One of the things that sets Android apart from other mobile operating systems is the control you have over your home screen. You can place as many or as few shortcuts as you like on your home screen, and those shortcuts can be to apps, contacts, or other features of your phone. But if you don’t want to clutter your entire home screen area with shortcuts, you might want to check out Launch-X. It’s a home screen widget that lets you provide quick access to your most frequently used apps or contacts in a single 4 x 1 bar.

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When you install Launch-X, the first thing you have to do is run the application and create a new widget. You can populate it with as many apps or contacts as you like, and you can adjust the size of the icons. If you pay about $1.50 for the pro version, you an also choose whether to display 4,5, 6, or 7 shortcuts in a row, while the free version is limited to 4 or 5.

Once you’ve created a widget, you can ad it to the home screen just like any other widget. Just choose Launch-X from the widget menu and then select the widget you designed from the menu. You can create multiple widgets with different layouts for use on different home screens — or different areas of one screen if clutter is your thing.

Launch-X is available for download from the Android Market. You can scan the bar code to the right to grab the free version, or search for Launch-X to find the Pro version.

Launch-X is available for all versions of Android, but I found that I tended to get a force close error when trying to add contacts to a widget using Android 2.2 Froyo on a Google Nexus One phone. Update: The developer has released an updated version that fixed this bug.

You can find a few more screenshots after the break.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

5 replies on “Launch-X: Customizable home screen launcher for Android”

  1. You can download an app called aLogcat. Then make the Force-close happen, run aLogcat and you will see the log. Then you can simply press ‘menu’ and ‘share’ (or something like that hehe).

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Brad,

    this is YuviDroid (developer of Launch-X). Thanks for the review! Really appreciated!
    I see that you get FC's on Android 2.2. I tested the app on the emulator and it seems to work fine.
    Would you have time to send me the Log file of the force-close on Nexus One?

    I'd like to fix that of course ;)

    Thank you!
    Yuvi (yuvidroid [at] gmail)

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