It’s here! LauncherPro Beta v0.3.0 has arrived and it brings the much anticipated dock shortcut customization. It’s still very much a work in progress, I’m taking a lot of the suggestions I’ve received for this feature and implementing them incrementally.

There’s also a couple of enhancements and bug fixes. Here’s what’s new:

  • Performance, stability, and memory usage improvements.
  • Fixed the bug where the Search option on the menu didn’t do anything.
  • Dock shortcuts now stay in their place when rotating the phone (leftmost shortcut stays at the bottom instead of moving to the top, etc.)
  • Custom dock shortcuts – Long-press any of the four shortcuts and you’ll be able to choose a new shortcut to replace it. You can add any type of shortcut; applications, contacts, direct dials, music playlists, and more!
  • Option to restore default settings in the Preferences screen (useful if you want to revert to the default dock shortcuts.)

Some users have pointed out some problems with Android Froyo 2.2, mainly that LauncherPro can’t be restarted from the Preferences screen, and that some apps installed to the SD card don’t show up on the app drawer.

The restart issue happens because Google removed an API call that lets apps restart/kill running processes (in the case of LauncherPro, itself). I need to look into finding another API call that will restart LauncherPro. In the meantime you can use Android’s new native task manager to kill LauncherPro and then start it again.

I haven’t had time to look into the SD apps issue yet, and as I don’t have a Nexus One I’m unable to test it on a device. It’s likely that I won’t be able to fix this until Google releases the source code for 2.2.

Here’s some new things coming soon to LauncherPro:

  • Ability to uninstall apps by dragging them and holding over the trash can.
  • Option to remove the “Home” icon from the app drawer
  • Option to use LauncherPro-style (translucent) icons for custom shortcut docks. I will need to create icons for the most-used applications — Please tell me which apps you’d like to see icons for in the comments.
  • Option to hide status bar for a cleaner look
  • Option to hide icon labels

And this is only the beginning, there’s SO much more stuff coming to LauncherPro that will hopefully make it the ultimate Android launcher. And don’t worry, most new features will be optional and performance will always be taken in consideration when adding new stuff. The idea is to make it more feature rich while maintaining the same level of performance.

I’m setting up a LauncherPro forum so that you can discuss any problems you might be having, post your suggestions, and anything else you might have to say. In the meantime, please post any bugs and feature suggestions in the comments below.