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Comments on: Review: Launcher X

The highly anticipated, Launcher X, has been released today. Launcher X is a highly configurable application launcher that replaces the built-in launcher on your Palm Powered Handheld. It features a new configurable skin technology called Active Skins, which allow the UI to be infinitely configurable and openes the road to vastly improved aesthetics. PIC Forum Moderator, Saw9000, brings us this in depth review.
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Looks good from a Launcher III perspective

bookrats @ 11/19/2002 11:50:49 AM #
Thank you -- a very useful review, particularly for a Launcher III user. I just got my upgrade notice this morning ($5.95), and I'm very interested in trying it out.

----

[i]"I'm warning you ... if you kill me, they'll just send 008!"[/i]

Jeff Meyer

RE: Looks good from a Launcher III perspective
mike500 @ 11/19/2002 12:47:19 PM #
This is great!
I especially like the option of no text under the icons. (This is done by making the canvas and text the same color) Who needs the names? We all know what our applications are! And this way you can get four rows of icons showing.
One thing that bothered me was that the tabs with "icons only" are too small. I prefer no names, just icons so I named the tab with five blanks spaces and chose the "both" option to have both the icon and name appear. Now I have a nice size tab with only an icon. If you only have five or so tabs you may as well use the extra apace with bigger tabs. In fact you can arrange them in a way that all your tabs will utilize all the available space by reducing or increasing the amount of blank spaces you put in the name field!

Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70

all74 @ 11/19/2002 11:53:39 AM #
I had this program on my NR70 for about 1 minute. After that it was obvious that YiShow was far superior, at least for the NR70. I can imagine that for the Palm series this would be pretty good, but not for the NR/NX CLIEs
RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
markgm @ 11/19/2002 12:07:40 PM #
I used it on my NR as a beta, and now in it's full version on my NX, and I would not consider using anything else. It could have more bells and whistles, but it is the most polished and stable launcher I have used to date.

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
digilaw @ 11/19/2002 1:42:37 PM #
I agree with the first poster. I do not want to start any launcher wars but to just express personal dissapointment. Somehow, after all the wait it is very disapointing to discover Yishow is a superior launcher (again personal opinion). In no way am I saying that Launcher X did not do what it said it would. Besides the marginaly useful "homer" button (there are a bunch of other apps that do this function) everything Benc advertised was there. However, Yishow has everything launcher x has plus a far superior file manager.

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
ardee @ 11/19/2002 1:43:16 PM #
Why do you (original poster) think YiShow is better? Supporting argument(s) please!


RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
Take1 @ 11/19/2002 2:49:00 PM #
In certain ways, LauncherX is better (tabs, vfs app mover, color schemes, etc.). Small icons on the TT look better with Launcher X than on YiShow for Palm. YiShow uses the OS's small icons instead of scaling the large ones to a smaller size for better look/resolution.

YiShow has the advantage with it's built in file browser, photo app. (slideshow feature), and document reader. I prefer YiShow on the Clie models and LauncherX for the TT. It also has the ability to use wallpapers.

Note: Since a large amount of OS5 apps (built-in and 3rd Party) don't use transparent backgrounds, the wallpaper and color backgrounds of both launchers are worthless (IMHO). Unless you like looking at a nice wallpaper or a colored tab window with icons surrouned by a white square! A hack like AppIcon is needed to take full advantage of skins/colors.

I think the lines will blur a little more with time as both launchers are work in progress.



RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
Ronin @ 11/19/2002 4:48:23 PM #
LX and LIII have one feature that I find to be very handy that is not mentioned very often - the ability to create shortcuts to applications stored on the card.

The shortcut is handy, particularly, when you want to transfer a program to the card that has a hotsync conduit. Usually, such an app must stay in internal RAM to sync but with the small shortcut file in RAM and the actual program on the card the conduit is fooled into thinking that the program is in RAM and the program syncs as usual. The only other program that I am aware of that creates similar shortcuts is PowerRun, however, the shortcut is not recognized by the conduit to allow sync (at least the last time I tried PowerRun).

Yet another tool to use in moving files to external storage.

In the Spirit of Umoja,
Ronin

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
anjrober1 @ 11/19/2002 4:58:05 PM #
See I had the completely opposite feeling. I liked some of the earlier versions of YShow, but hated the last 2 releases. I had been using MegaLauncher but love the new LauncherX. YShow was so flakey. Lots of resets. Even caused me to lose data. That is the only time in 5+ years of heavy palm use that I lost data.

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
Gepeto- @ 11/19/2002 5:02:11 PM #
Same for me, used to use MegaLauncher, and LauncherX is very fine with me. Couldn't stand Yishow.

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
OcellNuri @ 11/20/2002 6:30:02 PM #
Ronin:

I know for sure that LX and YiShow both let you make shortcuts. I am pretty sure that ZLauncher also works this way. I can't remember about MegaLauncher and Silver Screen though.

It is a great feature indeed. But I just want to make sure that every knows that LIII is not the only launcher that can do this.

It's "Ocell" for short.

RE: Maybe for Palms, but not for the NR70
emceephd @ 11/21/2002 9:42:42 AM #
How do you make shortcuts for files on an SD Card in LX?

Slower than I had hoped

Tim Hill @ 11/19/2002 11:54:09 AM #
This isn't the speed demon I had hoped for and it seems to have added little to the functionality of the long-in-the-tooth Launcher III, other than new pictures. Having to manually refresh the screen to have decent speed is not really a long-term solution. It seems like the other launchers out there have already done most (if not more) than is here--see ZLaucher, et al.

RE: Slower than I had hoped
PDA Stephen @ 11/21/2002 11:23:43 AM #
I tried SliverScreen, ZLauncher, and LauncherX. I like ZLauncher myself. The thing I find most handy is if you tap and hold on an icon, a list of actions popup allowing me to do copy, move, delete, info ... I find that is easier that dragging the icon to the gadget bar at the bottom (which ZLauncher can do, too). I also like the recycle bin in ZLauncher, you can recover a deleted application is you later change your mind. ZLauncher can do short cut to SD card, also. You can rearrange tabs by simply dragging them on screen (easiler than Launcher X).

--
Stephen ԿԬ

Skins

Ronin @ 11/19/2002 11:59:38 AM #
Hey, were did you get the skins in the article from?

In the Spirit of Umoja,
Ronin
RE: Skins
Take1 @ 11/21/2002 2:42:11 AM #
Go to ClieSource and look under downloads/skins/LauncherX

And MORE...

mtc111 @ 11/19/2002 11:59:48 AM #
I liked the review. I really like the product. I'm very pleased with the upgrade policy. There's more to the product than what's reviewed. The "file info" capability is very nice. My one complaint is the removal of the "home tab" option in preferences that makes the 1st tab the one that is always displayed when the launcher is launched. However, I'll get over it.
RE: And MORE...
DaveyDave @ 11/19/2002 12:28:35 PM #
Not so fast... Go to "Edit Category List" in the menu. There is an "Always Start in:" option to select the category to, well, always start in. This is much nicer than L3 because you can choose. L3 just let you always start at the 1st tab.

Dave

RE: And MORE...
Mead Lawson @ 11/19/2002 12:37:30 PM #
mtc111,

You can still have the Always Start Here feature you're used to using. Go to "Edit Category List" then choose from the tab list for "Always Start In".

I'm still using LIII v2.2 on my Treo 180g. I'll surely register LauncherX when I get a color Palm (Tungsten-T v2.0 with OSv6 - maybe mid '03?).

Best,

Mead

RE: And MORE...
mtc111 @ 11/19/2002 12:54:25 PM #
Hey! Thanks for the info. I jumped into the app w/o reading through the documentation... and, I paid the price.

Now I'm simply ecstatic.

Homer?

johnwin @ 11/19/2002 12:20:02 PM #
What happened to the 'Homer' button?

RE: Homer?
bookrats @ 11/19/2002 1:03:36 PM #
From the Launcher X FAQ page at http://www.launcherx.com/support/:

----
I've heard information about a 'Homer' function. What is it?

"Homer" is a feature that will be implemented in a future Launcher X release. When complete, it will allow quick launching into your most frequently used apps from within any application.
---

Speaking for myself, this isn't a big deal -- I have McPhling, which is excellent, and sounds as if it's pretty much matches Homer's functionality (though there's very little detail about what the latter actually is.)

If I were B. Benc, I'd look into licensing McPhling to ship with Launcher X under the name of Homer. It's a rock-solid hack. (But, come to think of it, I imagine it won't work under Palm OS 5.0).


----

[i]"I'm warning you ... if you kill me, they'll just send 008!"[/i]

Jeff Meyer

RE: Homer?
orev @ 11/19/2002 1:04:44 PM #
My guess is that they wanted to get something released finally, so they scrubbed some of the more complex features. We'll probably see it in a later release.

RE: Homer?
Beavis @ 11/19/2002 1:09:41 PM #
DOH!

RE: Homer?
costein @ 11/19/2002 1:13:14 PM #
A Little OT, but McPhling is now available for OS5. Check PalmGear.

RE: Homer?
ardee @ 11/19/2002 1:45:05 PM #
I concur, McPhling is rock-solid and a MUST-have!


RE: Homer?
I.M Anonymous @ 11/19/2002 4:56:25 PM #
I personally prefer Phlegm Hack over McPhiling -- I find its penstrokes more convenient.

RE: Homer?
mike500 @ 11/19/2002 5:46:54 PM #
Thanks for letting me know about McPhling, Until ten minutes ago I was still using SwitchHack which does not support switching back to VFS apps.

RE: Homer?
ardee @ 11/19/2002 6:40:19 PM #
"McPhling is based heavily on Mitch Blevin's Phlegm Hack. McPhling simply adds a few features and fixes some bugs and goes on from there."


RE: Homer?
yoyoman412 @ 11/19/2002 9:24:35 PM #
For some reason when I have Mcphling enabled, Blazer wont start correctly, but when I un enable it, Blazer starts fine. So Im looking forward to the Homer function becuase I imagine my Mcphling prblem wont happen with Homer.

RE: Homer?
johnwin @ 11/20/2002 5:48:06 AM #
I to use McPhling but it just anoys me that after all this time waiting one of the featured functions of the app has quietly evaporated. Just my 0.02

RE: Homer?
VisorMiser @ 11/20/2002 3:12:35 PM #
McPhling rocks, highly customizable and it's 10 bucks (instead of 12) till the end of November. I applaud the developer for having the confidence & guts to put out his app on the honor system, fully functional w/o expiration date.

TT D-pad

sandbuck @ 11/19/2002 12:24:53 PM #
Does it support the TT D-pad?

RE: TT D-pad
Operator99 @ 11/19/2002 12:27:25 PM #
Yup. And it really is quite a nice upgrade. Esp. the file manager - it might not replace McFile or Filez, both of which I have used (now using McFile), but it does 90% of what I use Mcfile for. The tiny icons are great for squeezing more on the screen and...if the development continues as it did from launcherIII ver. 1.x to LauncherIII ver 3.x, we should be in for some really nice enhancements. The d-pad support alone is enough to get me away from Silver or the Tungsten/Palm built in launcher.

RE: TT D-pad
HAFranks @ 11/19/2002 12:31:22 PM #
I've installed it this morning. The TT D-pad is supported. Both the selector button and the 4-way scroll.

My only problem is that I paid for the upgrade this morning and they still have not sent the upgrade key.

RE: TT D-pad
mtc111 @ 11/19/2002 12:56:49 PM #
You are not alone

RE: TT D-pad
mtc111 @ 11/19/2002 1:10:57 PM #
Oops again. Just got my reg code. Maybe you are alone.

RE: TT D-pad
HAFranks @ 11/19/2002 2:15:16 PM #
I just got my code.

categories (copy/move)

eddarkuk @ 11/19/2002 12:47:24 PM #
can you have a file in only one category or does it allow a category with all files in it?

RE: categories (copy/move)
saw9000 @ 11/19/2002 4:59:54 PM #
I don't quite see what you're asking.
Scott

HandEra Moderator
Off-Topic Moderator
I'm trying to be PC, I really am, but I'm just too into handhelds.
RE: categories (copy/move)
SaabCaptain @ 11/19/2002 6:24:53 PM #
I assume he means can you have a program or file in two of the tabs at the same time, ie. putting Date Book in "Apps" and "My Favorites" at the same time. As far as I know the answer is no.

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, TUNGSTEN T!!
RE: categories (copy/move)
N473 @ 11/19/2002 11:01:00 PM #
You can accomplish this by making a shortcut and placing it on another tab ;)

Cheers!
N473

Looks good but...

Xizor @ 11/19/2002 12:49:05 PM #
I hate to be a naysayer, but ZLauncher has had most of these features for a while... but given that it's nice to have the choice of good quality, hi-res launchers. Thanks for the review!

T

RE: Looks good but...
markgm @ 11/19/2002 1:04:39 PM #
I was using Zlauncher until LauncherX came out, and I couldn't kaap using Zlauncher much longer. I just love LX's ability to integrate the memory stick seemlessly with the rest of the apps in memory.

RE: Looks good but...
Tim Hill @ 11/20/2002 12:29:28 PM #
SilverScreen has had seamless integration of card apps from the start and is now faster than LauncherX. Actually LauncherX seems to be slower than just about every other launcher out there although ZLauncher slows to a crawl with backgrounds on.
RE: Looks good but...
Omnitron @ 11/20/2002 4:41:36 PM #
Silverscreen - seamless? Only if you mean it had no seams and was not connected to anything. I tried it and DUMPED it. It looked nice but would not retain any categorization of files if you ever had to go to the original OS view. That made it completely useless for me - one reset and you had to redo everything.

Add to that its on/off compatibility and frequent error messages and I can only wonder how it got to the market.

I'd rate LauncherX so far at 9 out of 10.
Silverscreen gets a .5 out of 10, for the effort.


=============================
Mark A. Brinkman aka Omnitron
=============================

RE: Looks good but...
Xizor @ 11/20/2002 10:07:36 PM #
I don't seem to have any speed issues with ZLauncher. Of course I'm using it on my speedy Tungsten T :-)

RE: Looks good but...
PDA Stephen @ 11/21/2002 11:37:51 AM #
I love ZLauncher, too.

--
PDA Stephen ԿԬ

its..uh..ok

helf @ 11/19/2002 1:05:06 PM #
Good review.. But launcher X is not what I was hoping it would be. Its sloow. launcher plus is much faster and so is megalauncher .. Plus theres liek nothing new with this one. cept the active skins.

RE: its..uh..ok
CKMOOSE @ 11/20/2002 3:14:25 AM #
I've been using MegaLauncher happily for a couple of months. I tried LauncherX and I just don't see any advantages that make me want to change. At this point, I have tried virtually all of the launchers out there and I find MegaLauncher the best in speed as well as depth of features...I'd like backgrounds, but that would just involve more overhead anyway.
Well, sorry to get so long winded...I'll stick with MegaLauncher for now.


Time flies like an arrow...
Fruit Flies like a banana.

RE: its..uh..ok
Stardust @ 11/20/2002 11:18:01 AM #
I think LauncherX has been over-rated. I agree with CKMOOSE. Nothing in LauncherX that would compel me to switch from Megalauncher.

RE: its..uh..ok
PR @ 11/20/2002 2:56:53 PM #
rumor has it that ML will have an updated release around the start of next month... can't wait if it's true, but even now i like megalauncher the best of all the launchers...

RE: its..uh..ok
helf @ 11/20/2002 11:12:23 PM #
yupyup. Itsawesome. aand hopefully the next version of ML will support backgrounds :D I asked teh developer about that and he siad it probably will.

Icon only tabs

I.M Anonymous @ 11/19/2002 1:35:23 PM #
The review stated that in order to see icons only on the tabs, you need to name each tab with " ". This is not true. You can give your tabs real names, and then go into Launcher X prefs and select "Show Icons" under Category Title.

eminently skinnable

ardee @ 11/19/2002 1:39:47 PM #
I think maybe "eminently skinnable" was what was meant, rather than "imminently skinnable."

RE: eminently skinnable
TobyG @ 11/19/2002 2:07:21 PM #
Maybe not since it's more 'about to happen' than 'the best out there'. ;)

"Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance." - Sam Brown
RE: eminently skinnable
johnwin @ 11/20/2002 5:56:09 AM #
Where are the Active Skins (tm) Until these arive then my comment would be that this is an adequate launcer and nothing more - Launch Em does prety much everything Launcher X does - only better. The only extra so far is the card browser and McFile does it all much better.

RE: eminently skinnable
bringer @ 11/20/2002 12:02:55 PM #
I agree johnwin.
I have LaunchEm and right now, using my M505, I don't see any compelling reason to switch to Launcher X. The skinnability doesn't matter to me at all and I use McFile for my file management tool and it works great.
However, when I purchase the Tungsten (in a few months when the price goes down and all the programs that I use are updated to work with it), I will seriously consider this launcher, unless LaunchEm is updated to support the Tungsten within the next couple of months. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking.

Different Screenshots!

terrysalmi @ 11/19/2002 2:47:23 PM #
Great reveiw, however, all the screenshots were taken from a hi-resolution Sony devices. Could you post some screenshots from your Handera, and from low-resolution color/b&w palms for comparison, to see how the launcher performs on every handheld?

______________________________________
Kappa Sigma Fraternity - Founded 1400 A.D.

The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it...

RE: Different Screenshots!
Liljeberg @ 11/19/2002 4:48:01 PM #
I posted some m515 screenshots back in September from the beta. They are in this thread: http://www.palminfocenter.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7236

I have also two screenshots of Launcher X with the Narrow and Narrow Bold fonts included in LX. I designed them for 160x160 (they are only available on low res devices). The two screenshots are here: http://www.retroglobe.com/typography/

--------------------------------------------------
http://www.retroglobe.com

RE: Different Screenshots!
saw9000 @ 11/19/2002 5:01:05 PM #
Yes, the screenshots were taken from the device on which I wrote the review. However, I will try to get some screenshots from my 330 up. I would try my Vx, but I don't have the device at the moment. In the meantime, you can get screenshots from the Launcher X Web site.
Scott

HandEra Moderator
Off-Topic Moderator
I'm trying to be PC, I really am, but I'm just too into handhelds.

Launcher Wars

Draken-Korin @ 11/19/2002 2:54:05 PM #
I've tried most of the 3rd party launchers, and ended up with Megalauncher. For a launcher, it does nearly everything I want, it's quick, and stable. I really looked close at Launcher X, but decided, ultimately, that the hype was greater than the app.

The skinning was limited for ML, but after the festus440 FAQ, a lot of good stuff has come out.

There are not a lot of unnecessary features, so I'll stick with it for the time being.

One thing I really do like about ZLauncher, YiShow, and Launcher X, is the ability to set a wallpaper (ZL,YS), and the ability to scan multiple directories on the memory stick (LX).

In my mind, if ML had these, it would be perfect.

-----

Rob Hines Jr.
"I drank what?"
Socrates

PIDirect and launcherX - WHY?

mgraff @ 11/19/2002 3:48:27 PM #
Hi guys - question - if launcherx can read apps directly from the memory card, do we still need to use apps like PIDirect or AutoCard etc? Heres the issue - If I disable PIDirect, I do notice that while I can launch, say DB5 from LauncherX directory from the memory card, DB5's mapping of the datebook button no longer works. Same with other programs, like Today 1.7, which can launch apps from memory cards, as long as PiDirect is enabled. Those apps disappear when its disabled. So... whats the point of launcherx launching apps from the memory card, if you still need to load PIDirect or AutoCard?

Thanks,

M

RE: PIDirect and launcherX - WHY?
liangedward @ 11/19/2002 4:36:15 PM #
You still need PiDirect. Launcherx is doing what the default Palm OS is doing, copy the application to the RAM, run it, then delete it when you exit the program.

RE: PIDirect and launcherX - WHY?
rvdw @ 11/19/2002 4:41:29 PM #
LauncherX provides rudimentary VFS support for those who don't have, don't want to have, or cannot have (OS 5) PiDirect. PiDirect works across all applications on your Palm whereas LauncherX only provides card support within the launcher itself.

RE: PIDirect and launcherX - WHY?
saw9000 @ 11/19/2002 5:02:34 PM #
Launcher X and PiDirect II go in different directions. Launcher X and many other launchers implement card support by copying an app wholesale into RAM when it is run, then deleting the copy when the app is closed.
In contrast, PiDirect II copies only the header file into RAM and accesses the actual file directly from the card. This enables it to be a bit faster on the uptake than copying wholesale into RAM. It also enables the use of databases larger than available RAM, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, among others.
Scott

HandEra Moderator
Off-Topic Moderator
I'm trying to be PC, I really am, but I'm just too into handhelds.

Stunning

SaabCaptain @ 11/19/2002 4:11:24 PM #
Been waiting for this for more than a year and what a program it turns out to be for my new Tungsten T. The primary High Res skin looks professional as all can be on my T (better than the non-standard skin show in these screen shots) and the customization is limitless. Basically I choose how this app looks, it will not be the same on any two machines. I have tried many of the other launchers out there but they make my Palm look ugly and like a gaudy toy, this has the usability of Launcher III, customization like no other peer, and a look (which will no doubt be added upon with skin after skin soon...) that says "class" which is exactly the impression I want when I use what I consider the classiest of PDAs, my Tungsten T.

2 big thumbs up!

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, TUNGSTEN T!!

Power off with the back button on the Clie N760

liangedward @ 11/19/2002 4:39:27 PM #
Has Launcherx disabled this support?

RE: Power off with the back button on the Clie N760
lshanepowers @ 11/19/2002 6:18:52 PM #
I don't think so. I had the same problem with the power on with back button. For some reason it appears that LauncherX unchecked the box for me. Check your jog preferences. You'll probably be able to rechceck it.

Launcher wars

stupidnewpolicy @ 11/19/2002 5:05:41 PM #
Okay, I'll bite. What's wrong with SilverScreen? I see no mention of it. Most Palm users I know personally use it almost exclusively when they do use a launcher.

I tried the beta of LauncherX and didn't really like the feel of it.

Anyone? What's wrong with SilverScreen?



Ick

RE: Launcher wars
helf @ 11/19/2002 5:29:16 PM #
I just don't like it. Never have.It's big, Doesn't support backgrounds, slow... :)

RE: Launcher wars
technical1 @ 11/19/2002 11:00:00 PM #
Silver Screen is very nice, but it is not supported on my HandEra 330 & the folks at PocketSensei were not responsive to me & a number of others in TRG/HandEra Yahoo forums, about requests for info on when the 330 would be supported. Finally word came that they are not going to support it.

I understand that much change is now occuring in the industry & the same sort of things that held up LauncherX
i.e. the debut of OS5, and new hardware like Tungsten & Clie Nx made for distractions fm the amount of time that the developers have for updating the Silver Screen program for the 330, but as a registered user of S. Screen; for a number of revisions - I would've hoped my $ for registration would buy better & more timely support.

RE: Launcher wars
stupidnewpolicy @ 11/20/2002 9:28:02 AM #
Well, backgrounds are fairly unimportant to me (no color), and I'v enot noticed any speed problems other than the slight pause as an app loads from card.
As far as "big" is concerned, again I haven't really noticed that it takes up more space than I care about. Synching with my Lotus Notes, however is an entirely different story.
I guess it's what you get used to. I've seen that some launchers add significant value (easier access to apps on card, quicklaunch butons, etc) but none that I feel are so necessary that I'm willing to spend $20-$25 on them. I just wanted some opinions on SilverScreen, as it was one of the only major players in the launcher space that no one seemed to be mentioning.

Thanks for the info...


Ick

RE: Launcher wars
sandbuck @ 11/20/2002 10:23:17 AM #
SilverScreen was the first polished, skinnable launcher on the market. Today there are at leat half a dozen players in the skins game, with additional advanced functions that SilverScreen has been slow to adopt. It really needs an overhaul.

RE: Launcher wars
amflores @ 11/20/2002 11:53:47 AM #
Can you comment a little on those advanced features?
Im using Silverscreen on a m105, and since I dont have an SD slot nor something, Im not sure on what other features those other launchers can offer over SS

I really want something that looks good and functionally speaking the toolbar on SS has proven ok at this moment, but maybe you can tell me something to justify an upgrade -software and hardware!-

RE: Launcher wars
Altema @ 11/20/2002 1:40:08 PM #
Well, from what I've seen so far, LX includes a file browser which saves the cost of a utility like McFile, it lets you have a few more options in tab layouts, lets you hide a category, has two more tools on the tool bar, and uses slightly less RAM than SS. The LX prc file plus the icon cache and database come to 209k, versus 257k for the SS prc and database.

On the SilverScreen side, the SS toolbar is more professional looking, there are user-definable hotspots, the toolbar can be swapped with a tickertape or tabs (double row!)or FireViewer pics, there is already a collection of themes, and the stability seems better as does the speed.

The manual icon cache refresh in LX is a good idea to avoid scanning the card everytime you exit an app. However, this may leave icons for deleted apps behind at times, and you will not newly installed apps until a manual refresh is done.

The SS method is to cache the icons and not perform a refresh unless exiting an app which can add, move, or delete files which makes more sense in my opinion. Works well most of the time, but the rescan delay after a hotsync (about 5 seconds) can be irritating at times.

A few things I did not like in LX is that the brightness control does not work properly on the m515, hacks show up in the menu with their own X-Master icons, and chosing a file from the card which is too big causes a fatal error. I also would like an easier way to get rid of the tabs. Nonetheless, it seems like a good product and I'll have to play with it for a few days before coming to a conclusion.

RE: Launcher wars
VisorMiser @ 11/20/2002 3:39:11 PM #
Launcher III v2.2 (Yup, the free version) does me just fine on my Visor. I keep coming back to it. Launcher X had me curious, but I'll pass for now (given the mostly 3 to 4 star reviews) and consider the launcher issue again after I upgrade my device.

I'll have to hand it to whoever's behind Launcher X marketing, can anyone remember more build-up to a Palm OS release?

RE: Launcher wars
Tim Hill @ 11/20/2002 4:42:39 PM #
SilverScreen has just consistently gotten better and better and PocketSensei seems to be the only company out there that is truly commited to staying current. Many have critisized SilverScreen for it being heavy on eye candy but if you look under the hood it matches (and even outperforms) the others funtionality wise. I tried ZLauncher simply because of backgrounds but quickly switched back to SilverScreen simply bacause it works better than any other launcher on the market.

The new SilverScreen OS5 themes with hi-res icons are just gorgeous on the Tungsten. (See TinyTown, BeBop and Club Mix).

RE: Launcher wars
Altema @ 11/21/2002 10:32:45 AM #
I'm finding a lot of interesting features that I had wished for a while ago, like the ability to scrunch the icon columns to fit more icons in the same space, and finally being able to hide categories. I have to try out running apps from the card in a folder other than /palm/launcher, and the brightness control gadget does not work as expected on the m515. I'm still playing with it, but am thinking of registering...

RE: Launcher wars
Altema @ 11/21/2002 12:34:15 PM #
Just tried moving apps to a different folder on the card other than palm/launcher. I loaded a bunch of games while out recovering from an injury earlier this year, so I created a new folder named palm/games and dumped all the game apps into it. After adding the search path in LauncherX, I did a refresh, and the every game so far has come right up. With the launcher folder nearly empty now, the remaining apps launch much quicker than before.

I used to have a specific problem with an app called MyBible because the files were split into so many different files it would slow everything down. I formerly had to load one translation to RAM and another to the launcher folder to balance out the memory/speed issues, as the vendor did not seem interested in giving us the whole Bible in a single file as an option to eliminate the problem. After cleaning up the launcher folder, I moved the MyBible pdb files from RAM to the card, and the now the app loads faster than it did when they were in RAM. So now I have the same apps all in the desired categories, my card is more organized, the apps launch faster, and I have more available RAM.

Ok, time to register.

RE: Launcher wars
scotty @ 11/21/2002 1:54:01 PM #
Silver sreen was good app. However, Since 505 and now my new Tungsten T I am sufering missing icons and mysterious duplicate softwares located on my memory card now appearing on my palm card.
Also, silver screen does not support the new Tungsten Jog Dial..(Has anyone heard from Pocket Sensei if they are going to resolve this issue?)
Silver screen pro (IMHO):
--use of individual tabs
--the toolbar (my favorite as it is bigger than that in launcher III or X)
--Themes (i love the club mix and the new X-mas)

Con:
--SIZE (overall the basic silverscreen down load is over 500K for hi res...compare to nearly 300 for the basic hi res LauncherX)
--missing icons
--not very customizable for background or tab
--Does not support jog dial to it's fullest extent(unless someone knows of a trick)
--duplicating software from memory card onto my palm ram. This is probably the most infuriating aspect as I (like us all) value our free space on our RAM

Silver screen is the first launcher i have purchased and I had it for nearly 2 years. If the cons keep growing I will opt for the launcherX.
but we can't be too hasty...I will have to play with launcher x a little more before making a full decesion



RE: Launcher wars
mike500 @ 11/21/2002 5:27:50 PM #
When I try putting my games in a directory other than lancher, it doesn't show up at all! Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong?

German review

PHOEnix @ 11/19/2002 5:42:37 PM #
For the German users: A german review of launcher x can be found at www.nexave.de/reviews/launcherx.php
RE: German review
ardee @ 11/19/2002 7:05:53 PM #
I wish I could read German -- it looks like a very detailed review.

Here's a machine translation of the first few paragraphs:

What is Launcher X?

Launcher X is a new, alternative Launcher, i.e. program starter. He is the successor of the Launcher III, which had even already many trailers. Launcher X is a program that already for a long time before its completion in October attention excited 2002.

The better Launcher?

The question is now, which is to make it at the program an allegedly so mad product. After the installation one sees a Launcher, which divides its categories in riders, as one already knows it ago from the Launcher III. Why thus the excitement? I would like to examine the program once more exactly.

Love for the detail

Launcher X is, which one notices after a longer application, very well programmed, very stably and in the detail affectionately arranged. High Density on the Tungsten/HighRes+ for Sonys and ski support belongs likewise to the standardausstattung like a complete file manager. The operation is intuitive, i.e. functions are situated exactly, where one them assumed or like one expects it from a good Launcher evenly and also knows from MegaLauncher or the Launcher III.

Ski functionality

Since the Launcher supports X Skins, thus with ensprechenden ski packages its appearance to change can, does not make here it for not much sense to describe the program surface. Again with this program it is however that Skins modify not only the appearance, but also the behavior of the program. Which should be called, I did not know first also, until I had seen a strongly changed Skin...


RE: German review
PHOEnix @ 11/20/2002 1:38:46 AM #
Hi

What exactly would you like to know? I could translate passages of the text for you!

Big thumbs up!

jbarr @ 11/20/2002 12:29:20 AM #
Being from the "Launch 'Em" and "Launcher iii" camp, LauncherX is a most worthy upgrade! After using an unofficially released beta copy for the past several months, LauncherX on my Palm Vx has been one of the best additions. Now that it has full HiRes+ capability, it just ROCKS on my new Sony Clie NX70V. I have tried other launchers, but this is the first one that just "feels right."

The review is right on target, and I can't praise it enough. Now, let's see what kind of skins we can come up with!!!

RE: Big thumbs up!
hudsonhawk @ 11/20/2002 4:35:23 PM #
>Now, let's see what kind of skins we can come up with!!!

Sounds great - is there a skin sdk or howto available for LauncherX yet?

LauncherX

Frank Wilkinson @ 11/20/2002 4:40:04 PM #
I have only ever had Launcher III so can't comment on other launchers. I thought that III was excellent and that X is even better. I like the ability to display the tabs in a list on the right or left hand side and the gadgets display is superb.

The only thing that I miss from III is the automatic cycling of day, date and time. I had mine set to change every three seconds and found it very useful.

Have I missed something or is this feature not included in X?

Is it worth the cost?

rw747 @ 11/21/2002 9:26:09 AM #
I am a Launcher III user and Tungsten T.

Having downloaded the new prog is it worth the cost?

Not IMHO. Nice looking it is but I could not find one feature that was extra to Launcher III.

If they fix the bug in Launcher III reported a week ago and no reply I would perhaps be a little more sympathetic.



RE: Is it worth the cost?
GKreamer @ 11/21/2002 10:34:19 AM #
What was the error you reported? I have used Launcher III for over a year, and I cross-graded to Launcher X for $5.95. I really like LX!

George

RE: Is it worth the cost?
SaabCaptain @ 11/25/2002 9:26:31 AM #
Let's be honest here... if you bought a T like I did for nearly $500, why wouldn't you pay $5.95 like I also did to upgrade from Launcher III to Launcher X which includes at a minimum the following things I like...

1. High res icons and interface which supports the excellent screen on my T.

2. Support for my Tungsten T D-Pad.

3. Future support for skinning of the interface making it even prettier.

Why would you spend $500 on a "wow" factor PDA just to put some ugly old launcher in the place of a beautiful new one when it only costs about $6 more?

Reconsider...

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, TUNGSTEN T!!

Launcher X - poor response from company

jbf2222 @ 11/27/2002 9:13:25 AM #
I don't know what anyone else's experience has been with this compnay but I purchased this software, on line, many days ago and have not received a registration number which means that I cannot use the software fully! It keeps asking me for the number. All inquiries, so far, have been responded to by a generic automatic response email.

The software seems to be cool looking but, in my opinion, the poor response from the company tells me that my $25 may have been poorly spent. .... JOE

RE: Launcher X - poor response from company
drich @ 12/3/2002 1:24:10 PM #
response to my upgrade registration was pretty fast. However, I had a support issue and sent E-mail to the support address. The response was "This request did NOT go to support. Check our FAQ instead." They did give an E-mail address for only critical problems. I realize they may have startup issues, but it certainly doesn't give me a warm fuzzy.


Unacceptable customer support

zymas @ 12/31/2002 5:18:41 PM #
I have sent three emails to developer over the past month and have recieved no answers. Though I am impressed by the product and paid for the registration, I have yet to have a working registration key. Customer support is the second half of a good product, so I give Launcher X a 45%, which is a failing grade.
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