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  1. #1
    Reconverged harleyxlc's Avatar
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    Launchers, because we haven't discussed them enough

    I have been using LaunchEm for a while. It has the most features I care about and the smallest footprint.

    Recently I have been reading more and more raves about ZLauncher so I thought I would give it a try. People say it is so wonderful, over on a clie board I swear if you didn't have ZLauncher tattooed on your arm you couldn't post!

    My problem is people are posting that it is great, that the others are just eye candy, blah blah. But they are not posting any details! I'm sorry, but if you are going to tell me product A is great because the others suck...well...don't bother telling me.

    Here is what I believe to be the differences between LaunchEm and Zlauncher.

    ZLauncher:
    *Background images for each tab
    *Tab icons can be used with or instead of tab labels
    *Icon themes for standard palm apps
    *Built in file manager
    *More adjustments for icons on each tab

    LaunchEm
    *Smaller footprint

    Although that makes it sound like I agree and am heading off to the tattoo parlor, see below for my responses.

    *Background images for each tab
    This was fun the first few days, but they take up so much space and so many nice pictures make the icons look bad
    *Tab icons can be used with or instead of tab labels
    OK, this is nice because you can see more tabs without scrolling, but I don't use that many tabs
    *Icon themes for standard palm apps
    Who uses the built in apps???
    *Built in file manager
    I keep FileZ on my SD card and still did so I can use it on other palms
    *More adjustments for icons on each tab
    This was nice. I prefer not having to scroll on a tab.

    Bottom line was that ZLauncher took up over twice as much space with no backgrounds! Once I added a few backgrounds, it was 3-4x as much space! I put LaunchEm back on this morning. Am I wrong? Am I missing something wonderful with ZLauncher?
    My sordid past:

    Kyocera 6035, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i700, iPAQ 6315, iPAQ hx4705, Motorola a630, BB 7100t, iPAQ rx3115, JAM 850, BB 8700g, Samsung i320 (just for fun), imate KJAM, TMO SDA, MDA, TMO Wing

  2. #2
    Fully Confused Copasetic's Avatar
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    Re: Launchers, because we haven't discussed them enough

    Originally posted by harleyxlc
    I have been using LaunchEm for a while. It has the most features I care about and the smallest footprint.

    Bottom line was that ZLauncher took up over twice as much space with no backgrounds! Once I added a few backgrounds, it was 3-4x as much space! I put LaunchEm back on this morning. Am I wrong? Am I missing something wonderful with ZLauncher?
    I not seen the latest LaunchEm. If my phone had not spit it out when I tried to install it I might be using it today. As I said before, I have ZL but with tabs and everything else turned off (1 background for everything).

    As I see it, you dídn't miss a thing. You answered your own question in the first line. LaunchEm makes YOU happy. You used your brain, because you looked at all the options, and came back to where you were. You are the one who has to put up with it end the end, and you made a fine decision. Nuff said. Ignore everything else , including me, and anything that follows Yeay!
    Last edited by Copasetic; 01-23-2004 at 05:39 PM.
    Nothing lasts forever, except true love. If it does not last, it wasn't true....

  3. #3
    Registered User Walcwlr's Avatar
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    I used ZLauncher through the demo period, but found I was making it look like LauncherX... I had the background turned off etc. I went back to LauncherX. It does everything I need it to. People say ZLauncher is good for running programs from the SD card... I haven't had a problem doing that with LauncherX.


    If we were voting, I'd vote for LauncherX.

  4. #4
    Reconverged harleyxlc's Avatar
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    I have had no problems with any of the launchers and programs on the SD card except for HiLauncher. Rumor is they are addressing this in later versions.

    Thanks, Copasetic, there is just such a large number of posters that love ZLauncher but they weren't really saying why. I figured I just missed a feature or some secret use for it like hundred dollar bills spilling out of the sd slot or something

    I use LaunchEm 3.9. I looked at the new one (4.0), but didn't see anything worth the upgrade. I believe the upgrade is free for some, depending on when you purchased 3.9.
    My sordid past:

    Kyocera 6035, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i700, iPAQ 6315, iPAQ hx4705, Motorola a630, BB 7100t, iPAQ rx3115, JAM 850, BB 8700g, Samsung i320 (just for fun), imate KJAM, TMO SDA, MDA, TMO Wing

  5. #5
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    Ok, now for a really stupid question from one that hasn't used a pda for much of anything beyond contacts, calendar, and a couple of apps. What is the main purpose behind using a launcher at all?

  6. #6
    Reconverged harleyxlc's Avatar
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    Well...I'll try to keep this short and sweet because I have a meeting to go to

    The palm launcher launches your apps. How boring! Most launchers let you do a couple of things...customize the existing apps/look and add tools and features that we all feel should be part of the palm launcher. These might include quick ways to beam and delete. Some let you change the icons and names.

    The best way to look into these is read a bunch of these posts. Then download some trials (backups are wonderful for these tests). Find one that works for you and go for it.

    Added steps for me are:
    * Keep researching after buying one
    * Buy three and switch among the three
    * Keep using the trials and spend countless hours setting up new ones
    * Find your first choice was the best and still question it

    Good luck!
    Last edited by harleyxlc; 01-23-2004 at 12:23 PM.
    My sordid past:

    Kyocera 6035, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i700, iPAQ 6315, iPAQ hx4705, Motorola a630, BB 7100t, iPAQ rx3115, JAM 850, BB 8700g, Samsung i320 (just for fun), imate KJAM, TMO SDA, MDA, TMO Wing

  7. #7
    just went from 7135 to 6315.
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    I really use ZL for the most important reason to me, running the apps off of the card. It allows me to run 95% of my apps from the card, saving me ram space. And it was cheaper than other products i looked at. Plus it had a built in file manager, customized this and that, etc....

    Everytime I have gotten an upgrade, there is an improvement, not just device bug fixes. This latest beta is very nice.

    Bottom line is it does a lot if you need that, but it was also the least expensive way I found at the time to run apps from the card.

    I have most of the buttons shut off and run a tab with no programs as my first tab showing, so I open the phone and see a nice, fairly uncluttered picture.

    I use smartlauncher to run almost everything via the hard buttons.

    I have found that except for a holiday in China this week, ZL has excellent customer service.

    Like everything else, you use what you're happy with.
    The more I learn, the less I know.

  8. #8
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rfreschner
    Ok, now for a really stupid question from one that hasn't used a pda for much of anything beyond contacts, calendar, and a couple of apps. What is the main purpose behind using a launcher at all?
    There are a few other things you can do with a launcher, as well, apart from Harley's list. Some of them make launching applications from an SD card easy (at least Zlauncher and LauncherX). Launcher X also allows you to arrange your application icons manually instead of alphabetically. This is handy for grouping icons together by use (PQA's, browsers, etc.) within a tab. You can adjust how many icons are in each row in the launcher. I find that four or five per row requires a lot less scrolling.

    I personally use Launcher X. I have been enjoying it quite a bit. The gadgets (icons at the bottom of the launcher that let you easily beam, delete, get info about an app, open prefs, etc.) are pretty handy. I haven't added too many categories, so my tabs are basically the same as the categories most people would have for their applications anyway, but I have put icons on each tab so that (for me at least) the purpose of the group is more intuitive. For instance, my utilities category has a wrench icon. I keep my prefs apps, contrast bug fixer, quickbits, and other similar types of programs in that tab. Launcher X allows you to drag an icon onto a tab to change the category, which is a lot easier than opening a dialogue box and redo-ing it.

    I have customized the text and background color for each tab. Aesthetically, this makes the launcher look more appealing, but it also makes it easier to tell which tab I am in just by the background color. I have set the number of icons per row at 4, so that I don't have to scroll so much but it's still easy to push apps with a finger and the icons don't look crowded. Because Launcher X lets you drag icons, rearranging their order manually is much easier. I keep my most-used apps at the top of my main tab so that they are always right there when I open it. Very handy, and much preferable to having to scroll through alphabetical listings.

    Launcher X also has a file manager built-in, which is helpful and allowed me to remove Filez, saving 100k of memory. Also, I am running a number of applications from the SD card now, which has freed up a lot of RAM memory. Being able to use the launcher to open apps from the SD card also takes the place of PiDirect or Powerrun, which saves further space in RAM. I am now getting into eBooks, which will make this feature so much more valuable, as I will be able to run them all from the SD card and save tons of RAM. Plus, I believe Launcher X will show each ebook as an icon in the launcher, so that you can just tap on it to open it.

    You can probably do a lot of these things using other launchers, but I just provided them as an example of what I have used mine for. There are also button-oriented launchers like Hard Button Extender (usually referred to here as HBX). A button launcher lets you launch more than one application from each of your hard buttons. Another button launcher is One ButtonPro Launcher. Some folks use Launcher X, ZLauncher, or Launchem in conjunction with a button launcher, as they are not mutually exclusive.

    When I first got on this forum, I wasn't too enticed by the launchers, but I have since come around and am a pretty big fan, especially now that I have enough apps that launching from the SD card is essential to saving space. I would recommend downloading each of the launchers and just looking through the user's guide to see what they can do and which one interests you the most.
    ---------------
    The same thing we do every night, Pinky...

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by rfreschner
    Ok, now for a really stupid question from one that hasn't used a pda for much of anything beyond contacts, calendar, and a couple of apps. What is the main purpose behind using a launcher at all?
    Well, the main purpose is that it allows you to choose programs to run. The Palm OS come with a "launcher" call Applications (or something like that). It simply looks like a folder where you can tap on an icon to run the corresponding program. So pretty much every OS provides a user interface from which to "launch" programs.

    The third party launchers provide bunches of convenience features and additional functionality. Tabs to group your applications, toggles to go back and forth between the current program and last run program, "gadgets" to easily access prefs or accomplish other tasks, etc. (oh... and then there are the frills like wallpaper and such stuff). Its like putting a bunch of tools on your desktop and allowing you to customize the look and feel.

    So you pretty much have to have a launcher if you want to run any other program than the one that runs when the device boots. Palm, consistent with its philosophy, provides you with a bare bones launcher. Thousands of developers provide you with enhanced and different replacements to suit your personal preferences.

    Not sure if I answered your question,
    -Quick

  10. #10
    Reconverged harleyxlc's Avatar
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    Good points, BrerLapn.

    I really have found a three pronged approach works best. There are some apps I use all the time and want at my finger tips. I launch those using Hard Button Extender (hbx), which launches apps from the four hard buttons.

    For apps I use, but not as often, I use HiLauncher. This is like a windows menu structure that can be called from a button.

    The programs I use the least stay on the screen launcher, per the earlier rambling, this is LauncherEm.

    And to top it off, I use Slap on one of my buttons!
    My sordid past:

    Kyocera 6035, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i700, iPAQ 6315, iPAQ hx4705, Motorola a630, BB 7100t, iPAQ rx3115, JAM 850, BB 8700g, Samsung i320 (just for fun), imate KJAM, TMO SDA, MDA, TMO Wing

  11. #11
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    That's a pretty thorough setup, but I enjoy taking advantage of the ability to press the same button to scroll through screens in the same program in Datebk5 and Takephone. I also have Diddlebug on my "web" button, and always want it to come up immediately. That only really leaves me with the messages button to play around with, and maybe the up-down-ok pad. HiLauncher sounds like an interesting concept, but in Windows I don't even like to use the Start button because it's more cumbersome. So I doubt I'd use HiLauncher much. I am considering reinstalling HBX, though, if I can figure out how to make it worth the time.
    ---------------
    The same thing we do every night, Pinky...

  12. #12
    Reconverged harleyxlc's Avatar
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    You might like HiLauncher, I do not use submenus, just one big "Start Menu". I have three buttons programmed in hbx and the last button is for Slap, which when pushed twice goes to the message screen.

    I use the down button to call HiLaucher, but it is a down and hold so I can still use the down and up to scroll through items. I use the up and hold to go to the previous app, very handy and windows-like.

    In hbx, I kept the original function on the same button. For example, to go to DateBk, I press the first button once to see hbx and once more to call DateBk.

    I like "thorough" better than "compulsive", like my roommate calls it
    My sordid past:

    Kyocera 6035, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i700, iPAQ 6315, iPAQ hx4705, Motorola a630, BB 7100t, iPAQ rx3115, JAM 850, BB 8700g, Samsung i320 (just for fun), imate KJAM, TMO SDA, MDA, TMO Wing

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the info everyone!! Looks like that will be the next app I look to add to my 7135.

  14. #14
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    "ZLauncher tattooed on your arm"; no way, I'm with you on that one HarleyXLC.

    Now I can't help but think about getting Zlauncher, HiLauncher, or even LauncherX tattooed some other place...disgusting, indecent, but funny thought.

  15. #15
    Fully Confused Copasetic's Avatar
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    Originally posted by harleyxlc
    I have had no problems with any of the launchers and programs on the SD card except for HiLauncher. Rumor is they are addressing this in later versions.

    Thanks, Copasetic, there is just such a large number of posters that love ZLauncher but they weren't really saying why. I figured I just missed a feature or some secret use for it like hundred dollar bills spilling out of the sd slot or something

    I use LaunchEm 3.9. I looked at the new one (4.0), but didn't see anything worth the upgrade. I believe the upgrade is free for some, depending on when you purchased 3.9.
    Well The lifetime free upgrades will keep me from switching from ZL, I imagine but they all are good.
    Nothing lasts forever, except true love. If it does not last, it wasn't true....

  16. #16
    Fully Confused Copasetic's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Quick
    Well, the main purpose is that it allows you to choose programs to run. The Palm OS come with a "launcher" call Applications (or something like that). It simply looks like a folder where you can tap on an icon to run the corresponding program. So pretty much every OS provides a user interface from which to "launch" programs.

    The third party launchers provide bunches of convenience features and additional functionality. Tabs to group your applications, toggles to go back and forth between the current program and last run program, "gadgets" to easily access prefs or accomplish other tasks, etc. (oh... and then there are the frills like wallpaper and such stuff). Its like putting a bunch of tools on your desktop and allowing you to customize the look and feel.

    So you pretty much have to have a launcher if you want to run any other program than the one that runs when the device boots. Palm, consistent with its philosophy, provides you with a bare bones launcher. Thousands of developers provide you with enhanced and different replacements to suit your personal preferences.

    Not sure if I answered your question,
    -Quick
    No no no, it's a way to spend extra money and to make the PalmOS look like Pocket PC, even with a Windows theme so you can annoy your PocketPC/Windows pocket/Windows Mobile (or whatevertheheck they are going to call it in a few months) friends! And to have cool backdrops and to take up memory you would otherwise use for something useful!

    *ouch* stop throwing things at me

    (yes I was kidding, in case you didn't know)
    Nothing lasts forever, except true love. If it does not last, it wasn't true....

  17. #17
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    launcher

    Can you launch programs (run programs) from the card with the file manager that came with the phone? I seem to be having a hard time with this..... I am out of space on the palm for what I want to mess around with (dictionary, etc).....

    Thanks

  18. #18
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    Re: launcher

    Originally posted by matrixcode
    Can you launch programs (run programs) from the card with the file manager that came with the phone? I seem to be having a hard time with this..... I am out of space on the palm for what I want to mess around with (dictionary, etc).....

    Thanks
    Ihaven't tried using the built-in app launcher to launch apps from the SD card, but I believe that it is possible to do so. If, while in the Applications screen, you open the Categories pull-down menu, you'll see at the bottom of the list your SD Card is an option. You'll have to experiment (or read the user's manual) to find out which directory the programs need to be in for the Apps program to see them. You will not be able to sort or categorize any apps that are stored on the card, which is one of the advantages provided by a 3rd party launcher.

    Also, I think there are some programs that won't function properly from the SD card.
    ---------------
    The same thing we do every night, Pinky...

  19. #19
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    awesome!

    Thank you very much, I believe you are 100% correct. I appreciate it.

    Mark

  20. #20
    Registered User Schavlan's Avatar
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    BrerLapn,

    You are correct in the way to launch apps from the SD card in the native Plam Launcher.

    In my experience, though, it stinks. BIgtime. When you pull down the "card" selection from the category drop down menu, the native launcher reads the whole SD card first. I have most of my applications on the SD card (about 40 megs worth) and it takes MINUTES to read the whole card.

    I use ZLauncher for two reasons. I am a very visual kind of guy, and I like the way ZLauncher allows you to customize all the views.

    But primarily, when launching an app from the SD card, it only reads the one app. So it can take a few moments to launch, but you are waiting for only that application, not the whole damn card.

    I am, however interested in any one with experience with these new fast sd cards to see if the apps launch quicker.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy

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