As a fan of first Launcher Pro Plus, then ADW EX, and now GO Launcher EX (which is absolutely free, by the way), I wanted to show you guys a recent addition to the latter that made it stand out from the rest of the pack even more than it already does. Lately, LPP hasn't given me any reasons to continue using it whatsoever - the app seems to have been abandoned by Fede, and ADW EX, while a very worthy opponent, also fell victim to GO team's fine offering.

Imagine that you want to organize your busy homescreen and swap some icons around. What do you do? In Launcher Pro or Sense, I either had to remove one of the icons or move it to another homescreen, then start swapping things around using empty space as temporary holders.

Not with GO Launcher EX - a recent addition called app pinching lets me perform the same task much more elegantly. Shall I demonstrate?

Switch to 720p for best clarity

Such a natural and simple movement, isn't it? Yet, I haven't seen anything similar in other launchers (why?). If you're familiar with iOS, what I just showed you shouldn't look too surprising, but I'm not aware of other Android launchers doing something similar - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Update: Apparently SPB Shell 3D, which costs $15, does this too.

You might say GO Launcher borrowed this from iOS (along with those "trembling" icons in uninstall mode), and you'd probably be right, but hey - right now, I'll take this convenience and let Apple worry about the GO team (if they can ever get to them).

GO Launcher EX is absolutely free in the Market - hit up the widget below to grab it.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • uin

    Sense 3.0 lets you drag things on your home-screen & automatically moves whatever's in the way

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I see - I haven't used Sense 3.0 much - I mostly remember it from the EVO 4G days. Can't think of popular custom launchers that can do this though.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

      It's true that Sense 3.0 does it, but every time I do that it feels very clunky and sorta half-baked (no real animation to it and it performs the switch a fraction too fast for my taste)

      The other problem I've found with the way Sense 3.0 does it is that there's a bit of unpredictability to the pinch which sometimes leaves icons sorta hanging in space.

      The more I see alternate launchers fine-tuning this kinda thing the more tempted I get to leave behind Sense.

    • BobbyPhoenix

      Yep I can do it on my DHD with Sense, and on my Defy with Blur. Both work well for me.

  • http://www.hardhairpinleft.com Andrew Hime

    You can do this on any webOS device - why is it we need Android on the TouchPad again? Oh, right... apps. Whee.

    • Duffin

      It's time to accept that WebOS is dead, my friend. I can find you a WebOS Anonymous group near your area if you need help.

      • nocturnhabeo

        there will only be one guy quietly whispering to himself in the corner occasionally throwing a fit and then regressing back into silence.

  • hoan

    Been using this launcher forever

  • Synaptic13

    FYI Fede has not abandoned LPP.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      He'll have to prove that with his actions, I'm afraid.

      • Synaptic13

        Well...if u can develop a launcher of what caliber is expected in the rewrite (let alone the current version) in less time more power to you...however if you follow his tweets you would see that he is actively working on it.

        • Synaptic13

          I only comment as I don't think its fair to compare "GL" to "LPP" ...its like comparing a hamburger to filet mignon..."GL" is buggy @ best...*end rant* :-P ;-)

        • http://infectedrom.com McLabia

          Well, its been since what, march since an update? lol. Thats abandoned dude. GOL > All launchers anyways.

        • Jake

          Buggy at best? I have yet to find a big in GL - I see you clearly have allegiance to LP which is fine but you are just trolling on Go now.

        • jim

          i've always had issues with GL, never LPP

        • Duffin

          It's not the fact that it's taking long, it's the fact that he is not providing any updates on his progress. I check the LPP forums occasionally and never see anything from him about how far along he is. Don't get me wrong, once the new version comes out, I'll definitely be trying it out, but I don't use LPP anymore in it's current form.

        • Simmeltron

          Looking at your following post gave me the laugh I needed this morning. "buggy at best" huh? Thanks for giving me what I had long wanted to say.... TROLL.

  • http://gplus.to/attilacsapo Attila Csapo

    My stock MIUI launcher does this too, and I've been using it since a year now, or so...

    • http://www.gigitsu.com GigiAUT

      +1, was gonna say the same thing but I knew there was bound to be another MIUI user somewhere around here.

    • http://software.o-o.ro Andrew

      Haha yes! As soon as I saw the video I ctrl+f ed for miui on the page.

      For lower end phones which can't handle miui it does the trick though.

  • BJ

    latest moto blur for D3 and Bionic can do this too..

  • IJ

    It there a friendstream like widget that you can use with this? the one on LPP is very good which why I am hesitant to change, Even though it often force closes on a reboot.

    • Denver

      That is the only thing holding me to LPP at the moment too.

    • Bunsen Honeydew

      I was stuck on LPP for the same reason. I found Android Pro Widgets are a good alternative, and they can be used on any launcher. Search DrAppche in the market.

  • Ennis

    This even works in the dock icons. Check that out.

  • tehsusenoh

    The new Motorola UI found on the Bionic and the Droid 3 does this as well.

  • Gogol

    LPP has its widgets ... That's all.

  • dNj

    MIUI, has had this for some time. Another option with MIUI, is to long press the apps icon, you want to move, swipe to the homescreen of your choice, then release the apps, icon at its new location.

  • iBolski

    Thanks for the tip! I've been using GLEX since it first came out. I've also hated not being able to swap icons. Never knew the latest could do that!

    I love it!

  • Simon Belmont

    I always liked this feature on my wife's Sprint Palm Pre. It is nice to see a custom launcher is doing this too for Android.

    HTC Sense 3.0 does it now on my Sprint HTC EVO 3D and I like it a lot. Nice write up and video.

  • Simmeltron

    This is a wonderful feature. The only thing I feel that needs tweaked with it is when attempting to drag an icon into a folder, it moves the folder off to the side like the other icons. The only way to drop it into the folder is once the folder has scooted to the side. You can drop it then but then you have to scoot the affected folders/icons back to their original spot.

  • p51d007

    I started using GoLauncher a couple months ago when I started having problems with Launcher Pro on my Dell Streak. Haven't had any issues so far with GoLauncher.
    Seems to be updated frequently with new features added, bugs fixed due to good feedback from users. Unless GoLauncher gives me problems, I'll stick with what works.

  • ekk222

    I believe Apple has a patent on this, so that might be part of the reason developers/companies have been hesitant to implement it.

    • someone

      Err... As far as I know, pinch for preview of all home screens is an HTC invention, and such a function is not available on big red devices.

      That said, I've configured my go launcher to do the preview when I swipe up. I find it easier to do, since I don't always have both hands free or just don't want to be bothered moving my other hand

  • Chargerman165

    I purchased and used LPP. Tried ADW and now use GL on my Bionic. I am a big fan of Sense, however, like GL on Bionic so much I put it on my Tbolt as well. Works great and seems to have made the Tbolt smoother.

  • Scott

    Does anyone else have problems with GL force closing and restarting constantly? Plus my app drawer lags and freezes up. I love the features of it but was making my phone very slow. I was thinking maybe it was a memory problem. Went back to stock and phone is fast with no lag. Using Droid X with gingerbread. Any ideas why?

    • SYO

      Launcher redraw problems is usually a RAM issue. When your phone gets low on ram it starts closing stuff in the background so usually while you're using a particularly memory intensive app, you'll see that this happens as soon as you leave the app.

      This can be fixed by changing the OOM (out of memory) levels set by android. Some apps do this temporarily. A more permanent fix requires rooting though. :)

      • Scott

        I am rooted what do I need to do?

  • Eric

    I switch between GO and ADW EX. Go seems more feature filled, but slower on my SGS1. Especially the 3D app drawer.

  • headshrinker

    When I had Samsung Galaxy 1 it was really just a periodic switch between ADW Ex, Launcher Pro Plus, Go Launcher. I also tried several other launchers, both free and paid, but those three mentioned above really stood out. SPB Shell pissed the hell out of me as it kept restarting the phone (Rooted, ROM Darky's v9.5 w/ Voodoo Lagfix) --- it kept on restarting the SGS1.

    Moving on to Samsung Galaxy S 2, it changes the game as the new TouchWiz is, in my opinion, better than the custom launchers. All except - surprise - SPB Shell! I've been using it for a month now. The secret is in customizing it in a logical manner. It took me a great deal of effort to think about my layout because I really want to make the most out of that $15 I paid for LOL. If you don't think about the layout all you get is a blur, a mess, a rotating launcher that makes you dizzy.

    Quite happy with it. Just want to share because I am a launcher/app junkie. I think there really is no "perfect" launcher out of the box. It is the user's creativity that brings out the best potential in each launcher.

    Err, now I would like to have a NEW launcher again! ;p

  • quappz

    +1 MIUI ftw. But then miui seems to have a whole stack of features that most other options don't..

  • http://rootandroid.net root android

    Have been using Go Launcher for a while. Love it!

  • Androcop

    Simply the best of the best! Go Launcher EX is one of the most powerful and intuitive launchers! You can even slide the desktop dock to show a new set of icons (just like you slide the home screens, you can also do the same with the dock if your drag your finger horizontally). The new versions also let you drag&drop icons to the dock and from the dock. Go Launcher EX has the best looking themes out of all launchers. We should all donate as they truly deserve it.

  • GraveUypo

    tbh i hate this feature. its become a chore to put icons into folders. i usually mess up my whole homescreen when trying to get a icon into a folder

  • amber

    You people... need to get your head out of your phones. Jesus...

    • Amused

      HA! Says the person reading a launcher review on an android website...

  • http://sketaful.se Sketaful

    I love GO Launcher. One of the feutures I like is how you can use folders. This way I have every app sorted after it's use (Ex. Got one folder named "games" and one named "System" etc.)

    The thing that I've noticed is different with the use of folders is that it doesn't limit you to use folders on the homescreens but in also where all apps are shown (what the hell is it called).

    This is perfekt because now I don't need as many apps on my homescreen since its sorted enough to be easy to find anyway.

  • Johnsontsk

    OK guys, I currently using ADWLauncher EX & I like it.
    So, try to convince me to switch to GO Launcher by giving me good reasons.
    Or should I stay on ADWLauncher EX ???

  • Johnsontsk

    OK guys, I currently using ADWLauncher EX & I like it.
    So, try to convince me to switch to GO Launcher by giving me good reasons.
    Or should I stay on ADWLauncher EX ???

    pls advice...

  • http://androidforums.com reggjoo

    Golauncher,cyanogenmod, titanium backup, that's all you need.