I just received some pretty sad news. The API that LauncherPro uses to access your Gmail messages (used on the Gmail widget and the Gmail dock notifications) is being removed in the next version of the Gmail app for Android 2.2 and higher. Apparently the API does not meet modern security standards.
What this means for LauncherPro users is once you update to this new version, your LauncherPro Plus Gmail widget, and LauncherPro Gmail dock notifications will stop working, and even potentially crash the launcher if you try to use them (I don’t have access to this upcoming version yet, so I cannot fully test it).
I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, and hope that the Android team will come out with a revised API soon enough, so that we can re-gain our Gmail integration in LauncherPro.
As you may or may not know, LauncherPro is based on the stock Android 2.0 Launcher. All the base code comes from it, and all of LauncherPro’s features were added on top of it.
While that has worked really well, the problem is that the 2.0 stock Launcher wasn’t coded to have 7 homescreens, or a lot of the features that exist today in LauncherPro. That means that many features in LauncherPro are a bit hacky code-wise. The stock Launcher’s code isn’t very flexible either, so in order to implement some of the features I want to add to LauncherPro, some major changes need to be made to the code.
Instead of keeping on adding stuff on top of the stock Launcher, I’ve decided to do something more radical. A few days ago, I started rewriting LauncherPro from scratch. That is, starting with a totally blank canvas, and building it with LauncherPro’s feature set (and other features in my todo list) in mind.
What does this mean for you?
Well, the final outcome of this decision should be, in a nutshell:
- Improved speed
- Reduced memory usage, which means fewer force-closes and possibly allow us to have up to 9 homescreens
- Increased flexibility. I’m coding everything to make it as flexible as possible, which will allow LauncherPro to better adapt to new device form factors, such as tablets.
- Cleaner code that I’ll know inside and out. That means that adding new features can be implemented faster since I’ll know every single line of code in LauncherPro.
- Rewriting the app will give me the opportunity to fix the little bugs that haven’t been addressed yet, and to improve parts of the code that could use some improvement.
The current LauncherPro will continue to get updates while I work on the new code, albeit perhaps a bit less frequently. Rewriting the entire app from scratch is a huge undertaking, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.
Hope you are as excited as I am about this new chapter in LauncherPro’s history
Edit: A few people have asked about how will this affect LauncherPro Plus users. Rest assured, you won’t have to pay again to get the Plus features. The new rewritten LauncherPro will simply replace the current one.
As a side note, right now I’m working on an update for the current LauncherPro, which will bring a new feature for Plus users, some bugfixes, and more. It should be out in the next couple of days.