Cromulent Labs is thrilled to announce that the latest major version, 4.0, of their popular Launcher app is available for immediate download on the Apple App Store. This version contains the following features:
- Shortcut Launchers: Utilize the power of the Shortcuts app without the complication
- Settings launchers are back. Launch the Settings app to specific screens.
- New launchers to turn Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Low Battery Mode, Cellular Data, and DND on or off with one tap.
- Launch any app on your device — no more limits.
- Support for iOS 13. Launcher widgets will now automatically follow system light or dark mode.
- New Jumbo Size Launchers: easier to tap when you are on the go.
- Web Launchers can optionally be opened in Google Chrome, Firefox or DuckDuckGo.
- Over 1000+ new glyphs in Create Your Own Icon.
- New Option: Pin launchers to the bottom of the screen where they are easier to tap (app only).
As you may know, Apple places many limitations on third-party apps like Launcher, but because they own and develop the Shortcuts app, it is allowed to perform many functions that our users have been requesting over the years. However, with Shortcuts’ power comes complication as well, and setting up shortcuts is not nearly as easy as setting up new launchers in Launcher. Therefore, it made sense to add a tighter coupling between Launcher and Shortcuts to allow our users to take advantage of the power of Shortcuts without all of the complication, especially now that the Shortcuts app is built-in to iOS 13.
One of the most popular Launcher features were the Settings launchers that were added shortly after Launcher was originally released. It is cumbersome to navigate the Settings app to choose a different Wifi hotspot or connect to a new Bluetooth device, and some settings are buried deep within the app. So having one tap access to frequently used screens within the Settings app was a huge productivity boost.
Sadly, Apple made me remove the Settings launchers back in 2017 and they ended up removing the ability for third-party apps to open those screens in iOS 11. However, in iOS 13, the Shortcuts app has the ability to open the Settings app to any screen, so we have added shortcut launchers that open the most popular and useful screens within the Settings app in Launcher v4.0.
Please note that because this feature is currently approved by Apple, they will sometimes force developers to remove features they have previously approved. So I can’t guarantee that they won’t force me to remove the Settings launchers again in the future. Apple could also remove this functionality from the Shortcuts app at any time, which affect the shortcut launchers as well.
Shortcut Utility Launchers
One of the features that our users have requested the most over the years has been launchers that can toggle important system settings like Wifi, Bluetooth, Cellular Data, Low Power Mode, Airplane Mode and DND. Recently the Shortcuts app added the ability to toggle these settings, and so we have added shortcut launchers in Launcher v4.0 that can perform these functions as well. Note that the Shortcuts app will be launched in order to accomplish these functions.
Launch Any App
Due to limitations in iOS, Launcher can only launch apps using the app’s “custom URL scheme”, which is something that an app’s developer has to add to their app. For years our users have requested apps to be added and we have added tens of thousands of apps to the Launcher app database. However, not all apps have custom URL schemes, which means we haven’t been able to launch every app out there until now.
Shortcuts has the ability to launch any app on your device, so as long as Launcher can run a shortcut, you can now launch any app on your device using Launcher. You’ll see in the new Launcher app list that there is an option to search the App Store and in the list, any app that has the Shortcuts icon can now be launched with a shortcut launcher. We don’t have shortcut launchers for every app in the App Store yet, but so far we have almost 500,000 shortcut launchers and we are adding more every day. If you see an app that you want to launch that hasn’t been added yet, just tap on it and we should add it within 24 hours.
While the new shortcut launchers are much easier to set up in Launcher than setting up shortcuts in the Shortcuts app, there is some added complication in setting up shortcut launchers that cannot be avoided.
Firstly, before you create shortcut launchers, you have to enable a global setting in the Settings app to allow Shortcuts to import shortcuts from other apps. The steps required to enable this setting are listed in Launcher the first time you attempt to set up a shortcut launcher:
Once you have enabled importing of shortcuts, you will not have to do this again. However, for every shortcut launcher you add, there is a second step of importing the shortcut into the Shortcuts app. This will happen automatically when you save the shortcut launcher. Just make sure that you always tap the “Add Untrusted Shortcut” button in the Shortcuts app or the launcher will not function properly.
And lastly, every shortcut launcher will need to first open the Shortcuts app when it is launched before it can open the target app. We feel this is a minor inconvenience that is worth the functionality that it enables.
The addition of shortcut launchers adds long-requested functionality and makes Launcher once again the most useful and powerful launcher on the App Store. With multiple widgets that can show or hide based on time or location, folders, and tons of customization options including 5 different launcher sizes, the Launcher widget is a far superior way to launch shortcuts than the Shortcuts widget or any other widget on the App Store.
Please download Launcher v4.0 today and give it a try. We think you’ll find the more powerful Launcher even more useful than it already was.