One of the best things about the more recent iterations of iOS is the ability to place apps into folders. But while this allows for better organization of apps, it doesn’t make them all that more accessible. Yes, you can swipe left on the home screen and then search for the app you’re looking for, but having an app like LaunchBar or Alfred available on iOS would improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the device. That’s why when Launch Center by App Cubby arrived, I jumped on board straight away.
I’ve watched as more and more apps and actions were able to be used by Launch Center, especially as it gained notoriety. The thing about Launch Center is that it makes many of my regularly-used apps accessible with just a couple of touches. Now with the arrival of Launch Center Pro, those touches have become even more robust, taking better advantage of the iOS user interface. (David Barnard of App Cubby even addressed some of the limitations that Launch Center had in a recent blog post.)
The new look of Launch Center Pro is the first thing that caught my attention. Rather than a linear list of things that I can do within the app, it has more of a button-based design. This allows for deeper layers of activity, such as when you press the preset App button it then dives down into whatever app you’ve placed inside (as seen below).
One of the really great presets is the Toggle button at the top of the main screen. I find that digging into the Settings on my iPhone to make my brightness dim a chore, but with this preset I can do it with the touch of a button. And when I want to resume my brightness level, I simply touch the button again. A simple and thoughtful addition to the app that further shows a thoughtful approach to making the app.
Predetermined actions such as Bookmarks and Flashlight are very handy, especially for those of us that don’t keep Safari or the Flashlight app in a commonly-accessed area. Some of the bookmarks have predetermined logos attached (sadly, Lifehack isn’t one of them), which I think is a neat touch and shows the care that the App Cubby team has put into Launch Center Pro.
There has been an increase in the apps that can be used with Launch Center Pro versus what Launch Center had readily available, and I’ve already reached out to several developers to see if they are willing (and able) to use URL schemes to make this happen. App Cubby has provided such developers a resource to help them out, and while I realize that using the developer’s own Timer app as a default app is a smart move, I’d love to see task and time management such as 30/30 and Asana step up to the plate and allow users like myself to use Launch Center Pro to access them quickly and easily. That said, there are plenty of these types of apps to choose from so far, and as with Launch Center, more will likely join the fold as time goes on.
It’s not a matter of if you should grab this time-saving app; it’s a matter of what you’re going to move off of your Dock so you can replace it with this productivity savior.
Launch Center Pro is $2.99 in the iTunes App Store, and it is worth every penny. After all, time is money – and the time you’ll save now (and in the future) using this app means the app will pay for itself in short order. If you’re trying to be more productive on your iPhone, then do yourself a favour and pick up Launch Center Pro…today.
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