Before Ice Cream Sandwich, folders, a new way of having contact widgets on my homescreen, and after using HTC’s people widget I have long looked for a contact widget that would give me one touch access to my favorite people. Of course this was for my non HTC phones. I’ve tried a few different types of widgets but they just weren’t great in my opinion. They were either slow, sluggish, or pictures were overly big and pixalated. Tirelessly I’ve gone through widgets and apps to emulate or surpass the experiences I have had with the people widget.
Just when I thought my search was exhausted and that it was in vain I was told about Launch-X Pro. I quickly obtained access to the app and threw it on my Transformer. I got the app after I bought my Galaxy Nexus and I have my contacts in a folder so I didn’t install it on my phone Don’t get me wrong though because as you can see from below, it has full ICS support. When I first installed this app I saw that it was more than just an a contact widget app.
While I don’t use a contacts widget on my tablet I installed this app on there for another reason entirely. You can add applications to these widgets creating a unique way of having your most use applications on your homescreen. Widgets come in three flavors with multiple sizes; paginated, scrollable, and another in a stackable format much like the Honeycomb YouTube widget (see below). Sizes range from 2×1 all the way up to 5×3. The 5×1 through 5×3 are optimized for tablets.
Set up is quick and when you first start up the application you are greeted with a quick tutorial on the basics. I quickly got rid of that and started playing with it on my own. The awesome thing about this app is the fact that everything is quite straight forward and you can follow the process pretty easily. As you can see from the image below the left side is where you set up the widgets and on the right hand side you see a nifty preview of your widget. In the preview pane you can rearrange the icons in the order you want them too. You can select sizing and the number of icons per row and once you’re done, you can save and quit and add the widget to your homescreen like you do with any widget.
There is both a free and paid version of the app and I would have to say that purchasing this app is a great idea. For $1.99 you get full functionality, unlimited widgets and the ability to add hundreds of shortcuts per widget. With the free version you don’t get so as much but if you don’t have a lot of apps that you use daily then you may not need the paid app. However, if you want it as a good contacts widget then I would recommend the paid app. Here is what gets limited in the free version:
– Number of icons in each row: Launch-X Pro allows you to have up to 7 icons in each row. The free version however only up to 5.
– Number of rows: Launch-X Pro allows you to have up to 4 rows in each screen. The free version is limited to 3.
– Number of screens: In Launch-X Pro you can have up to 7 screens. Launch-X Free has the limitation of 2 screens.
– Background opacity: In Launch-X Pro you can completely hide the widget background by setting the opacity to 0%. The free version has a minimum opacity of 60%.
– Number of items: Launch-X Pro doesn’t have any limitation on the number of items in each widget. Launch-X FREE is limited to 35 items per widget.
All in all if you are looking for a widget app for both your most used apps and your most used contacts then this is the app for you. I’ve seen little lag in using the widget, and I do enjoy the sleek transitions of the stacking widget. Both the paginated and scrollable widgets are polished as well.
I have long been looking for an app that works well for being a gateway to my main apps on a tablet and I think I’ve found it. I have found this to be easier to use and manipulate than that of Wizz Bar and setup was a heck of a lot easier too. The app is well worth the two dollars it costs and I will forever have it on my tablet. Scroll down to check out the video and if you are interested in the app follow the market link or QR code below. Enjoy!