I know, two Panoramic’s back to back…I went to the site and saw them both, what can I say?:) Here’s a beta release of Launchpad. It’s a full screen quicklauncher. The first page is favorites and you can add programs, contacts, settings or folders and there are two pages you can swipe between (16 icons per page) that you can customize. It puts a nice image for whatever you pick as well. The next tab is ‘programs’ and that is a scrollbable list of all of your programs (essentially a ‘start menu’ replacement. And the next tab is settings which also let you get to all of your settings in a scrollable list. All of the scrolling is kinetic, very smooth and fluid and the app is very easy on the eyes and fingers. It also has a lot of options: you can change the color scheme, background skin, start menu icon, change icon size, add separators and other settings. In briefly using it, it is very easy to use and customize and everything seems smooth. I can see this coming in handy as a replacement for the traditional start menu. it also remembers your settings, so if you were in the Games folder last it wills tart you there as well. And it launches instantly so you can just map it to a key and run it. How does it launch so quick? It remains running even when closed (about 4megs). To be fair, TF3D never closes and if you want instant then this is how to make it happen. As for landscape support, it is there but I had a large lag (3-4 seconds) before it rotated. The beta was launched Jan 29, 2010 and if you want to try it out just enter your info here and you’ll immediately get an email with a link. Here’s the description for 1.5:
Two (2) customizable favorites screens
Drag, Drop and Launch programs, settings, files and folders on the favorites screens
Easy navigation with a finger friendly menu bar and kinetic scrolling lists
Six (6) custom skin colors
Smooth animations transition between screens
Replace your windows mobile default start menu
"Today" favorite option so users can quickly go back to the today screen
Now supports German, French and Spanish!
The changes appear to be the ability to add shortcuts to files/folders and contacts, the way the two favorites pages work when flicking and the addition of more options. I don’t know the limitations on the beta. Launchpad 1.5 itself is just $4 also, so it’s not a bad way to demo it.