I compiled lists of my Top 10 Essential, Useful, and Fun Droid apps back in January, and since then, my Droid has been upgraded to Android 2.2 (Froyo), accompanied me to the Nebula Awards and Atlantis shuttle launch, and weathered Dragon*Con with me, and I’ve discovered new apps and retired old ones. I figured it’s high time I revisited my “Best Apps” lists.
Today I’ll review five additions to my “Most Essential” apps:
- LauncherPro - This is my most recent essential app find, and it has quickly gone from “essential” to ESSENTIAL.
It’s a super-slick, super-smooth, super-fast home screen replacement to end all home screen replacements. It’s completely customizable with up to seven home screens and up to three scrollable docks, with each dock icon able to do two actions–the standard “tap here to launch app/do something” as well as a “swipe here to launch app/do something.” (So the dock, all by itself, can perform 30 separate actions–five icons in three docks multiplied by two!) LauncherPro also has a snazzy preview feature, i.e., see+select all your home screens on one screen; lets you hide apps in the app drawer that you don’t use (or just to keep things tidy); specify what the home key does; change how icons are highlighted when you select them; and specify how many rows and columns you want on your home screens. You can also choose from a number of stock docks, download custom docks from the dedicated forum, or create your own custom dock. And that’s just the free version. It is the god-king of home screen apps.
LauncherPro epitomizes what I love about the Android platform: it improves on the stock, provides a dizzying array of options, is completely customizable, and has a thriving and enthusiastic user community. If I ever meet the developer, I will hug him.