Every app on my phone, in three touches or fewer
December 15, 2010 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Does a widget exist for Android to jump instantly to any home screen with one touch?

My Droid Incredible uses HTC Sense, so I've got seven home screens. I'm trying to organize all my apps and widgets in the most efficient way I can think of (with the goal of minimizing taps/clicks/swipes to get to things). I decided a good way to do this would be to group similar apps and widgets into themed home screens. So, I'll have one screen for media players, one screen for utilities, one for games, etc.

Whenever I press the home button, the phone displays screen #4 (the center, primary one). I'd like to place a series of icons on there to jump straight to the other screens. So I can just touch the button labeled "Games" to instantly switch to screen #7. I hope my Google-fu is just failing me, because I can't find anything like this. Does it exist? If not, why? Is there some technical reason it can't be made?

I'd love to hear alternative ways to streamline app/widget management. I hate swiping through multiple home screens but I'm out of real estate on the innermost ones and a bit frustrated that I can't put widgets in folders. Your miracles of Android organization, greatly appreciated!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With LauncherPro you can long hold the home key and it will show you all your home screens at once. Then you click the one you want to go to.
posted by devnull at 12:56 PM on December 15, 2010

You're aware of the 'press the home button twice' helicopter view I assume? I'm not aware of any app that achieves what you want any other way I'm afraid.
posted by punilux at 12:57 PM on December 15, 2010

With HTC Sense, you can get a zoomed-out view of all your home screen pages.

If you are already on the home screen (#4) then just press the home button again, or do a zoom-out pinch from any of the home screens.

posted by pants tent at 1:00 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I haven't tried LauncherPro, devnull, but that sounds like the "helicopter view" punilux and pants tent mentioned. That still requires a second touch (or a pinch), and you have to either memorize the position of each screen or look closely to identify the one you want. I'd much prefer a button or icon with English label like "Games" or "Media" or something. The less I have to touch, wait, or think, the better. :-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2010

But how would that work? Are you planning on placing icons for the "other 6" pages on each of your seven pages? Otherwise you would still always have to tap the home button to get to your "menu" of page icons. Isn't it easy enough to remember what your seven pages are? Double tap your home button (or single tap if you are already there) and you are in helicopter view, from there it is easy enough to say "oh, games are always on the top left page" or "social network apps are on the middle right page". Even if you don't remember them all it should be easy enough to make out at least one of the mini icons to jar your memory. That is the system I use and I find it far more preferable to eating up 6 icon slots on every page for "shortcuts" that save me at most one tap. And that seems like a maintenance nightmare: if I suddenly decide that I don't need a page dedicated to social network apps but would rather have all my audio apps on that page, now I need to update six pages with a new icon.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 1:21 PM on December 15, 2010

LauncherPro does have an Exposé-like feature to pop-up all your homescreens as thumbnails to allow you to select one rapidly. This method gets around the problem JJtheJetPlane mentions. I recommend the app overall, too.
posted by kcm at 1:29 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Good points, JJtheJetPlane. I suppose I'd get used to helicopter mode if I used it more often. Sounds like that's the most immediate solution in front of me.

LauncherPro advocates: How is LP's thumbnail view different from Sense's helicopter view? Are the thumbnails bigger, or arranged differently? (The helicopter view, for comparison, shows three views of tiny thumbnails, with two on top, three in the middle, and two on the bottom.) What other killer features make LP a must-buy?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:34 PM on December 15, 2010

One other option is to use folders.

Place file folders (labeled "Games," "Utilities," etc.) on the center home page, and dump the app icons into them. That way you shouldn't even have to swipe to either side; just open up the file corresponding to the right category and all your apps will be right there.
posted by AngerBoy at 7:25 PM on December 15, 2010

What other killer features make LP a must-buy?

LauncherPro is free...
posted by devnull at 11:55 PM on December 15, 2010

I don't have HTC Sense, but on my stock android device, I use folders. I have 4 folders on my main home screen, and have app shortcuts sorted into the folders named Location, Games, Media, and Comm and can get to just about everything I do in three taps (home, folder, app)
posted by jrishel at 7:28 AM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, I didn't realize LauncherPro was free. Thanks for the heads-up!

I already do use folders. They're great, except you can't put widgets in them. I have a number of widgets I want to organize and not enough room to put everything close together.

Guess what I'm looking for doesn't exist. Thanks for the help!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:44 AM on December 16, 2010

I bought launcher pro for the pop-outs for the icons, but even if you don't want those, I've found it's very useful.
posted by kookywon at 1:07 PM on December 16, 2010

ADWLauncher is a good alternative to Launcherpro

both adwlauncher and launcher pro have a really good free version and a premium version with extra features.
posted by gryftir at 12:53 AM on December 25, 2010

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