Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scolling widget... sort of

The paid version of the Launch Bar was just updated. The new feature is that the widget "scrolls". Well, fake scrolls... I run the Launcher Pro home replacement app and it supports scrolling widgets however, it looks like the scroll can only be vertical. The launch bar is of course horizontal and as far as I know you can't make a horizontal scrolling widget. The reasoning is pretty simple, the left / right swipe motion is reserved by the system to change home screens. So my original idea of using the gallery and a nice smooth horizontally scrolling widget went out the window. Although, this was probably for the best as the design change allowed me to add more than 7 icons and not require a special home replacement (although I highly recommend Launcher Pro).

So, here's how it works. There is now a 'Mode' button that will give you 4 choices:
  • Classic - This is the Launch Bar that we've come to know and love. Seven customizable buttons
  • Arrows - When this is selected, you see two gray arrows that will allow you to scroll one icon left or right in the list. It's a continuous loop, so when you get to your last icon, the list will start over. I cut the number of icons down to 6 when the phone is in portrait mode. This was for sizing / usability reasons. You can also double tap the arrow to jump seven icons at a time.*
  • Scroll Bar - When selected, you will see an orange bar below your icons. You can touch that bar at any point to jump to that part of the list. Sadly, you can't slide your finger over the bar to scroll (you can't have a true slide bar as the left / right slide is reserved for the changing of screens).
  • Mixed - When the phone is in portrait mode it will use the Scroll Bar mode. When the phone is landscape it will use Arrow mode. This came about just because of how widgets are sized differently in portrait vs landscape. It gives you the best of both worlds in my opinion.
I'm sure that there will be other minor changes here and there as oddities are noticed, but I think that's the majority of the major enhancements for now. Although, if a reasonable enhancement request comes in I'll be more than happy to put it in.