21 JUN

Launch Center Pro Brings Configurable Action Shortcuts to the iPhone

by Marianne Schultz
 

App Cubby’s Launch Center Pro utility app debuted in the App Store today, featuring configurable shortcuts to complete actions that normally take several taps, such as completing a Google search in Safari, capturing a picture with Instagram, composing new tweets and much more.

It’s like speed dial, but for more than just phone calls! Launch Center Pro creates lightning quick shortcuts to specific features burried deep within apps. Call a loved one, message a friend, launch Instagram’s camera to quickly snap a pic, tweet, or turn your iPhone into a flashlight. Launch Center Pro gets you to where you’re going faster than ever before!

(Unlike Axotic’s Fast Tools Pro that I mentioned earlier this week, Launch Center Pro actually does work as promised.)

Launch Center Pro works using shortcut URLs to access existing functions within apps. It’s not meant to be an alternate home screen to simply launch apps – it can carry out more complex tasks with fewer taps. For example, it comes pre-filled with some common actions, like toggling your iPhone’s screen between 10% and 100% brightness levels (you can adjust these levels to your liking), turning the camera’s LED light on to act as a flashlight on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, and more.

App Cubby created a demo video to highlight what Launch Center Pro can do:


 

It takes a little experimentation to learn how Launch Center Pro works and set it up the way that works best for you but it can be a powerful tool. I’ve already created some groups and actions that will let me pare down the number of apps I have on my iPhone for speed-dialing, turning on the camera flash, and others. Launch Center Pro works with a ton of other apps that incorporate the URL scheme Launch Center Pro uses. As I write this post, there are more than 200 compatible apps and this list will surely continue to grow. Popular apps like Tweetbot, Shazam, Reeder, OmniFocus, Netflix, Instapaper, as well as many of the stock apps that come installed on the iPhone are on this list.

Launch Center Pro is on sale at a special introductory price of $2.99, which is 40% off its regular price so dive in now to get it before it goes up. Note that it requires iOS 5 and works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 3rd- and 4th-generation iPod touch, and all iPad models.

  • Productivity

    Launch Center Pro

    Last Changed:
    4 days ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (33)
    Version:
    2.4.1
    iOS iPhone

    Save 80% through December 26th with App Santa! Discover more great apps at up to 80% off at AppSanta.co Launch actions, not just apps. It’s like speed dial for everyday tasks. Launch Center Pro...

4 Comments

  1. Matdredalia

    I just wanted to put in my two cents and say that while I was nervous about Launch Center Pro because of exactly what you mentioned, apps not living up to what they claim, I have been beyond delighted.

    I’m stingy with my money when it comes to apps. I usually will test out a Lite version for *months* before deciding to buy an app, especially any app that’s over 99 cents. However, Launch Center Pro looked absolutely fantastic. If nothing else, I have been DYING to have a simple way to switch brightness settings easily. While I was hesitant to rush into a rand new app, I said “Screw it, I’ve spent more on a bad burger” and bought it, figuring “Hey, at least I’m getting it while It’s on sale.”

    Well, I couldn’t be happier. This app does all it says, and sadly, I don’t think it does a great job of explaining just how FANTASTIC what it does truly is.

    Sticking LCP on my dock has saved me a lot of time in just a couple short days, and it is just so amazing. While I used to have to stop what I was doing on my phone, go to whichever page an app was on, find that app…for things that I needed FAST, I now can just hit home, tap LCP on my dock, and bamn, whatever I need is there.

    A quick Google search for something? Done. My flashlight? Done. Change the brightness? Done. Call my husband? Done. Call my mom? One tap more & it’s done. Open the book I was reading back up in Stanza? Done. It does take a few minutes to get it set up the way you want it, but once you have it set up, you are going to be ecstatic.

    The only downside I’ve found is a few of the apps I use constantly don’t have the URL hooking support that LCP uses. However, because I’ve been able to move so many apps from my front page into a corner in the back of my phone, I now have access to everything pretty simply on that first page with a tap of the home button.

    Honestly, while a lot of these things should be IN iOS to begin with, they just aren’t. LCP makes up for Apple’s failings and does it amazingly well.

    I think every iPhone user should have LCP, but ESPECIALLY power users like myself. I use my phone for everything — calls, texts, emails, photos (of course), but also listening to music, reading books, reading manga, keeping tabs on my health (I have MS & fibromyalgia, as well as many other disorders), playing games, IMing, painting, reading news…I mean everything. I think most of us do these days. LCP makes all of that so, so much easier.

    I know it seems like I’m making LCP out to be the Jesus of Apps, lol, but honestly, it’s pretty close. Tiny things that bothered me constantly about my phone have mostly been scrubbed. It’s really, really great.

    If you’re considering buying LCP, don’t hesitate. Get it while the price is cut a bit, and make your iOS life that much easier. :)

    Good luck!

  2. Marianne Schultz

    @Matdredalia,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts – I agree that Launch Center Pro is a fantastic app. I’ve worked on configuring it quite a bit and have completely rearranged the first two pages of my home screen accordingly. It’s taking a little time to get used to the new layout and take full advantage of what Launch Center Pro can do but I think it’s worth it. Of course, I wish Apple would build in some of these abilities into iOS, but that’s another story entirely.

    Marianne Schultz
    Editor

  3. Matdredalia

    @Marianne

    I agree that Apple should have built quite a few of these features into iOS, but let’s be honest, there are MANY things that Apple seems to have dropped the ball on. It’s sad, because some seem so basic, and sometimes I just tilt my head, sigh and shake my head. The iPhone can be pretty miraculous sometimes in what it can do, and yet basic things like being able to turn off all sound but your ringer at night don’t exist without a jailbreak. It’s like “Wait…what!? BlackBerry’s have had that since the early 2000’s! Get with the program, Apple!”

    However, I love the fact that App developers have become so creative that they have come up with work-arounds to make things like LCP that really help make up for Apple’s failings. The brightness thing has been a pull-my-hair-out-daily problem for quite some time. I live in an area where the weather likes to change from moment-to-moment, and I have to swap my brightness 4-10 times a day, depending. VERY frustrating going into settings to do all that. It blows my mind that Apple didn’t think to allow the task tray to slide over once more and give access to settings like that. But, I’m getting carried away. :) Like you said, Apple’s issues are a whole other matter, haha.

    BUT! The one good thing about the SmartPhone market booming is that Apple is going to have to morph to keep up as newer and better products roll out trying to conquer the titan that is the iPhone. Hopefully, Apple will focus less on aesthetics and more on user friendliness soon. :) We can hope!

    Thanks for the great review on LCP. :) Hopefully a few others will be brave enough to take the plunge and find out how awesome it truly is!

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