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!
Warning: This update is mainly targeted at people having memory-related force-close issues, so if you’re not having any of those you’ll find this update pretty uninteresting (I did include something for you though!).
Ok, so the new Memory Usage option was very well received and seems to have solved a lot of issues for many, so I’ve decided to take it a step further. I’ve added an entire category in the preferences dedicated to memory management. Here you can tweak all the memory usage options for LauncherPro and make your own profile.
The old Memory Usage settings are now presets of these new settings. The “Light” option is now the “Moderate” preset, and there’s three new presets: Light, Low, and
Very Low. Try them out and find the configuration that works best for your setup.
There’s also newer memory usage options that weren’t available before, namely the type of caches to use for homescreens, and the option to disable caches altogether.
The normal cache type is the one LauncherPro has always used. The compressed type will save quite a bit of memory but might affect scrolling speed (on certain phones only, make sure to give it a try). The light type will save even more memory and might even run better than the compressed type on some phones. There’s no one-size-fits-all setup on Android, different phones have different hardware and different builds of the operating system. Please give these new options a try and see what works best for YOU.
Here’s a short log of what’s new in 0.6.4:
- Fixed some force-close issues when removing packages from the Market in Froyo
- Improved some code which should make screen rotations a little bit faster. Please note that android KILLS the homescreens when rotating, so all widgets, icons, etc. have to be redrawn. That’s just how Android works.
- New “Memory Usage Settings” screen on the preferences.
- New option to disable homescreen caches.
- New option for normal, compressed, and light homescreen caches.
- New option: outline highlights. These are like the glow highlights only they are a solid outline around the icon, so they are more visible than the glow highlights. You can choose between Classic, Glow, and Outline highlights under Appearance Settings on the preferences.
That’s it for now. Next version should include some fixes for Froyo (thanks Google for once again releasing the source code too late so us developers now have to scramble to fix whatever the new version breaks in our apps). After that, it’s back to adding more features and more eye candy
The new 0.6.3 version of LauncherPro Beta is now available in the Android Market. It focuses mainly on bugfixes, stability and performance, but also adds a couple of new features.
Here’s what’s new:
- Removed some useless memory usage in the dock. Should improve stability.
- Fixed a bug when scrolling to a dock that had all its shortcuts set to Blank.
- Fixed a force-close issue when installing/updating/uninstalling apps from the Market. I haven’t been able to reproduce this problem so I’m not 100% sure it’s fixed, but it should be.
- Fixed force-close when choosing custom dock icons on certain phones (mainly HTC Sense phones)
- Fixed force-close when scrolling the app drawer before it had finished opening (I think that was only a problem on Android 2.2).
- Added a “Motorola Droid hack” option under General Settings inside the preferences. If you have a Motorola Droid or Milestone, you should check this for improved scrolling performance. If you’re running a custom ROM, you might want to check the performance with this on and off, if there’s no visible difference in scrolling smoothness, disable it.
- Fixed the dockbar sometimes randomly switching to a non-default dock, even if dock scrolling is disabled.
- Fixed the dockbar switching to the default dock on orientation change.
- New option to select the number of docks. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 docks.
- The “Enable dock scrolling” option has been removed. If you want to disable dock scrolling, set the number of docks to 1.
- New option to use your phone’s trackball to switch homescreens. It’s under Homescreen Settings in the preferences.
That’s it for now, look out for more updates this week.
Some people have been reporting force-closes when doing different things in the latest version of LauncherPro.
The thing is, without knowing exactly what caused the problem that made the app crash, there’s very little I can do to fix it. Here’s where error logs come in.
If you’re having force-closes, instead of complaining, giving bad ratings in the market, and calling the app “broken”, please send me a log of the error so that I can potentially fix whatever is causing problems.
Remember this app is still in BETA stage so bugs are to be expected. I cannot fix force-close bugs if I don’t know what caused them in the first place.
Anyway, here’s how to get a log of the error:
- Download “aLogcat” from the Market (it’s free)
- Next time you get a force-close, immediately open aLogCat.
- Inside aLogcat, choose Menu > Level > Error.
- Now choose Menu > More > Save Log. The log will be saved to your SD card.
- Copy the log from your SD card and paste it in this thread on the forum.
Along with the log, it’s also helpful if you write down the following LauncherPro settings:
- Memory usage option
- Keep in memory enabled?
- 3D drawer enabled?
- Scrollable widgets enabled?
- Auto-rotation enabled?
- Number of screens
- 5 homescreen rows enabled?
- Are all the screens full with widgets/icons or do you have plenty of empty spaces?
- Dock scrolling enabled?
That should be enough information to pinpoint what’s causing the problem.
One more note to the users complaining the LauncherPro is (or is becoming) bloated: If what you want is a fast and lightweight launcher without many options, use the earlier versions of LauncherPro. What’s the point in updating to a newer version with more features and then complain that there’s too many features/options? Stick with whatever version works best for you.
I am adding (and will continue to) more features as users request them, while still trying to keep performance and stability at a good level. Some features will inevitably have an impact on performance when they are enabled, but they shouldn’t have any impact when they are disabled (unless there’s bugs, which should be fixed in future updates).
Sorry for the small rant, I’m just getting a bit tired of people moaning and groaning without actually trying to help me solve the problem.
Small bugfix release, I accidentally left some code in 0.6.1 that kept the 3D drawer from scrolling.
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.
The new LauncherPro Beta v0.6.0 is here and it brings the goodies! It includes a few bugfixes and some exciting new features.
Here’s what’s new:
- Fixed the bug where the app drawer’s home button would show for a second after coming back from an application.
- Fixed screen previews when choosing to have 2 homescreens
- Fixed some folder-related bugs when 5-row option is selected.
- New screen indicator (optional). If you’re not using the homescreen dots in your dock, you can choose do display a small indicator at the bottom of the screen to know on which homescreen you are. You can enable it in the preferences
- New: The app drawer button is now a regular dock shortcut. That means you can change its position, change its icon, or remove it entirely.
- New: The dock has grown! Swipe the dock to the left (down in landscape) to reveal 5 additional shortcut spaces. Now swipe it again for 5 more! That makes a total of 15 shortctus. You can add the app drawer button on the new dock spaces by long-pressing on one and choosing “App Drawer”.
- New: Option to keep LauncherPro in memory. When you’re running low on memory, the system usually kills LauncherPro, so next time you open it, it has to reload all widgets and icons which takes a few seconds. This option should keep the system from killing LauncherPro. If you experience any troubles with it, please disable it on the settings.
How about that? I hope you like these new features as much as I do.
Please head over to our forum to post any comments, suggestions and bug reports. It’s much easier for me to keep track of stuff there than in the comments here.
Just a small bugfix update, I left some pre-production code in 0.5.3 that shouldn’t be there and could cause higher memory usage and slower speeds.
Please update to v0.5.4 as soon as possible. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience.