount of lines for "Portrait“ and "Landscape".
There’s also the option of displaying five rows of icons on the homescreen, although you are warned that “Requires widescreen, and looks bad in landscape”, which is, in fact, the case. If you want to take advantage of these features switch off “Enable Auto-Rotation” in Settings.
Lastly, you can determine the scrolling and opening speed for “Homescreen”, “App Drawer”, and “Screen Previews”.
LauncherPro will not be replacing by current ADW.Launcher—this is because I’ve gotten too used to this “Galaxy S” style app. However, if and when LauncherPro offer that feature I will have switch over, as the app really does perform well and the shortcut dock is a super useful feature.
Speed & Stability
LauncherPro runs very smoothly. Even the App Drawer, usually a weak point, performs really well, even in 3D.
The app can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.