Launcher Pro Plus

By | Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm
My Launcher Pro Plus Home Screen

My Launcher Pro Plus Home Screen

Here’s an app review for the Android.  It’s actually an interface aka “Launcher” for Android, so it’s not really an app I guess.  It’s LauncherPro Plus, by Federico Carnales.  The version I’m currently using for this review is 0.8.2.  LauncherPro is based on the standard Android Launcher interface, which is included with all Android phones, though most of them also include an alternate interface designed by the phone manufacturer or cellular carrier you have.  My phone is the HTC Desire from US Cellular, so it came with the HTC Sense launcher preinstalled and set as the default launcher.  The original Launcher app is always in there, but rarely is it set as the default when you get a new phone.

Anyway,  Launcher Pro is based on the original interface, and Launcher Pro Plus goes even further by adding a lot of nice features on top of that, basically creating a third level of enhancements.  Many of these enhancements are “HTC Sense-like” too, so if you like some elements of HTC Sense, but long for something better, this might just be the interface for you.  Basically, LauncherPro is like Launcher on steroids.  There are a ton of options behind the interface, including the ability to increase the number of home screens to 7, rearrange your screens easily, “pin” any screen as the default “home” screen, change scrolling speeds, customize your doc icons, etc. etc., most of which are available in the free LauncherPro version.  What “Plus” adds, however, are several features I really like, and am really addicted to now.

The vertical-scrolling app tray

The vertical-scrolling app tray

These include all of the fancy HTC-only widgets that were previously only available on phones with the HTC Sense interface.  Federico has basically copied the interface

and functionality of Sense’s widgets, enhanced them even more, and put them in “Plus”!  In addition to these, you also get many custom doc icons–several with the ability to display “counts” on them–which are round red balls with numbers in them.  These numbers alert you to the number of new G-mails you have, text messages, and/or missed calls you’ve received.  So at a glance you instantly know what’s waiting to be checked.

As do most other launchers, it also offers full support for themes–of which there are plenty to choose from in the Market–and the ability to backup all of your screens and settings at any time.  In addition, there are also some experimental and memory-intensive options which can further enhance (or degrade) your experience, depending on the model, memory and processor speed of your particular phone.  It’s great that these are all optional too, so you can choose exactly how you want your own phone to work.

Widget options

Widget options

Overall I’d have to say that I haven’t had any real issues with Launcher Pro Plus since installing it, and it hasn’t crashed for me at all.  Its speed is great, it’s very vast, and never lags unexpectedly.  It can slow down a bit when I’m doing a lot of multitasking ofmultiple apps, but that’s to be expected.  It certainly performs tons better than ADW Launcher, which I previously purchased and used before I found Launch Pro Plus.  ADW had some nice features as well, but it crashed frequently and was pretty sluggish most of the time, so I eventually gave up on it.  I really like Launcher Pro Plus, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to HTC Sense.