Archive for July, 2010
There’s a new version of LauncherPro in the Android market. Here’s what version 0.7.1.0 brings:
For all users:
- New: Option to hide apps that you don’t use from the app drawer. Simply go to Preferences > General Settings > Hidden apps — and check the apps that you want to remove from the drawer. After restarting LauncherPro, the apps will be gone from the drawer (you can always get them back by unchecking them on the Hidden apps screen). Besides giving you a cleaner drawer, hiding apps will also save some memory and reduce startup time for LauncherPro, so if you have any apps that you never use, I encourage you to hide them.
For Plus users only:
- New Bookmarks widget!: The second widget in the series is the new Bookmarks widget. You have two styles to choose from; a thumbnail grid, or a list. Both styles come with wide and narrow sizes too. Here’s some screenshots:
Since HTC Sense phones don’t store their bookmark thumbnails in a way that’s accessible to LauncherPro, I’ve added an option to fetch the thumbnails for you. So if you have an HTC Sense phone, go into Preferences > LP Widget Settings > Bookmarks Widget and choose “Get missing thumbnails”.
Also note that this will get bookmarks from your Android shared bookmarks database. We cannot get bookmarks from browsers that store their data privately, so if you’re not using the stock browser or a browser that stores their bookmarks in the shared database, your bookmarks won’t show up in the widget. You’ll have to export them to the shared database (in case your browser gives you that option, such as with Xscope) or manually add them to the stock browser.
These three versions (released yesterday) are all bugfix updates. Here’s what changed:
- 0.7.0.2 – Changed verbose for the Unlock LauncherPro Plus option to change any references from “Paypal transaction ID” to “Unlock code”, and provide a link to where to get the unlock code.
- 0.7.0.3 – Fixes a nasty bug with the new highlights color options, where manually entering a color code with spaces or other invalid characters in it caused the app to crash at launch.
- 0.7.0.4 – Fixes another bug introduced by the highlights color options, where opening system folders (Starred, Bluetooth, etc.) caused the app to crash.
The latest version of LauncherPro (v0.7.0.2) is now available on the Android market.
Here’s what’s new:
- A new “Unlock LauncherPro Plus” option on the preferences page. This will let you get future updates to the Plus version through the market. In order to get your unlock code, please go here and enter your Paypal email address. You’ll receive your code via email.
- New option: Highlight color. Now you can choose the color of the icon highlights (when they are pressed/focused). A more precise color picker will come in the future. You can use any color by entering the hexadecimal code. (Preferences > Appearance Settings).
- New option: Stretch 4-row widgets. If you have the 5 icon rows option enabled, you can now choose to stretch 4-row high widgets to use the whole 5 rows instead of leaving an empty row at the bottom. This counts for LauncherPro widgets too.
That’s it for now. LauncherPro Plus users, the Bookmarks widget is coming soon along with some tweaks to the People widget. I wanted to have it finished already but between creating the new unlock key system and replying to the boatload of emails about the Plus version, I haven’t had enough time to finish it.
During the past couple of days, I’ve been literally bombarded with emails with general support questions about LauncherPro. Most of these emails are asking the same two or three questions.
As you can imagine, replying to emails takes time. Time that otherwise would be spent improving the product. I’ve literally only had a few hours to work on LauncherPro the past two days due to the sheer amount of emails. You can also see it in the blog comments here, the same two or three questions being asked over and over again, despite me having already answered them in the same comments section. Namely the three questions that kept popping up are about how to download/install the Plus version, how updates for the Plus version will be handled, and Facebook pictures in the People widget, all of which I have answered in the comments and in the forum.
So it’s time for some changes. From now on, the LauncherPro Forums are the one and ONLY way to get answers to general support questions. If you have a question or a billing problem that cannot be resolved in public, you can still email me (please read below for instructions on doing so). But any general support questions sent by email will not be answered. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the only way for me to be able to keep spending the necessary time on actually developing LauncherPro.
If you’d just like to send a comment that doesn’t require an answer, and you’d rather not post it on the forum, you can email it to me too (assuming you don’t expect an answer, of course). I still read all email that comes this way, just won’t be replying to those that should have been posted on the forum instead.
So if you have any general questions, please head over to our forum (there’s a link at the top of this page, next to “Home”) and post them. But first, some ground rules about posting in the forum:
- 1. SEARCH FIRST: A support forum is useless if it has 100 different topics, all asking the same question, or suggesting the same feature, or reporting the same bug. You can find a search box at the top right corner on the forums. Do a search for keywords relating to your question/suggestion/bug. Make sure nobody has posted about it already. If there’s already a topic about it, feel free to add your comments to that topic, but don’t start a new one. If there’s no topic relating to your issue, then start a new topic.
- 2. Read the forum announcements first: On top of every subforum, you’ll see a section with announcements. Please make sure you read them carefully before posting. There you’ll find an extensive list of features that have been already requested, and their current status in the “todo” list. There’s also a topic with frequently asked questions and answers.
- 3. Use the right forum: Inside the forums, we have different subforums for feature requests, bug reports, general questions/help, etc. The titles are self-explanatory. Please look at the different subforums and choose the one that best matches your issue. The LauncherPro Plus forums are meant to be used only for issues related to Plus-only features. That means that if you want to request a feature that’s not related to LauncherPro Widgets, you must post it in the LauncherPro suggestions forum, even if you’re a LauncherPro Plus user. Sames goes for General questions/help; if your question is not about Plus features, post it in the LauncherPro questions forum.
- 4. Be POLITE: At all times, please remain respectful of your fellow LauncherPro users. Even if you disagree with what they say or how they think. No swearing, no disrespecting, and no trolling, please.
Ok, so with those rules we should be able to have a peaceful community where users can help each other without me having to take time away from development to answer questions that have already been answered or could be easily answered by a more experienced user.
Now here’s a couple of rules for sending private emails:
- Include “[Private]” (without the commas) in the subject line. This will help me filter emails that are actually private and from people who can follow a couple of simple guidelines.
- If you have purchased LauncherPro Plus and are not satisfied with it, I’m more than happy to issue you a full refund within the first week of use. If you’d like to request a refund, please include your Paypal Transaction ID (it’s on your Paypal invoice) in your email. I need this ID to properly find your purchase and issue a refund.
I hope you’ll understand the reasons to have this new system/rules. It’s not because I’m too lazy to reply to emails. It’s because LauncherPro is still a one-man-show (until I can afford to hire more people) and having to answer to a lot of unnecessary emails is hurting the development of the project.
Thanks in advance for following the rules.
So last week I promised you big news coming to LauncherPro. It took a bit longer than I expected, but hopefully it was worth the wait!
One of the features I get requested the most is to support HTC Sense widgets. It seems everyone wants them. Because of the way these widgets are built into the HTC Sense launcher itself, this is simply not possible. And since not every Android user has a phone with HTC Sense, these widgets are not even available to all users.
Today I’m glad to announce a new milestone in LauncherPro’s history. Starting today, there’s a new version called LauncherPro Plus, which will contain several widgets, exclusive to LauncherPro Plus users.
Upcoming widgets include:
- People Widget – To quickly access all your contacts, or just your favorites, or a particular group. (Included in this release)
- Bookmarks Widget – Quick access to your browser’s bookmarks
- Friends Widget – Lists your friend’s status updates from Facebook and Twitter, and lets you update your own status too.
- Calendar/Agenda Widget – Shows you a calendar you can scroll through to switch months, and also lets you see your agenda for any particular day right within the widget.
- Messaging – Scroll through a list of your SMS messages or one by one. Quick links to delete messages, reply, etc.
I’ll be adding these widgets over the next couple of weeks. The “People” widget is available right now to LauncherPro Plus users. There’s going to be other features in the future that will be available only to Plus users too.
Here’s a few screenshots of the People widget:
Pretty cool, eh?
Now, as you can imagine, LauncherPro Plus is not free. I’ve been working full-time on LauncherPro for the past two months without making a single penny. Obviously I can’t keep devoting all my time to it without making any money, so hopefully enough of you will buy the Plus version to keep the project alive.
The early-bird price for LauncherPro Plus is only $2.99 USD, and you can buy it today through Paypal using this link. The price will most likely go up once all widgets are included, so you’ll want to get in early to enjoy the discount.
I haven’t made it available through the Android market because unfortunately I don’t live in one of the few countries that Google allows to sell paid apps from. And there’s stil a huge amount of people (including myself) who live in countries where paid apps aren’t even available to purchase. (Way to go, Google!)
Another good thing about this new Plus version is that, if sales go well enough, I’ll be able to actually hire programmers to help me develop LauncherPro even faster. So even if you don’t have a use for these widgets, you should consider buying the Plus version to support the future development of LauncherPro.
Hope you’ll be as excited as I am about this new era of LauncherPro.
A new version of LauncherPro Beta is –not quite yet– released. The Android market is undergoing maintenance and updating is disabled at the moment, so I’m just going to post the APK file here until the market goes back to normal.
Version 0.6.7.3 is a minor update that brings some bugfixes and improvements. Here’s what’s new:
- Some stability improvements. Hopefully will reduce force-closes when changing orientation on some phones.
- Version 0.6.7.2 fixed apps on the SD card not appearing in the app drawer, but apps on homescreens still showed the default Android icon. This should be fixed now.
- Reduced the size of the top part of the 3D app drawer a bit. I think it looks better this way and will give a little more room to the non-3D part which should help on non-widescreen phones.
That’s it for now. Sorry the big news hasn’t been posted yet, it took longer than I expected. Should be posted very, very soon.
Thanks for your patience.
So apparently 0.6.7 broke on a lot of Droids (it’s odd that it worked fine on my Milestone). It’s probably because I compiled it using the Froyo SDK. I also accidentally left some bad code that made Live Wallpaper performance very poor.
Both problems should be fixed in 0.6.7.2
Sorry for any inconvenience.
A relatively small update, version 0.6.7 brings two new things:
- Fixed (probably?) the problem in Froyo where apps moved to the SD card don’t show up in the drawer (and they show a default icon on the desktop) until LauncherPro is restarted. They should work fine now.
- New feature: custom dock backgrounds. You can now use any image on your gallery as a dock background. Open Preferences > Appearance Settings > Dock Background, and choose “Custom”, your gallery should open and you’ll be able to select your background.
The images should be in portrait format. The width should be 480 pixels for high pixel density devices, and 320 for medium pixel density devices. The height should not be higher than 84 pixels for high pixel density and 56 pixels for medium pixel density.
If you create a custom background and would like to share it with all LauncherPro users, please post it in our forum here.
That’s it for now. Some MAJOR and very exciting new things should be coming to LauncherPro next week. Stay tuned!
The new v0.6.6 version of LauncherPro Beta is now available on the Android Market and it brings some highly requested features!
Here’s what’s new:
- The dock notifications have been disabled by default. They were causing delays when returning to LauncherPro from another app.
- Improved code to reduce delays when returning to LauncherPro from other apps when dock notifications are on.
- Enabled notifications when using custom icons for Handcent SMS, CompSMS, Stock HTC phone, and HTC Call History shortcuts.
- New: option to have only one homescreen
- New: Gmail dock notifications. They should work with both custom icons and the LauncherPro Gmail icon. Option to choose from multiple Gmail accounts will come in a future update.
- New option to have only one homescreen (Preferences > Homescreen Settings)
- New option for Home key action. You can set your phone’s Home button to either do nothing, show screen previews, open the app drawer, open notifications, or show/hide the status bar. There’s still the option to have it take you to your default screen if you’re not in it instead of triggering the selected action. This also means that you can now disable screen previews when pressing the home key.
- New: options to backup and restore your LauncherPro setup. This includes your settings, homescreen icons, and dock setup. Due to limitations in the Android system, we cannot properly backup widgets, so these will show “Problem loading widget” when you restore them. You’ll need to manually re-add your widgets.
A new build of LauncherPro Beta is here! Version 0.6.5 brings one of the most requested features since its creation.
Here’s a hint:
That’s right, dock notifications! Now you can quickly and easily see how many missed calls / unread SMS messages you have by just glancing at the dock.
Now, before I get a swarm of people asking about it, I AM looking into the possibility of Gmail and maybe Email notifications too (although the latter might prove a bit too complicated to implement).
Please note that for these notifications to work, you must either use the corresponding LauncherPro-style icon, or have the shortcut set for the stock phone/messaging app. It should work with other apps as long as you use the LauncherPro icon, and it should work with custom icons as long as you use the stock apps. Support for 3rd party apps with custom icons *might* come in the future but it’s not certain yet.
EDIT: My apologies to users with MDPI devices. I just realized that the notification badges will look really big on MDPI screens. Will be fixed on next update.
EDIT 2: I just uploaded a new build 0.6.5.1 that fixes the issue with MDPI devices.
On a less interesting note, the new “Memory Usage Settings” have been moved into the Advanced Settings screen. This was done so that newcomers won’t be intimidated by all these options that most users don’t need to worry about.
I’m flying to Uruguay tomorrow and will be there for a few days visiting friends and family, so I won’t be doing much work until Monday/Tuesday. So if you post on the forums or send me an email, don’t expect a reply over the weekend.
Have a great weekend everyone!