TSF Shell Now Available For Android – Bold New Launcher Will Make You And Your Wallet Cry at $17


The wait is finally over. After counting down the minutes since last night’s blog post on from the developers site, TSF Shell is now officially available for (most ) Android devices. I have to say, I didn’t believe it would release on schedule, or at all for that matter, but here we are on launch day and — good gawd, the app is $17! Okay, I’ll suck it up and pay. For science.


After giving TSF a whirl on my Samsung Galaxy Note (video coming soon), I’m surprised to say, it performs exactly like it did in the preview trailer. The launcher clocks-in somewhere around 60fps when scrolling, moving or arranging icons (yup, my eyes are that good). I’ll even go as far as saying you probably wont find a smoother launcher anywhere else in the Market. The best part is, while there are plenty of launcher alternatives in the Market, TSF Shell works just fine for devices not yet upgraded to Android 4.0.

The high price tag, dare I say it, also gives you this strange feeling of superiority. Like buying a Gucci bad or Prada shoes. You know not every kid is going to have this launcher installed on their phone. You’ll want to show this off to your friends.

There seems to be a pretty big learning curve seeing how TSF doesn’t exactly behave like traditional Android. Still for those bold enough to download TSF Shell, it’s a welcome addition to the Market and testament to the versatility of Android. Oh, and damn good programming. Gosh, it’s beautiful. Anyone out there going to give TAT UI — er, I mean, TSF Shell a shot?

[Market Link | TSF]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. for $17 fuck no

    1.  I refunded my purchase…so wasn’t worth it. It’s nice and all, but it’s about 3-4 times over priced.

  2. I might consider if I could trial for a few days. I need time to play with a launcher before I shell out $17. I don’t mind eating a few bucks if I hate an app but $17 is just a little too pricey for me. 

    1. Agreed. A limited time trial would only benefit them. 

    2. I agree with what that other guy said.

      1. I see what you did there.

    3. I agree… unfortunately Google has that ridiculous 15 minute rule.  Why haven’t the ppl spoken out against them for that?  It should go back to 24hrs at LEAST.

      1. At least 1 or 2 hours. Because developers spoken out against it.

  3. Have you looked upon the widgets they provide?  They are pure cheese.  I would never pay $17 for extra cheese.

    1.  Sup dude, I think I saw you on the XDA forums

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……

  5. Lmao @Ernesto

    1. The rest of us use the reply button.

  6. ill try a crack version
    thank you very much 
    SPB SHELL is crap and its like 15 dollars smh 

  7. Not sure why they did not introduce this to the market as free or $2-3 initially.  Then they can jack prices once they have a user base that rants and raves.

    1. You can only lower the price not raise it, and once it is set to free it can never be raised.

      1. What about when apps go for 99 cents for a week only then they go back to $1.99??  This has happened quite a few times.

      2. Offering an initially reduced version of something to spark interest among a userbase is an extremely common business tactic, in the world of smartphones and elsewhere.

  8. You have a type, you put Gucci “bad” Just wanted to let you know :)

    $17 is a bold price point.

    1. typo*

      1. Oh the irony. 

      2. who cares

  9. $17 is too much, I dont mind paying $5-$10 for a well coded app but 17 is redicoulous.

  10. Anyone try this on an older phone yet? I have a Samsung Galaxy S, and wonder if it will handle this thing well enough.

  11. It looks interesting but at $17 i almost get the feeling the dev thinks we will back out and has to get his money now? Hmm. Ill wait

  12. Whilst it is impressive, it is greatly overpriced, there appears to be no manual and I only knew how to work some of the functions having watched the video on their website. The “Gather” function states “This function is not available in the current version” as are some other lesser functions such as the “Flag” and “fan out” from folder. I couldn’t get the cloud to animate and the “fire” effect is also missing from this first version.

    My initial test was on a Galaxy Note (N7000) which worked perfectly. I then wanted to try it on an ICS Asus Transformer but it was “not compatible” according to the market. I don’t know whether it was ICS or the Tablet format it didn’t think was compatible. I tried installing the apk on the Transformer and it appears to work fine except, of course, it only works on portrait mode – perhaps that’s why it is listed as not compatible.

    There are better launchers/shells on the market for considerably less money and far greater functionality – you just don’t get such whizzy graphics.

  13. Tried it on my Note and it just force closed. Refunded. It’s a shame as I really want it to work.

    1. Do you have the AT&T or the International version?

      1. i717. I did a factory restore and it works now. I’m not sure what setting or app was causing it to force close. I will find out after resetting everything.

      2. I have the AT&T version and it works great. =)

    2. Works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 (International) version.

      1. Good news, I was going to buy this after work.

  14. At $17.00 I need a trial, Sir.  And even then… no thanks.

  15. looks like a good way to destroy my battery

  16. ok people…apple has NO refund policy…this is where people need to understand OTHER technology before blaming google for this.  They allow you PLENTY of time…shit in 10 minutes I can literally learn the entire app.  For the developer to make a free version allows you all the time in the world to play with it, but you’ll likely never buy it then…and if you gave me 15 minutes I could back the app up…get a refund, AND have it reinstalled in 10…so for anyone who says google needs to change their policy needs to go buy and iphone and gtfo of here

    1. Bullshit pure and simple.

      1. 100% USDA Prime Bullshit

    2. Tosh! – I have several Android apps that check with the Android servers to see if they are licenced. When you first download the app you get several days to try the full app and it then stops working if you don’t pay for the licence. It’s just one app – they don’t need to write more than one!

    3. Just because someone else is “horrible” doesn’t make “bad” any better.

      …just sayin’.  ;-)

    4. I hear this all the time. Are you mentally retarded? I do wonder.

      A reasonable refund time would be 1 hour, 2 hours, something like that. What’s to stop that aside from an idiotic policy? 

      Also, backing up an app, refunding and reinstalling? Way to admint you’re basically getting around their refund policy.

      For games that require you to download a bunch of extra shit that takes more than 10-15minutes, you can literally learn the entire nothing – because it’s not true.

      For non-techie users trying a new app you think they can figure out everything in 10 minutes? Hint: no.

    5. I’m not going to go waste my time to play with the app for 15 minutes. I’m not buying it anyways. -_-

      So what? Use the app for 14 and then go get a refund? What’s the point? Yes, I’m glad of the refund policy, but you’re obviously missing the point here. ppL don’t want to spend $17 for a launcher. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner money right there.

      AND, with an app that cost that much, don’t you think there will be some high grade licence check? Shall I say, NFS Hot Pursuit?

      You’d have to get a cracked app for your little plan to most likely work. And if your plan does work, the developer deserves the loss. Harsh, I know, but with a price like that, protective features should have been implemented.

    6. Wow so u can learn a whole app in 10 minutes. Woopty doo. U want a cookie?  Ur basically saying Google doesn’t need to change thier policy because 15 mins is plenty of time to steal an app.  Nice.  How about you gtfoh for not makin no damn sense.  Ppl like you are probably the reason we only got 15 minutes! 

  17. From the demo video it looks like a nice all-in-one launcher with it’s own widgets… It’s basically like a whole ‘nother UI on ur phone… but no matter what comes with it $17 is steep for any app. 

  18. That is funny. 17 dollars for a launcher. I don’t think that is smart in the long run. Its not like people are unhappy with launcher pro, Go Launcher, ADW etc. I get they want to make good money but I don’t see why a laucher can’t be 2 to 5 dollars instead. 

    1. Even $10 seems somewhat reasonable if it truly is all it’s cracked up to be. $17 is just crazy. I’ll bootleg it long before I pay to see if it is even worth my time.

  19. I’ll get the bootleg ;)

  20. Wow… I can’t even install it on my Sensation 4G running ICS 4.0.3!!!

  21. Its got some cool animations snd seemd really snappy. But the square icons are a huge turnoff for me.

  22. Totally not worth the money. You can play around with icons a little bit and that’s it. LauncherPro+ or GO Launcher or whatever you’re using has much more functionality. SPB Shell isn’t worth the money and this is ten times worse than that. Maybe it’ll get more functionality in next 10-15 updates but for now just stick with LP+, GOLauncher, Zeam,…

  23. I’d rather take the $17 and take my kids to see the Lorax.  I am very happy with my Nova launcher on SGN running ICS.

    1. I can’t fault Go Launcher EX on my Xperia Ray, it has everything you could need and for free … Hopefully the ICS update coming means I don’t need any third party launcher but $17 for this is way too much to ever justify.

  24. Bad business having only the paid version for $17.
    Should’ve gone with a feature-limited free version to entice people to upgrade.

    (Now, if I see anyone running this launcher I’ll know they’re either a “dirty little pirate kiddie”, or have more $ than sense)

  25. The name “Shell” makes me think it is some sort of emulator for another OS.

  26. This is working smoothly on my HTC Vision/G2/DesireZ

    1. You’d hope so for $17 lol

  27. This seems exactly like SPB Shell. SPB Shell is super smooth at 60fbs and is $15. Looks similar. Seems like a copy and rip off of SPB Shell. I’m surprised that it wasn’t mentioned.

    1. I have used SPB Shell, it doesn’t even compare to this. TSF looks much better, while also drastically increasing functionality. SPB looks like complete crap compared to this.

      1. I disagree.  It may have more functionality, but THIS is the one that looks bad.  It looks childish and blob like.  I much prefer something well rounded and professional.  It may have functionality, but in my opinion, looks terrible.  

  28. I love the Pink Floyd album cover in the screenshot. I am “Lost for Words” at the $17 price tag. The developers must have “High Hopes” for this app. 

  29. Really? No support on sensation with ics? I was maybe going to buy this

  30. I would need some sort if guarantee that this app would never be abandoned by the dev. After launcher pro was left to die, I’m very cautious about what apps I’m willing to pay money for.

  31. I have to say after watching the youtube video, it is very innovative and extremely intuitive. 

  32. I’ll wait til the price goes down, but I’ll probably get it at some point.  

  33. This violates the main reason I bought a Nexus.  I wanted a pure, simple, elegant UI solution in stock Android.  This thing is ugly and overly complicated with dozens features I’ll never use.

  34. Bought it..installed it..FC soon as I opened it..refund. well that was an exciting app..
    Sensation 4G rooted with 4.0.3 ICS sense rom

    1. So you stuffed a custom launcher on yet another kitchen POS ROM for the Sensation? And it FCed? NO! WAY!

      My big beef with my Sensation: nothing but kitchen roms from “developers” who can’t code but swagger about with huge balls and attitude like they’re part of the Cyanogen crew.  And yes, I know there are CM9 kang builds (which are half borked).
      I know. Off topic.

  35. This is a great launcher.. if you liked the video, then you will be happy even with some of the missing advertised features. $17 great? Naa, probably not – I don’t think many apps should break the $10 barrier. However, it has a great graphics engine behind it, very fluid. It has a lot of potential, and if you ever get frustrated at how ungodly annoying it is to organize stuff on your home screen dragging things around one at a time, it is a life saver. The eye candy is nice, but a lot of the animations really make it feel like it improves usability. It took me about 5-10min to get used to navigation and some of the features, but it was worth it to me.

    Now the downside.. there is a lot of things I would normally expect from a launcher – trackball/direct key movement isn’t there, focus/pressed animations don’t exist (yet), pressing the home button to go to your primary screen.. there is also a few quirky touch things that need to be fine tuned, and no settings to adjust it to your liking. I also had to download the widgets separately, because the drop-uninstalled-widget-redirect-to-market didn’t work. Once these things are ironed out and some additional widgets and themes are available, I’d recommend it for sure. People are cheap – I know $17 is very high, but its not much more than a bargain video game.. and if I would pay that high for any app, it would be the one I use the most.. my launcher.

    1. Great post! Thanks for the first impressions. When I first had seen TAT Home, I was drooling (who doesn’t like eye-candy?). Of course, it didn’t happen, I think RIM bought TAT, so it never happened for Android. When I read the blog about this here on Phandroid last week, I was thinking of how cool it looked, but wondered how well it functions and how intuitive it was. I definitely love the look, but was wondering how it was on the battery and how well it functioned on older phones (my daily driver is a Thunderbolt, but it has handled pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it, it’s heavily modified (rooted, custom ROMs, kernels, etc., etc.). What kind of phone did you test it out on, if you don’t mind me asking? Kellex, over at Droid-Life did a review, but he was running it on a GNex (some people said that it wasn’t compatible, but apparently not, or maybe with certain ROMs? Not sure, I don’t have a GNex at the moment)

      1. I’m using a Nexus One… hard to say on the battery life – it isn’t that great for me to begin with, but I haven’t noticed much in the first day ;) I’m also not running any battery monitoring and not on ICS yet.. so hard to say. I’m still happy with it, as long as the developer fixes up some of the issues and brings the enhancements.

        One thing I found a bit annoying… you can only drag/scroll to other screens using the “switcher” in the bottom left corner. Touching and dragging on one of your screens does not scroll to the other screen, but gives you a “path” that allows you to select multiple items on that screen to arrange, delete or put in a folder or whatever. Once you get used to the “switcher”, it’s great, but it was annoying at first.

        Also, after manually installing the widgets from the market, I had to wipe the app data (or you could probably uninstall/reinstall) to fix a glitch with the widgets all showing up properly.. since then, works great.

  36. Bought it, played with it for about 10 minutes then got a refund. Too complex for my tastes, and the complexity doesn’t increase functionality. I like my ADWLauncher Pro just fine, thank you! Use it on my Droid Razr Maxx and Asus Transformer tablet. 

  37. With the tough competition in the market with several other home replacement apps, it’ll be hard to justify $17. $10, I would give it some thought. $7, i’m sold. But they aren’t even trying to compete with the rest of the crowd. Not going to make anywhere as much money add they could if it were a little cheaper.

  38. As any developer will attest to, implementing a well designed app such as this takes a hell of a lot of thought and time. I can’t say that $17 is justifiable but i can somewhat understand with how they got there.

    1. It was a well designed concept. As with execution like most other things they failed. The app does not work on a ton of devices and those it does work on, many are reporting the app just force closes. 17 dollars for an app that just forces closes… pass. 

  39. LOL, good luck with $17. I’m super happy with nova launcher, and guess how much that cost me? OH, that’s right, it was free.

  40. I buy apps all the time. You know why? Cause I think “ah, what’s $1-3”. 

    $17 I automatically pass over. IMO big mistake by the dev. And if I was at all interested and it was $17 I’d buy, titanium backup, and then refund it. At $17 I’d need to try it for a few days before buying. My guess is by then I’d probably uninstall it and wouldn’t bother wit it for one fact.. $17. If it was $1-3 I wouldn’t care.

  41. This look like it has very similar concepts as Bumptop. Chinese style artistic style.Not for everyone but I’m all for encouraging creativity even if there’s a price.  

  42. It’s pretty, but just too darn complicated. $17 for something I may only use 10% of is just too much. 

  43. Update from previous post: thought I submitted refund in time but didn’t. So I’ve played with it a bit. The app has promise but is in its infant stage. All the “wow factor” is in setting things up. Once you’re done with that, it’s a very basic flip screen launcher and I prefer the screen swipe to the press-slide to get to the screen you want. If you happen to press an app icon a bit too long, it will move it’s position on the screen . . . quite annoying for those of us who are organized/precision freaks! I’m happy to have paid the $17 for these developers though, and look forward to where this new launcher will go. BTW, it’s not a new OS as I’ve seen stated. It’s just another launcher UI.

    IMHO, SPB Shell is far more sophisticated than this one and I love some of their panels. I was using ADWLauncher EX but after experimenting with TSF Shell I’ve reinstalled SPB Shell (paid for a while back) on my Razr Maxx and absolutely love it. It’s not crap as at least one poster has opined. On the Razr Maxx’s dual core processor it rocks!

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