LauncherPro Getting a Make-Over from Scratch


He alluded to this before, but developer Federico Carnales – the man behind the Android launcher alternative LauncherPro (Plus) – has officially announced his plans to begin building LauncherPro from the ground up. Everyone may ask “why? It works perfectly fine as it is.” While a great app, LauncherPro’s shortcomings come into play where the app is built on top of the stock Android 2.0 launcher. It wasn’t designed to support what Federico has done and wants to do in the future so he often has to provide hacky solutions when he goes to implement new features.


While the outcome has been tremendous, code can get a bit tricky and optimization and flexibility becomes a problem (I’ve seen the endless amount of comments in the Android market regarding how instable LauncherPro can get over time.) Here’s the full list of what Federico hopes to achieve with his undertaking:

  • 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.

It makes a lot of sense now that I think about it, and I’m excited for the future of the app (not that I already wasn’t, but this should allow him to break even more ground than he already has.) Federico has stated that while LauncherPro (Plus) development won’t come to a halt as he goes into “code monkey mode” to get his own engine running, updates won’t be as frequent as they have been in recent weeks. That’s a small price to pay if you consider how bright the future is for this app.

He also states that Plus users won’t need to repurchase the app once it’s been remade: it’ll still be the LauncherPro you loved and paid for. Be on the lookout for yet another update to the current app within the next few days which adds a new feature for Plus users and brings some bug fixes.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. This morning I got my first ever force close from LauncherPro — I was wondering if it had jumped the shark.

  2. I’ve been using LP+ for some time now and IMHO – is it the best one out there, especially with recently added ability for custom grid. And now this?!

  3. Sounds great in theory, I just hope his reasons aren’t just excuses to avoid bug fixing. It’s easy to want to redesign and build from the ground up in any situation since it’s a fresh slate but it’s also a bad practice when it comes to releasing something stable in a timely manner. Look at Duke Nukem forever for a proof of concept.

    So hopefully the code really is as bad as he’s making it out to be.

  4. NICE.
    I hope for improved memory usage and back to normal speeds. My dated Droid is getting taxed.

  5. Been using for 2 months. Not one FC to date. Desire 2.1

  6. WTF Retardo-Drake – are you seriously comparing an Android App to Duke Nukem Forever?

    Excuse my while I spit water all over my keyboard.

  7. The “big rewrite” always sounds good, but rarely accomplishes its goals. I wish him luck. At least right now, we have some pretty good software to use.

  8. @ Jon Drake

    You gotta be kidding me!!!
    Wow there’s just no satisfying people. The nerve he has wanting to improve his product.

  9. THE BEST Launcher app ever! I can’t wait to see what he does with the rewrite.

  10. Like it or not I agree with Drake. Duke Nukem Forever might have been a bad comparison but his general point is valid imo.

  11. support for customed themes ?

  12. I love Launcher Pro and I have faith that the new one will be fine (if not just backup the old one and restore it). The redone xScope browser has not been great and still didn’t fix my biggest gripe (stepped font size on text reflow). Let’s hope the new Launcher Pro works out well.

  13. Federico deserves the $3 he’s asking for from every one of us for this great home replacement.

  14. Ok sounds like a great deal!! I wouldn’t use Adw if my life depended on it i rather blur it up lol.. On that Note Fransico like always i look forward to the New Launcher Pro. Rewrite it up :) Windows and mac just did it so did Android when it went from series 1.5 all the way to 2.2!! So continue Cranking out this code and furthering your Great Launcher and app add-ons..

    One more thing Jonathan Drake you make me laugh im a network admin and all day i rewrite code. If people didn’t rewrite and abandon out dated code and apps you would still be using aol 1.0 and win 95 lmao. also you would be holding that Sharp Android device in you hand.

  15. I have been using it for months now! LOVE the design, setup and use. Could deff have some real work done to it. Ive comes across many minor issues. But some are very frustrating (if you try to resize your widgets in the free version it wont let you and the highlighted widget wont un-highlight unless you restart the phone).

    I now have upwards of 5-6 FC’s and a lot of instability. But it could be due to my limited Moto Cliq and/or my custom rom

  16. Steven, before I upgraded to Plus (which I recommend you do for the measly $3), all I had to do was press my Back or Home button (I forget which) to get rid of the highlighting around the widget. Give it a shot.

  17. im going to upgrade on all my phones soon. just waiting to get my galaxy s first. then do all the phones at once. thanks for the info…ill try that next time.

  18. If I decide to buy LauncherPro Plus can I use those widgets on another home, such as ADW.Launcher? I am asking because my friend downloaded ADW.Launcher and could not find the Sense widgets when looking in ADW’s widget list. I know there is “Beautiful Widgets” but I like the look of LauncherPro’s widgets.

  19. Nope. The widgets only work with the LP+ launcher.

  20. i bet the main reason is to work on tablets, “THE NEXT BIG THING”

  21. Sounds good, it’s horrible when code starts getting out of hand and you spend most of your time refactoring. I bought LP but continue to use ADW as default because of the smaller icons that change to glass when you add them, and I find I can get things done a little quicker with it. But if this means that LP can incorporate the extra settings and features of ADW that people have requested, I’m switching!

  22. If you like LP you will love zeam.

  23. You’re the man Fred. Keep up the good work. We all know your launcher is the best! :)

  24. cool. i havent had a fc yet and been using about a month after the Evo came out. but nonetheless this is definitely a good thing, im always down for improvements :)

  25. @JiMMaR wrote on September 29, 2010 support for customed themes ? Its already built into LauncherPro I have a totally themed CM6 2.2 that you would never tell its an android……

  26. I love launcher pro keep up the good work

  27. Good stuff! I’ve been using LP+ for a while now, and it’s been a great launcher. One of the only apps I’ve had no issues deciding to pay for. I’m sure the rewrite will be well worth the time.

    And from a supporting factor, there’s nothing worse than having to ‘hack around’ issues with the fundamentals of an application just to be able to add features/bug fixes. Most companies won’t take the time to do a from-the-ground-up rewrite as it takes too much time. However, doing so lets you ‘redo’ the things that were not done correctly (usually due to lack of hind-sight), so I think the rewrite (if done correctly) is a good thing.

    Good luck Federico – we’re rooting for you!!! (no pun intended)

  28. I would love to see a transparent app drawer…other than that I love LauncherPro+, best app on Android…

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