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There are a lot of apps like SwipePad, and no matter how many we cover, I keep coming back to the original. Loopr is the first app in a while that's tempted me away, thanks to both an impressive visual presentation and some thoughtful features. At its heart Loopr is a a quick app launcher/switcher with the usual side-swiping mechanism, this time launched as a semicircle of icons similar to Circle Launcher Widget.

You know how this goes: swipe your finger in from the left or right side of the screen, and your apps will pop up in an overlay. Instead of a full-screen menu, this one cascades your apps in an arc around your finger. By default Loopr shows your recently-opened apps a la the default Android Recents menu (or indeed the Dynamic Pads add-on) displaying five icons at once. You can hover over an icon to see the name and version of that app, or hover over the "+" icon to open up even more. Trigger positions and sensitivity can be adjusted.

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Two interesting features are unfortunately hidden behind an in-app purchase. The Live Preview function lets you "peek" at an app by hovering over it without actually switching to the app, which should be handy for checking out emails or text messages. It's very similar to a feature we saw in the Cover custom lockscreen. You can also select custom icon packs (a feature that's free in SwipePad and most launchers). The full version with these features and a selectable app opening animation is a reasonable $2.73.

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At the moment there's no way to permanently set icons in either activation area - I wish you could assign certain apps to one side and leave the other for the "recents" activity. Even so, there are some good ideas on display here, so I'll be keeping an eye on Loopr as it progresses through the beta phase.

Thanks, Eduardo Ribeiro (@_ERib)!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://twitter.com/fariflux fari

    I would love an app similar to this one but that opens when sliding up the home software button on my N5, replacing the Google Now action, is there something like that?

    • abhinandh

      switchr pro does this

      • didibus

        It does, but it's not as awesome as you'd want. It doesn't replace the up gesture, it replaces the google now link, so it's a bit longer to perform the gesture then you'd want it to be, you have to swipe up, select the icon, let go. I eventually found it was longer then clicking on the android recent apps button.

    • WhyWai

      yup. switchr pro. I turned off the side-swiping and only use the sliding up gesture.

      • didibus

        How did you turn off the side swiping, couldn't figure it out?

  • miri

    Anyone else driven slightly mad by Action launcher's usage of app drawer icon (grid view) next to the drawer indicator (list view)?

  • Crispin Swickard

    The internet age has no time for "er"s! Also *insert image of JGL with a fake chin*

  • user unknown

    If this actually works I might like it more than Pie, which I like more than SwipePad.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    A 1 minute 25 seconds video without any sort of sound... that's a weird marketing decision. Regardless, it looks interesting. Will try.

    • Guest

      They probably used the ADB recording function and not overlayed any sound.

  • http://www.google.com/ Roshan

    Very buggy at this time. Might use it instead of swipepad but swipepad added one nice feature in new update, to turn of swipepad action in any app you want. That's great.

  • Dt Bell

    pretty, but it looks like something perhaps someone like HTC, or Moto could adopt. I wouldn't pay for it. Orphan from birth.

  • tdalias

    i use glovebox, his other app. really good stuff, should be baked into android

  • Arthur Dent

    Someone tell the dev that app names that skip a vowl (yes, that was intentional) at the end are tired and stupid. It's not unique or hip anymore.

  • unsivilaudio

    How is this different/better than Switchr?

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I am never able to use app switchers like this. Most of the apps I usually use have left and right 'drawers'. Trying to swipe open the switcher results in opening those drawers most of the time. Hence I've resorted to using the app called Toucher Pro. It has a floating icon on top of any app and I can get to my favorite apps from it.

  • KONG!

    can I disable stock task manager? I like this app but I accustomed to stock one ended up not using this app LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.danna.733 Jonathan Danna

    Cover + Aviate + Loopr + Xposed = stock rom that's completely different than stock. Loving it.