App Review: Launch An App...From Anywhere
An application that lets you launch any other application, from anywhere, any app, without having to hit the home button? Yes, that's with Relauncher does on Android.
Multi-tasking is one of the biggest strengths of Android. You literally can switch from one task to another, be it accessing e-mail to browsing the Web to playing a game or even editing an MS Word document by just pressing a button. It's a strength that many of its competitors (iOS, Windows Phone) have been trying to ape with varying measures of success. However, the problem with the "press a button to move to any other open app" formula is that it works best with only those apps that are already running. So if you are browsing the Web and say, want to work on a presentation, the only way in which you can switch between the two apps is if both are open, and one is running in the background. But what if you wanted to access an app that you had not opened recently? You would, in most cases, have to return to the home screen and from then head on to the app you wanted to access. Not the most elegant and effortless of paths.
Which is why we are so impressed with a simple app called ReLaunch. Available for free from Google Play, the app is a mere 880 KB download and runs on any Android device running version 2.1 and above of the OS. It installs in no time at all, and then asks you to wait while it categorises apps. Once ready, it allows you to open ANY application, irrespective of where you are (in software terms) on the device. So you could have just taken a picture and wish to tweak it in Instagram or PhotoShop, neither of which you have opened recently - all you need to do is touch the right or left border of your screen and ReLaunch will show you all the applications on your device arranged into nine groups (Talk, Play, Work, Seek, Relax, Setup, Live, Read and Lost) and represented by icons. To launch a program or app, just select the icon and your app will open. And before you ask, it works in portrait as well as well landscape mode - all you need to do is head to the right or left border of the screen, which are called "hotspots" in ReLauncher-ese.
What's more, you have a fair amount of control over the app. You can move applications between different categories (just long press and drag the icon to the category you wish to place it in), opt to have haptic feedback, tweak the size of the icons of the apps and sort apps either alphabetically or by the number of times they have been launched. You can also rebuild the app categorisation from scratch if you wish. And if you think that the colour of the launcher icons and text needs to be tweaked, you can do that too. Mind you, what we would have REALLY liked is the option to make our own categories - it took us some time to figure out that Seek actually covered navigation apps or that Talk covered not just chat but also e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, or that Live was for health-related apps. Incidentally, the Lost category covers those apps which the app could not categorise cleanly.
We love the concept of ReLaunch, as it lets us access our entire app directory, irrespective of where we are. Once you get the hang of its HTC Sense-like slide and select functionality, it works reasonably smoothly, although you do need to be able to recognise apps by their icons to make the most of it. A must-have for all those who love meddling with lots of apps. Download, please!
Get it from: Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fiveprimes.relaunch&hl=en)
-- Nimish Dubey