Ok, this is going to be a longer post than usual. There’s some important new settings on LauncherPro and I feel like I should give you some background on it.

LauncherPro creates bitmap caches of everything on your homescreens to make scrolling smoother. These caches take up memory. Android limits the amount of memory any app can use to 24mb (16mb on devices with 320×480 resolution). Whenever an app exceeds that limit, it crashes and force closes.

The stock Android launcher rarely runs out of memory because of its 5-screen limit. With LauncherPro you get up to 7 screens, an option to have 5 rows of icons (more icons/widgets per screen), a shortcut dock and more. All that increases the memory usage, making it easier to exceed the memory limit and crash.

Ever since the first few releases of LauncherPro, I’ve been making tweaks to the code to try and reduce the memory usage to reduce the amount of crashes. Some of these tweaks came at the cost of little performance hits. Basically compromised a bit of performance for stability. Now, a lot of people didn’t need these tweaks since their memory usage was not excessive and in the result they lost some performance for nothing.

So I’ve decided to approach this a different way. Instead of trying to make a one-size-fits-all memory management solution, I’m going to let YOU take charge of it according to your needs.

Starting with version 0.6.1, there is a new option in the preferences called “Memory usage”. Right now there are three modes; light, medium, and high.

  • Light mode is basically what 0.6.0 uses, and it’s made for users that have 5 or more screens, a lot of widgets/icons (or many full-screen widgets), 3D drawer, etc.
  • Medium is the default, it should work best for most users with a moderate-to-high amount of widgets/icons.
  • High mode doesn’t try to optimize memory usage. It’s very much like the early versions of LauncherPro, so it should give the best performance. If you don’t have a lot of widgets/icons on your screens, you should try this setting.

With that said, I should also give you some tips so that you can choose what to compromise or not:

  • Using a dock background uses more memory than not using one
  • 3D drawer uses considerably more memory than 2D drawer
  • Using the additional shortcuts on the scrolling dock uses more memory than leaving them blank

More memory usage levels will be added over time, as I find new ways to optimize memory usage.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get on to the other changes in 0.6.1:

  • The preferences screen was getting a bit crowded, so I’ve arranged it into different screens. There will be some more rearranging in the next releases to try and keep it as tidy as possible.
  • The new “Keep in Memory” option was giving lots of trouble and force closes, so I’ve disabled it in 0.6.1. If you’d like to use that feature, please re-enable it manually in the preferences.
  • New option to enable/disable dock scrolling
  • New option to enable/disable loop scrolling on the dock. This means that when you reach the end, you can still scroll to go to the first set of shortcuts.
  • The set of dock shortcuts on the far right has been moved to the far left, so now what was the leftmost dock is in the middle (and is still the default dock).

That’s it for now.