unnamed (1)

Most of our readers consider themselves power users, and rightly so. Perhaps you don't have a spare 1.8 seconds to laboriously tap the Home button, then the app launcher, then that app you use every third Tuesday. Well, obsessive customizers, your new best friend on the Google Play Store is FlipLauncher, a free app that embeds up to five completely adjustable launcher ribbons over any and every part of Android.

wm_2012-10-28 20.28.24 wm_2012-10-28 20.32.58 wm_2012-10-28 20.36.34

wm_2012-10-28 20.38.33 wm_2012-10-28 21.48.00 wm_2012-10-28 21.49.02

Don't let its admittedly plain looks fool you: FlipLauncher is surprisingly versatile. By default, it puts five candy-colored tabs on the left side of your screen. Swipe right on any of them to open up a ribbon, which can hold four apps or shortcuts. If you think the default setting is ugly and/or distracting (and it is) you can adjust the width, color and opacity of the ribbons, even making them invisible. You can add or remove ribbons, or make them activate from the right instead.

I'm getting a lot of utility out of FlipLauncher, if only because it's faster than other pseudo-launchers like Sudo QuickLaunch or Wave Launcher. It's a free ad-supported download, so if you've been looking for a way to spice up your machine, give it a try.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://twitter.com/sterpazook Alexander

    SwipePad was there all along

  • Andras Kosa

    Try SwipePad. It's much better. It does more than launching apps.

  • Firelight

    I'm still using SwipePad and have no plans to switch. I've seen all these other wannabees try to do it better and they just can't.

    I've paid for one add-on (larger launcher space) and have a couple of hotspots that more than make up for anything this is trying to be.

    • p.p

      SwipePad is the killer android app for me. Google should buy it from the developer and incorporate it in the os.

    • Łukasz Miezin

      Agreed, SwipePad is much more convenient, it shows all 24 slots with single swipe. SwipePad FTW!

  • Bryan Cantos

    You know what would be nice? If you can long press on the recent apps button and it will take you straight to the apps tray.

    • Luke

      Actually that's built in on my phone. Galaxy 7.0 Tab Plus.

      • Caren


        Thank you for that! I have a Galaxy 7.0 Tab Plus and I didn't know that. Now I can get rid of the icon on the desktop I was using to go to the apps tray.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LukeDrift Luke Drift

      That's actually built-in on my phone(Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus).

  • lbrfabio

    I used(and paid) for SwipePad for a year. Then I switched to Relaunch a few months ago.

    I'll probably try this with this settings:

    Three row on the center of the screen, black wallpaper, opacity 0% and every app's icon changed with QuickShortcutMaker using icons from my favorite apex's theme.
    (I always hated to see different icons on SwipePadRelaunch)

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ootpapps.saving.made.simple&feature Out of the Park Apps

    Did anyone mention SwipePad yet?

    • JirafaBo

      Came here to say this! Very nice app. I've tried quite a few, and SwipePad won my over quickly. Havent' regretted it.

  • jacob

    rabble rabble SwipePad rabble?

  • bse88

    Support devs. Dont bully them.

  • tony

    I'm gonna go against the grain here and say that Relaunch is great too!

  • jnehama

    Swipepad and the new version of Widgetsoid both allow you to launch upto 12 apps or activity (eg toggle, contact, bookmark) from anywhere on Android. I combine both and have immediate access to all the apps and functions I use regularly. And there is no visual overlay. Both work very well

  • Slighter

    I must be in the minority preferring monochromatic minimalistic desktops, pc and mobile.
    The rainbow ribbons of this app are heinous to me eye, and always present?, no thanks.
    Another happy SwipePad fan here

  • MrWicket

    been a while since I've seen a review for a "app launcher" app like this.. I always kept trying them back in the day but since ICS and the way it does folders I have been completely content with 5 screens (could probably manage with 3) and folders, good easy to use and organize folders!! I guess I have to remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Nexus and not still be on Gingerbread or older..

  • Osborne195

    If you guys like this idea, you have to check out ReLaunch


    Trust me, I've tried it and it's the same concept just a bit more elegant and/or snazzy. I was blown away how well it worked and how natural it felt. The only thing was (just like the above attempt) although neat - I don't ever find a real need for anything other than my "boring" recent apps button.