LauncherPRO Beta v0.2.0, Excellent Home Replacement: Android App Review

May 27, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

App Name: Launcher Pro Beta v0.2.0 by Federico Carnales

Price: Free

Description: Based on the stock Android Launcher (Home App), LauncherPro adds some new and exciting features:

– Super-smooth scrolling

– Animated screen previews (like Expos© or HTC Sense)

– Up to 7 home screens

– App drawer with a fly-in effect and smooth scrolling

– Shortcut dock

How it works: To use this App simply Install from Market (Note: This app only supports Android 2.0 & up) and press the Home button, when prompted which Home to use select LauncherPro from the list. Quickly after you select LauncherPro you will notice the beautiful/useful dock. The dock includes Phone / Contacts / Drawer / Messaging / Browser buttons by default. This buttons cannot be changed (yet?). When you click on the App Drawer icon you will notice the Nexus One-like fly-in effect and all your apps displayed as in the N1 drawer. On your Homescreen, press your phone’s Menu button and you’ll notice an extra button in the bottom line named Preferences. This button will take you straight to the LauncherPro settings menu. Here you can set up how many screens you want to show (up to 7), which one of the screens you want it to be your default screen, Enable/Disable Auto-rotation, Home key to default screen option (which I’ll explain in a bit), About info and the option to Restart LauncherPro. All of the features (except Home Key to default screen) are pretty self explanatory. When you are at your default screen and you press the Home button you will get the HTC-Sense-like screen previews, this will also happen if you are not in your default screen. Enabling this button will take the user to his Default Screen when not in it (still, if you press it while at your Default Homescreen you’ll get your screen previews.)

Opinion: I’ve got to say that even though this app is still in Beta it has an impressive performance. Slide through your screens at super-fast speed, access a beautiful and very responsive app drawer. Even use two fingers (pinch-to-zoom out) to show the Screen Previews. Although it still lacks support for skins, icons and a customizable dock this app might be the best Android home replacement to date.

Ratings :

  • Speed (5/5) –  You won’t believe it until you try it. Ready to be amazed?
  • Features (4/5) –  I’m giving it 4 out five because even though it is lacking a lot of features that are standard in every Home Replacement, this is a Beta (and it is identified as it). I like how the developer was responsible enough to name it Beta, instead of calling it LauncherPro when it’s lacking features that are standard in any Home Replacement app. (Don’t you all like your crippled Official Android App? Check out the iPhone version and you’ll be oh so dissapointed!)
  • Theme (5/5) – Simple yet beautiful and useful!! (Yes, I like docks, don’t they make life easier?)
  • Overall (5/5) – Magnificent app. Can’t wait for more updates!

Pro: Fast. Responsive. N1-like launcher/drawer. Sense-like screen previews. Dock. Free (for now).

Cons: Lack of options to customize the dock. No themes. No icons pack.

Conclusion: If you want to try a simple yet beautiful Home Replacement, give this a try. It is very responsive, and best of all… it’s free!