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Launcher brings its powerful widget-making app to iOS 14 – TechCrunch

Launcher is bringing its customizable widgets to iOS 14 with new performance, together with the flexibility to rotate a widget’s icons by date, time and even location. It additionally helps customizable widget backgrounds, icons of various sizes, or these with no labels for a cleaner look.

The app, which first debuted in 2014, had been well-known for being one of many few to push the envelope when it got here to the performance supplied by Apple’s traditional At present View widgets. Within the years since, the app served because the launchpad for frequent duties — like messaging a favourite contact, calling house, getting instructions, enjoying your favourite music, and way more proper from the At present View.

Now you are able to do the identical out of your homescreen, however with a extra customizable expertise that matches your present iOS 14 theme.

Picture Credit: Cromulent Labs

Apple wasn’t fairly positive what to consider Launcher again in 2014.

The app had once been banned from the App Retailer for a number of months as a result of its sole cause for existence was to be a At present View widget supplier, with out providing different performance past widget configuration. Apple eventually decided that Launcher had worth, regardless of this limitation, and allowed it again in.

What’s extra, Apple later realized there was a marketplace for workflow automation and eventually acquired a Launcher competitor of kinds, Workflow, which was changed into Apple’s Shortcuts app and expanded to incorporate further performance — like Siri integration, as an illustration.

Now, with the discharge of iOS 14, Apple has absolutely embraced the concept of customizable widgets for the homescreen. In the meantime, customers are leveraging Shortcuts to create customized icons, then constructing artistic homescreen themes utilizing a customized mixture of widgets, icons, and wallpapers.

Launcher, nevertheless, affords a less complicated various for individuals who don’t need to spend hours making a personalized expertise.

As a substitute, you may create a widget with favourite apps and duties, change the widget’s background shade, and regulate the icons’ dimension in a single go.


For instance, now you can create Launcher widgets that allow you to faucet an icon to instantly name, message, FaceTime or e-mail a favourite contact; get instructions to a location; begin enjoying an artist, album or playlist in Apple Music; entry a favourite web site; launch actions inside apps (like Compose Tweet or Run Shortcut); flip frequent telephone settings on or off (like WiFi, Bluetooth, Low Energy Mode, DND, Airplane mode, and so forth.); or launch every other app in your system.


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Launcher goals to faucet into the rising iOS 14 homescreen customization development as its app helps you to customise the icons and widget background, even permitting for tiny icons throughout the widget or eradicating icon labels. (See above). The widget’s background may be styled to match the prevailing wallpaper or may be configured utilizing pictures.

Widgets can be stacked for higher house utilization and the icons they include can change primarily based on the day of the week, time of day or your location. That manner, you could possibly have a widget that reveals up solely while you hit the gymnasium, for instance, or one which seems while you’re within the workplace. Your homescreen widget is also totally different throughout the work week than on the weekend.

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Picture Credit: Cromulent Labs

Lots of the app’s options had been beforehand supplied within the traditional At present View widgets, however the homescreen widgets work in another way. The place earlier than, you had been restricted to a hard and fast variety of widgets that could possibly be proven or hidden primarily based on time or location, the brand new widgets assist totally different icon units that seem at totally different instances. Nevertheless, you may’t configure a homescreen widget to routinely disappear as that will trigger the homescreen itself to rearrange.

Launcher’s creator, Greg Gardner, says he’s seen a surge of curiosity in his app because of the iOS 14 launch, even earlier than its replace, out in the present day, which delivers the iOS 14 widget assist.

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Picture Credit: Cromulent Labs

“Individuals on iOS 14 appear to be fairly enthusiastic about homescreen widgets, so they’re looking out the App Retailer for widgets and are discovering my app. Sadly a few of them have been dissatisfied that the app didn’t have homescreen widgets,” he says. “I hope that now that it has homescreen widgets the downloads will proceed to extend and the brand new customers gained’t be dissatisfied any longer,” Gardner provides.

The surprise release of iOS 14 in all probability didn’t assist issues on this entrance. Apple gave its builders lower than 24 hours discover of iOS 14’s arrival this yr, even making its announcement earlier than the mandatory developer instruments (eg Xcode) had been accessible for obtain. Which means some builders’ iOS 14-compatible apps weren’t prepared and accessible on the iOS launch day, as in years previous.

Along with the expanded performance, there’s one more reason to understand Launcher’s new app: its enterprise mannequin.

The app doesn’t monetize by means of subscriptions however as an alternative solely expenses its customers a one-time price for an expanded characteristic set. Whereas the sooner model of the app had supplied 2 totally different pricing tiers, Launcher 5 has simplified pricing to simply the one.

Its new “Premium” in-app buy will unlock all the brand new homescreen widgets and customization choices. Nevertheless, present customers solely must pay $2.99 for the improve whereas new customers can pay the total worth of $7.99.

“The quantity of labor required to implement the brand new widgets was sufficient that I believed it justified a brand new in-app buy,” says Gardner. Plus, he notes, the App Retailer additionally doesn’t supply any official technique of charging improve pricing for situations like this.

Launcher 5 is rolling out now on the App Store. (When you don’t see the app with an up to date date of Sept. 21, 2020, simply strive once more later because the replace might not have reached your area but.)

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Sarah Perez