Why does this launcher (and others) need to 'directly call phone numbers'? What are they up to?
The facility to re-skin the basic Android UI is both a blessing and a curse. It's a godsend because, unlike iOS or Windows Phone 7, you're not stuck with a monolithic one-size-fits-all interface design. But you only have to look at an Orange San Francisco to see what an unholy pig’s ear can result from letting the amateurs …
It's to enable the contact widgets to function. Without that access, they would be links to the address book instead of direct-dialing shortcuts.
Talking of which, a lot of the widgets are only available in the paid version, as well as resizing widgets. I went back to HTC Sense for that reason, despite loving the customisable app drawer. I suppose I should just buy it, but Sense is good enough for me.
Launcher Pro is just one of the many Launcher apps that are available in the android market.
If you ever read the xda forums you'll see that many people have strong opinions as to what it the best.
For me, it's Zeam - it has all of the functionality of Launcher Pro, and it also weighs in at 0.5Mb compared to the 2.34Mb of Launcher Pro. Also it's snappier, but that's a pretty subjective thing.
I have been using LP for ages now. Much better than the normal UI and as said, snappier. It was worth every penny!
I do have to disagree with this one though: "the text in the social network widgets is too small". Maybe because I'm using a WVGA (800x480) and I don't hold the phone at an arms length, but I never found them too small.
I used LP happily for several months, then ended up rebooting my phone for some reason and hey-presto, LP tells me it has 'expired' and closes. OK, big deal, but when it's your launcher, you suddenly can't launch stuff like... a phone call, or a text or email. Basically my phone was bricked until I could get it home and ended up reflashing it.
I find it wreckless of the dev in question to simply expire the app at some undetermined point in the future with no warning. AVOID!
I had the exact same thing happen on my backup handset, a Motorola Milestone, and as you say it stops you doing anything since your launcher is the way you do everything. At most it should tell you that it's expired, let you do things still and maybe a nag screen to update. This is one of a few reasons I went with ADW EX instead.
I had that problem too, it let you launch the web browser to download the updates - but at the time mine failed the site was down for what seemed like a week. The only way round (since it would launch a web browser) was to find a direct link to the updated package somewhere and enter the address into the browser - download and install and all working again. (Then switch to a different launcher once menus work again)
Updates to Launcher Pro have been a bit quiet as late as apparently the author is doing a complete ground up re-write.
For those on lower powered devices (mine is a T-Mobile Pulse running a custom 2.1 ROM) I'd also recommend Autokiller Memory Optimizer (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rs.autokiller) it's turned my device from unusable to 'nearly as fast as devices costing five times as much'.
What's the clock widget?
Have to say, I'm not a big bells-and-whistles fan, but I put this on my X10MiniPro a while back following a recommendation somewhere (probably another Reg article, or it's comments) and have been blown away. Much better than the stock launcher, which was limited to 4 icons & 1 widget on the home screen. I've still not explored all it's features, but its made the phone a much more pleasant device.
So far mostly happy with LauncherProPlus, on a large screen device like the DesireHD the ability to get more icons and widget space on the screen (I'm using a 6x6 grid) is a massive benefit over Sense.
Wish I could move the home-screens around like Sense can though - maybe that'll come soon.
Overall, well worth a couple of quid!
I like these 300 word app reviews, they actually give you some real detail about what they do and how well they work, better than than the usual 50 wd "round-ups" which do little more than tell you something actually exists.
Hope the author will get around to picking a best "notes" app in the near future, there are dozens to choose from.
I use it, the scrollable dock is worth it alone and being able to make it transparent is even better. I've been able to reduce six home screens down to three very clean ones, and equivalent Sense-style widgets are easily available from the marketplace. Being able to completely hide the uninstallable apps from the apps list is very handy too. The only thing I want now is the ability to put widgets in the dock, that would top it off nicely.
It was a problem for a small number of users which the dev fixed and apologised for. It's not like it was supposed to cause you all that hassle and please stop being dramatic and saying it bricked your phone. Bricking implied that it was unfixable when in fact it was easy to fix.
If you have a Motorola Droid phone, you know the lousy interface that is Motoblur, a blemish on an otherwise decent product.
I'm not sure users with the (better) HTC "Sense" interface need this, but it's a great asset to my Droid 2. It speeds up operations, and lets me hide the extra garbage that Verizon won't let me uninstall. My phone looks a lot cleaner, and I was glad to give the developer a few bucks for the Pro Plus version.
As for widgets, I find that CurveFish has great GPS-Wifi-Bluetooth-Brightness toggle widgets for free from the marketplace, and I've found a great date/time widget in "Digital Clock", also free.
The HTC Desire 'default' interface is light years ahead of this, especially with a custom ROM (in my case, leedroid)
The 'default' Launcher pro interface is so klunky by comparision, I had little to no desire to customise it, so after 5 minutes, removed it.
I've probably missed the point, in that this is an app for Android devices that *don't* have a decent interface.
If you've got an HTC, stick with Sense - it's just better - unless you'd rather spend more time buggering about with your phone's interface than actually using your phone.
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