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Feb
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Back in December, we told you about a new launcher called TSF Shell that was set to raise the bar for custom launchers. After two and a half months of waiting, that app is now available in the Android Market, albeit for a ridiculously high price of $17. For a launcher. These people have lost their minds.

Still, if you can get past the immediate shock due to the high price and start reading the Market description, you'll immediately realize that, well, it's not all that easy to follow. In fact, it looks like a straight-up copy/paste from Google Translate. While it may be lol-inducing, it's definitely not really going to influence users to buy the app; in fact, it's probably going to do the opposite.

1 2 3

Despite these two somewhat major downfalls, the app is one of the most customizable, well-made launchers that we've ever seen. It's insanely creative, offers a massive amount of features, and has a style like no other. Here's a look at what is has to offer:

There are also three widgets available that go along with the launcher (fortunately, those are free): a weather widget, music widget, and notepad widget (shown below, respectively).

weather music notepad

So, if you're ready to take your Android device to a whole new level of customization, hit the widget below to buy.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • iammodo

    Just to much now ics launchers are so good.

  • Jens

    My guess is that they looked at their development time and rent checks and realized that they would have to charge that much in order to recoup costs. Bummer, because I'm not sure I'd pull the trigger at that cost.
    Still, it looks incredible.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116930094233210246792/posts Chris Bailey

    I really really wanted to buy this, even was willing to spend 5-10 bucks for it but 17 is beyond my price range for something I'm not 100% sure I'll like. There needs to be some kind of trial or something before you spend that kind of dough

    • rugarth-android-man

      I believe you can get refunded (without any consequences) in 15 minutes of app use. It was supposed to be a day before, then an hour, and now its 15 mins only, maybe all gone by now.

      Even then $17 is just too much to pay for only a launcher, which might only give you a few minutes of "Whoa that's so cool"... :P

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

        It's still 15 minutes, you can go to the Market app on the device, go to the screen for the app you want a refund on, and instead of an 'Uninstall' button it has 'Refund' (at least, that's how I remember it, I haven't had to do it in a couple of months, but I know it's still there).

        The problem is, that's only good enough if the app doesn't require DLC (as many games do now) and you're only testing for compatibility. It's useless for the obvious issue here, how useable is it and will I like it?

        For apps that cost less than a Sobe, I rarely care. For apps that cost less than what I'd pay for lunch, questionable but I'd consider it based on reviews and necessity. For apps that cost as much as a decent dinner, I simply won't touch it without some way to trial it completely.

  • Deltaechoe

    That is really really high for a mobile app cost jeez

    • Jim

      You would think so, and I'm inclined to agree. However, have a look at SPB's shell in the market. They charge $15, and if the market stats are to believed the SPB product has been installed between 100,000 and 500,000 times. That's probably how TSF justifies their $17 price tag.

      • jason

        the stats count total downloads only, not sales. if someone uninstalls and gets a refund it still counts in that number.

    • squiddy20

      There's a Blackberry app that costs around $500 and all it is is a clock widget...

      • paxmos

        Anyone whose time is so important may pay a high price as such for an app but not on a Blackberry!!!!

  • Chris Bozsik

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much way too late

  • Mike

    It's cool. Not $17 cool.

  • Icefreez

    Fancy, maybe to fancy. I don't know if I want to watch my icons pop out of their folder one by one each time I open a folder. I just want it open now so I can tap the application and launch it.

    Also they really should have taken note of the price range of ALL OTHER LAUNCHERS. Way to expensive. Make up your expenses with volume sales not a massive price tag. Especially with so much competition out there already.

  • Drew Nusser

    Could I just give you one of my kidneys instead?

  • Ninja robot

    Was really looking forward to it but way too costly for an app

  • http://cassidyjames.com Cassidy James

    Looks like a fun toy/tech demo, but I don't want to spend ten minutes customizing my home screen; I just want to get at what I use, and fast.

  • Jaymoon

    How OCD do you have to be in order to do half the stuff in that demo more than once?

    ...and $17 for a launcher? Devs wonder why people pirate their apps, well there's one reason that comes to mind...

  • irish_iiii

    Price tag took it off my shopping wishlist.

  • DigiSky

    That's not 3d. That's 2d done well. Maybe they are targeting phone manufacturers at that price point? It's not even an app per se, just a new way of organizing apps. For $17 I think I'll stick to what I got, or any of the free alternatives.

  • Darkseider

    Seriously people? $17 too much for an app. of this quality? It's not like a BS launcher replacement that adds a scrollable dock. This is a full on 3D accelerated replacement launcher with custom widgets and all sorts of other things going on. I just don't get it. You'll pay $200 - $300 for a phone but complain that $17 is too much for an app. of this quality especially one that you will ALWAYS be using in this case because it is the launcher. Yet $3 for a game that you may play here and there to kill time is OK. Defies logic... it really does.

    • Joshua

      Nice try, TSFUI.

      But seriously, I am on the fence about this. In most cases, for $5 apps (especially apps like launchers, Tasker, Titanium Backup, etc.) I make the same argument you do. A small price for an app on a $300 phone is totally worth it.

      However, I think in light of the compeitition, I think this is completely overpriced. They are hurting themselves - no one is going to buy this. If they make it $8.50, four times as many people will purchase it. and their profit will double.

    • http://www.unlocktheinbox.com wpfn

      Does not defy logic. Logic would have suggested that it be "reasonably" priced. By that I mean fairly competitive with other launchers on the market, or at least in the same ballpark -which it's NOT!

      I'll use a lesser quality (free) launcher any day and save the $17. That's just my two cents, but some people have more money than brains I suppose.

    • scott

      There's also the idea of what the market will bear. No matter how pretty, at the end of the day it's stilll a launcher app, one of many available.

      If a dev is going to command a premium price, they damn well better have a demo to try. A fancy video isn't enough. I'd have no problem paying for a quality app-even at 17 bucks-but not sight unseen, that's simply piss poor business.

      • Deltaechoe

        Also if you have read the comments left on it's market page, a number of people are less than pleased with it's performance citing consistent force closes

    • Grweg

      $17 is too much for an over the top launcher that I wouldn't like more than Nova Launcher, which is free....Why would I want something that totally ruins ICS like this? This is the same reason I don't want Sense on my phone. It probably makes the phone crawl and destroys battery. They probably put it at $17 for the 100 idiots who will buy it at this price and once they stop buying it will be down to $5. Within 2 weeks it will be at this price.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116930094233210246792/posts Chris Bailey

      yes actually it is, keep in mind that nobody else charges that much for a launcher. Even spb Mobile shell (which charges out the butt) only sells at 14.95 if we didn't have other apps that did the same thing for less we wouldn't be complaining but the fact of the matter is this is way to much for an app that has not proven itself.

      I personally want to know how this will hit my battery, I won't make a move till I know that and I need more than 15min to see.

  • Umang

    @Cameron Are you going to buy it to show us some demo? :P

    • Mark

      Cameron can just expense it to Android Police, call it a business expense :-)

  • Dandmcd

    15 minute return policy for a $17 launcher that may or may not work on my phone or tablet. Nooo thanks! There should have been a free demo released that locks down after so much time.

  • h2

    @darkseider, did you buy it?

    • Darkseider

      I will once they make it compatible with tablets. I would love to have this on my TF Prime but the only device I have compatible right now is my G2X which still doesn't have ICS. Once Hellfire Sandwich for ICS hits Beta and can become my daily driver I will definitely download this launcher. The $17 is inconsequential especially when it will be applied across two devices.

      • Firehawk

        Um.. Hellfire Sandwich AND EaglesBlood ICS are daily drivers, even as alphas. I've been running Eaglesblood for a week and it's completely stable. The only thing wrong is you can't record video, but there's an app on the market which fixes that. Also, how do you figure $17 across two devices? 17 x 2 = 34.

        • Rellissc

          Once you buy the app for one device, assuming you use the same google acount, you can install it on other devices.

  • Kevin

    Lol I don't these really expensive home replacement apps... When I'm on my phone I look at the homescreen for about 5 seconds and launch the app I want, and leave the launcher. Seems kinda silly to spend $17 on something your barely going to look at. Not hating, just my .02

    • Smerv

      Kelvin in that case you should get an iPhone if you only launch app .. :)

      However I do agree that this is super overpriced..

  • Sam

    Simply hate the logic that

    "Oh you bought $300 phone then you can buy $17 app."

    No. I bought a house but I don't have to buy every freaking washing machine out there.

    • Firehawk

      You don't? Damn, anyone need a washing machine?

  • Lewis

    Is it refundable, and if they lowered the price to say $10, they would easily triple their income, due to higher demand. SPB shell only receives a lot of customers due to them being a well known company. TSF is new and to set their first product at $17 is ridiculous

  • LordGeek

    Yeah .. $17 .. right :( Nothing justifies it being that price .. even if Google gives that 15 mintes for a refund .. 15 minutes is certainly NOT enough time to see what ALL this can do.

    Maybe if they see that MORE and MORE people are complaining about the pricing .. they'll drop it to a more reasonable amount.

    Right now though .. I ain't touching it :(

  • andddlay

    i bought it. it's nice and all, but i probably should have returned it since it was 17$. i got too caught up int he moment and waited too long...i hope they update it soon, it's a little buggy.

  • http://www.funiaste.net Terrible Monster

    I will not buy it. It's too expensive. Let them teach a lesson.

  • Ron

    Bought it and installed on my Galaxy S2.
    Kept force closing so I got uninstalled and got my refund.

  • Luly

    As cool as it looks, $17 for a launcher is too expensive for me.

    I will pass on this one.

  • hyperbolic

    All your money are belongs to us!

  • bse88

    That would be 73,14$ in my country. Pretty much.

  • Eric G

    With the world as a market you don't offer your program at the highest price, but you are going for most buyers. And how lower the price the more buyers you get. At this price, they should be happy if they sell between 10 and 100 copies. For one dollar they probably sell a couple of 10 thousands copies. Maybe 100 thousand.
    They are smart in building this launcher, but not smart in selling it.

  • Tom

    WTF, how are you all so stupid? This is a rebranded TAT Home, either that or the idea is stolen, it's about as creative as 3 years ago. This demo was done on an HTC Hero, to give you an idea of how long ago it was: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOGmnnGpoqg

    • Lewis

      How are you so stupid? That launcher never made it through development. It was demoed 3 years ago but where is it now? Twat

      • rugarth-android-man

        TAT was bought by RIM and so they stopped doing what they were doing and focused on making their new owners happy.

        On the price point, yeah.. let's wait it out and teach these kids a lesson. They are very talented in software, but not so in marketing.

  • Tyler

    Anyway android police could do a full review and really let us know what we're dealing with here? How's battery life with this? Just need more details to say what it's worth.

  • Houston

    I have no interest in sending $17 to China. Not to mention it looks similar to TAT's work (or whatever it was those folks were working on before they got bought up by RIM). Pass.

    • ChumbleSpuzz

      An who do you think made the phone you will not be installing this app on?

  • Jim Thomson

    ... for a ridiculously high price of $17. For a launcher. These people have lost their minds."

    says it all.

  • http://amitgupta.in/ amit

    Don't see much reason why people complain. Its a capitalist market, not a socialist one where everything is for everyone! You like it, you can afford it then buy it else there are plenty others that you might like & get. If people can buy SPB Shell 3D for $15 then why the brouhaha on $17 price tag!!

    It doesnt mean I'm saying $17 is the right price, $10 would've been better positioned. But seriously, all the whining.... jeez!

    • Lewis

      I can afford it, but i need justification. SPB shell sells because they are well known around the world. TSF is a new company, they should have started at a lower price to bring in customers, improve their launcher by doing weekly updates and meet sanctification of customers. I would pay $17 for it, if it seemed worth it.

  • rugarth-android-man

    I think people are more pissed about the fact that it was such an anticipated launcher, actually saw the light of day (unlike TAT's) and on leap day... but was priced so high that it broke their hearts. :(

    I guess that's a lot to do with all the whining... people wait it out. They will learn their lesson, or you can spend those hard earned $17 after 2 weeks. :P

    • Lewis

      Chances are they will lower it slightly soon, due to low demand. 370,000 people watched their youtube video and nearly 3000 liked it. yet under 100 people bought the app so far, mainly due to the pricing. If it was £5(im british) then i would be on that, but its £10.50 which seems over priced for a new product.

  • Lewis

    If the app was getting 90% 5* reviews then i would purchase it, but the fact that people have given 3.6* overall suggests they just wasted £10.50

  • Freak4Dell

    Not even worth a try at $17. The refund window would be up before I even got to try out all the features.

  • http://androidpandora.blogspot.com/ Myself

    i compare this to have aleroids in your car, clumsy to say the least

    i don't like it, but props for them for making something different

  • Peter

    Did I miss the memo or how come there are no download stats for any of the apps of that developer?!? Is there a way to disable them on the web market, somewhere in the backend?!

    • jake

      Download stats show up after a few days in the Market.

  • Ruben

    Aint worth it, especially since ICS is so nice. ICS is the first version of android (on the train since Cupcake) that I have not used a different launcher. I have NOVA Launcher but it looks exactly like stock. For 3 bucks maybe, but it aint better than stock, so 17 bucks is ridiculous. I used the free ADW for a long time before getting ADW EX, and by that time I truly loved the app. They absolutely need a trial version. Perhaps a version that only works for three days before having to buy.

  • Steve

    I bought SPB for my s2x. Battery life went up with it instead of using touch wiz. I would pay for this. Hell I pay more than that for a beer.

  • Joshua

    Its 50 bucks in my country. That's my lunch for one whole friggin' week.

  • Samu

    Ive spent 275 dollars on a pair of earrings lol so... I cant say much except people spend money on things they like. for Some people its earring, some people its buggy version of go launcher hahahaha

  • L boogie

    Hey tsf, how about a demo version and a $10 tag version that way, you could please your customer base and in return, you'll be rewarded.

  • Jayden

    To be honest, I wouldn't even use it if it were free. It's got to drain the battery even more than a live wallpaper, and I love my MIUI launcher anyway!

  • grellanl

    Blech, gimmicky and nasty. And it is a clear copy of the TAT work a while back (didn't like that either, it's flashy and naff, design proof-of-concept at its worst).

    Re costs. If it was *good*, it might well be worth the price - people's expectations that all apps should only cost a buck or two, have gotten way out of line lately. Considering how much we pay for the device, both upfront and over the cost of a two-year contract, it's bizarre that people then begrudge spending a penny on the software that actually lets us do cool stuff with our devices.

  • Hummm…

    Not sure I like this level of customization. I like to have my widgets and icons neatly aligned in a grid (I'm a control freak), I don't want them floating around or rotated.

  • Papapau

    Can someone please explain to me what the FUSS is all about? Can someone tell me how TSF Shell outclasses or even in-par SPB Shell?

  • Perry

    Ok let's be honest here, $17 is alot of $$ for a launcher app for sure. But you have to admit that it is majorly sweet. No other launcher does what this one does if you view the video above, not even close.

    Now I think the developers would have done themselves a better service and priced it at around $10. More people would purchase it then. Still it is the best launcher I've ever seen and it does more in terms of customizing your phone than any other. A few bucks cheaper and they would sell a hell of alot more. I myself would buy it for $10

  • Lewis

    I just downloaded it, and it is soo good, the only bugs i found was some of the previewed stuff was missing, the album artwork for the music widget was missing, and no live wallpapers( not that i use them) but still a bug. I refunded but it is worth it if you use your phone constantly. £10.50 is alot, but worth the price if it gets used. I will re download once more bug fixes have occurred. hope this helped

  • sjaak

    Just tried a cracked version. Yes, it is smooth. No, it is not user friendly. Too many swipes and taps to get things done. The moving clouds and pumpkins, the folder boxes and a few other things are in the video allright, but not (yet) in the app you buy.. (but the album art is by the way, just flick upwards on that player widget).

    It was fun to play with for a couple of minutes but I am going to uninstall it.

  • sriracha

    up to 500 ratings, and between 1k-5k downloads. it's selling better than i thought it would at $17 for admission.

    but for the price, and what it is, it's just not for me.

  • Kane

    Hey guys, I am a friend of TSF founder team. As all you knew the price was the biggest problem and had argument. Here is my opinion:

    As I know, they quit their previous job and spent almost 1 year in development without paid.

    They haven't accepted any VC or others people investment. They just want to make an awesome launcher without commercialize,and make the best launcher for android phone. they didn't even have a formal office,and did codes in starbuck or some kinds of that.

    Maybe you are not going to pay it now,it doesn't matter,they know someone will crack it and some people can use it for free.

    And I think perhaps this is one of the reasons,they make it high price.just let big fans to buy it (or donate it ?)and support them to make it better.

    Anyway,He has been in crazy that thousand users feedback the product problems.And I believe he will try his best to make it better. As a friend of him,I am glad to see people are talking about it.

  • Adam

    They ought to try pushing it for $9.99. I could see a lot more people willing to cough up cash for a launcher if it's under 10 dollars.

  • http://www.lanik.org DaLanik

    Tried it and the thing is unique. It is sooo smooth... Some things from video are missing. But, most important... it is hard to get used to. Impractical. Only 4 screens. It is easy to mess up icons, folders accept only 12 icons, non scrollable. Also doesn't support scrollable widgets. But I really like it and find my DHD's Sense 3.0 a bit "static" now after trying TSF... :) The price is high, but not that high. If you like it, you can sacrifice that amount, and I'm talking from my perspective in EASTERN europe, so don't tell me it's too much for someone in western europe or USA...

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