Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Is GO Launcher EX trying to kill itself?

GO Launcher EX is one of the best Android launchers out there, but it's trying to become one of the worst.

It started with cluttering the menu with useless shortcuts to spamvertise the app to your friends and buy stuff in the GOStore. Then stability started to suffer. Old versions of GO always worked, recent versions often draw a blank and have to rebuild your home screens when you return from another app.

The latest update (version 2.38) forces its screen indicator on your display. You can choose between the old indicator and a new version with new looks, but the option "no screen indicator" is gone. Autohide after a couple of seconds is the only choice left.
Edit: the option to remove the indicator returned, but it doesn't always work.

But the worst part about the new edition is the folder layout. It displays less icons and hides the missing entries behind a swipe gesture (more clicks to get to your apps!). The new folders try to disguise themselves as a pulldown bars. It wouldn't be so bad if this horrible and counter-intuitive folder layout was optional, but GO Launcher gives us no choice. The crippled layout is the only folder display option in the new version of GO.

GO Launcher EX is plagued by a bad case of featuritis. Once upon a time is was a clean, efficient, lightweight, fast launcher, but its makers threw in so much junk that it has become bloatware.

Time for the GO team to make a light version of their launcher which sticks to its core business, instead of cluttering the app with junk and bloat.

And maybe they remove the "phone home" behaviour of the app? GO Launcher EX tries to go online everytime I boot my phone. Of course I blocked it with DroidWall and LBE Privacy Guard, but why does a launcher need to call its maker all by itself? What data does it send out, and why is there no "off" switch in the settings menu?

If you want a vintage version of GO Launcher EX from the good old days, go here:

old versions of GO Launcher EX: v2.27 (uncluttered menu) and v2.37 (old folder layout)

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  1. Seriously? These are your reasons for disliking GOLauncher? The goddamn screen indicator and look of the folder? You are waaaayy too picky and should just stay with your stock home screen if you don't like all the features. What do you honestly expect from an aftermarket launcher. Last, what's your deffinition of bloatware? Anything you choose to install on your phone and can delete at your own free will at anytime is not defined as 'bloatware.'

  2. Did you miss the part about menu clutter, reduced stability, and phone home behaviour?

    To which later versions add a useless icon for the Go Store to your app drawer.

    The definition of bloatware includes software that suffers from featuritis, no matter if it comes preinstalled or is added later on.

    Finally, why would stick with the stock launcher if I can simply stick with an older unbloated version of Go Launcher?