Launch Center Puts More Of iOS At Your Fingertips [Review]

Launch Center for iOS

I first heard about Launch Center from my old TUAW colleague Dave Caolo when he began writing a series of posts about it on his excellent 52 Tiger blog.

Read what Dave writes, and take careful note of his wise words: Launch Center is an ingenious little marvel that’s well worth having on your iPhone. Allow me to explain why.

Launch Center is essentially a home for shortcuts to other things on your device. Once you’ve created those shortcuts, it lets you get certain tasks done in far fewer taps than would usually be required.

At its most basic, it’s an app launcher, giving you quick access to your most-used apps without the need to swipe through pages of Springboard icons first.

The list of built-in tasks includes sending an email or a text message directly to a specific person; or tweeting something; or Googling what’s on your clipboard. There are others too.

But go deeper, and there’s something even more magical. (This is the thing that convinced me to buy Launch Center.)

If you choose to create something called an App Action, and then use something called a Custom App URL, you can create one-tap shortcuts to things buried deep inside your device’s Settings app. I’ve set up shortcuts to things I’m always adjusting, like screen brightness and wifi on-or-off.

You can do other clever things with certain third-party apps that support Custom App URLs. So you can straight into Instagram’s camera, or straight into messages in the Facebook app, or a new item in OmniFocus. Check out this list to see some more.

OK, so each time you use it, Launch Center might only be saving you a handful of taps and a few seconds of time. But those tiny savings add up, and are much more appreciated when used in a hurry while you’re on the go.

I think Launch Center is a bargain at one dollar, and I can’t wait to see what other features it adds in future.

(Thanks Dave for the tip!)

Rating: ★★★★★

Related
  • Ryan Wineinger

    This is a good app.  Although I bought it for the settings feature you mentioned above and there is no easy way to set up the URL for that.  Have a link for the URL for that?  

  • tsutrav

    hey Ryan I bought for the exact same reason and was as mystified as you. I found this page with a list of URLs to use. So far so good. Hopefully it has what you’re looking for too:
    http://holgr.com/blog/2011/11/

  • John
  • Michael Crane

    Same exact reason for buying and problem.  Help?

    Edit: handy list in the link to the other guys blog. Nevermind!

  • Michael Crane

    Same exact reason for buying and problem.  Help?

    Edit: handy list in the link to the other guys blog. Nevermind!

  • gilest

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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