New launcher is... optimizable (Feedback)

As I said already I like the bigger icons. I have only apps on my homescreens grouped by importance on the individual screens and grouped by color on each screen. I occasionally try widgets, but they don’t seem to offer a lot of value. Arranging icons by color similarity creates more visually pleasing screens and is also somewhat challenging task. I also find it is faster to locate an app since you always associate a color with an app, e.g. twitter is blue. So you only need to look in a smaller part of the screen and not check every light blue icon. I don’t have any hard facts to back this claim, but I think user studies could reveal an effect here.

Bigger icons are of course challenging users to decide upon the 20 most used apps to put on the home screen. I think there is something to be gained also in that challenge. You are going to review your priorities.

I extremely like the ability to reorder homescreens, but only discovered this through the forum. This should be better communicated.


Two things:

  • The big icons are very blurred on my phone…?!
  • When i boot the phone the launcher shows me the left panel, when I push the home-button it shows me the middle panel (of three…) In my opinion not very customer-friendly…?!

I received the e-mail telling me about the upcoming update. I was concerned about the new launcher, since I didn’t know what a launcher was (this is my first smartphone, I assumed that what I now know to be the old launcher was just the way the fairphone works, I didn’t know there could be other launchers).
I had trouble installing the google apps after updating, it took over 12 hours to end (it has been talked over on the forum since).

I hate the new launcher.
I don’t like the size of the icons.
I hate that I had 3 screen panels instead of 5 and when I deleted the most used/most recent apps panels for which I have no use, it went down to 2 panels (I saw today there was a new tutorial about that here :; that would have helped me not freaking out two days ago).
I hate to have shortcuts for apps and widgets by pressing the settings button. It is not logical and I prefer them on the middle button in the quick access menu. I’m afraid I will press the apps button by mistake when trying to access the settings.
I don’t see the point of being able to move through the panels when pressing the settings button since I can do that already on the home panels.

In the end I followed someone’s advice and installed the old launcher from Google play store. But every now and then my phone asks me which launcher I want to use and they both have the same icon and the same name. Can I rename one of them? (Edit by @Stefan: @mgkoeln, forward from that topic.)

I really think you should have put the new launcher in a different update so I could update the system without the launcher (and you should have communicated a lot more about the launcher).

the two launchers you’re offered to choose between are Fairphone OS and Fairphone OS v2, right?
Choose ‘Fairphone OS’ and tap ‘Always’. Then the old launcher will run by default.
Ahould you want to change this later, go to system settings>apps, find ‘Fairphone OS’ and tap ‘Clear defaults’. When you leave the menu, the ‘choose’ box will open anew and you can switch to version 2.


yeah I noticed this too. After boot, it should show the actual home panel (the one you see when you press the home button).


Might be so, but what I encountered was that after a reboot or after having the phone switched off the leftmost screen was were the new session started. And I don’t think I should have to start a new session with hitting the home button?

Since I’ve reverted to the old launcher I can’t (and won’t) check if this behaviour persists or how to change it.

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I had the same problem.
This is my first smartphone. I don’t know what a “Launcher” is. Well, I didn’t. I found out the hard way. Maybe it would have been smarter to wait a bit longer before installing, but I just trusted the FP guys…

It has already been said a few times, but I want to stress that the communication about this update was not sufficient. The new, nice tutorials didn’t really offer any information about what I could expect. If you give information, it should always be understandable for the most stupid ones who will read it. And no, I don’t think I am the most stupid person who will ever open that tutorial! :slight_smile: So it was just not sufficient.

A very small suggestion to revise the launcher: As we are told the size of the icons is now standard (given by Google). But is it “standard” as well that icons have text? Why not to leave the text then it would be possible to have 6 x 4 again?

Good suggestion and this fits in with the suggestion I have already made to the Fairphone Support team - as follows:

I think something to consider as an “upgrade” to the launcher if possible is to give a settings context menu to control things like icon size, number of rows, number of screen etc etc. And then you can leave people to decide for themselves how their screens look.

If this could be implemented then another option for this could be to hide icon text. I think customisability is important as not everyone likes the same things (clearly from the number of gripes on the forum) :smile:


Oh - you are going now much further - a totally customizable launcher (size, icons, color, text) would be great of course but will be a very big piece of software development :slight_smile: I only suggested to have back 6x4 :wink:



I’ve also had this problem when I try to use the quick access drawer. Instead of doing that, I can often end up highlighting the calendar widget and it ends up moving to a different screen. This never happened to me with Cherry.

Related to this issue is that if I want to drag an icon or widget from one screen to another, it’s much more difficult than before and I often can end up having to try and force my finger right to the edge of the screen which can lead to me dropping the icon and having to start the process again.

Hope the Fairphone Team find this helpful.


The new laucher shows the following problems:

  1. It is impossible to save a bookmark to the home screen (tested in UC Browser and the android standard browser).
  2. I am missing the quick access to settings -> apps directly from the options button on the home screen.
  3. I enjoyed the quick access to the play store in the apps menu (upper right corner).
  4. The bigger icons look ok, but the icon names are cropped, when to long.

Note: I tried to to connect MyPhone Explorer and FP1 via bluetooth, but it did not work with 1.8. as another user has reported.

@Fairphone Team: What will be the way to update from 1.8. to the postponed/new 1.8. version?

I prefer the bigger icons (while I very much dislike the pain of having to redo everything on the launcher).

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The old app drawer remmeber last page visited, positive.

I assumed it had something to do with me doing something wrong during the update process. I have been looking after it for some time until I gave up. Just because I didn’t think about the possibility this shortcut would be intentionally removed. And also because I didn’t see anyone else mentioning this in other topics.

Stupid me :slight_smile:

Beside the already mentioned points, just want to add one more: The homescreen folder creation, to group apps, only works if you have the screen full with icons/widgets. This behavior was not present before and it’s quite annoying.

Thanks, I already knew that, but I guess I would lose all my customizations (grouped icons an the homescreens and widgets) by doing so, woudn’t I? That’s my problem.

Another reason for (re-)installing the old launcher, it will give you back the appstore shortcut

sharpness of icons is okay. for FP-team, please take a look on the site of edward tufte, to see what he thinks of the iphone interface design:

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For me, this new update was an immensely frustrating experience. Design-wise it was a huge disappointment, as if Fairphone was giving up on its identify. Ok, that is Fairphone’s decision. But to pretend to look like another, newer Android version? What to say… Like putting a turbo sign on an old car… Just stupid, in my opinion. And functionality? So many issues… new problems all the time… I finally had to go back to the 1.6 version. I pray that it will now work. The final blow, for me, was when I restarted my phone, after massive amounts of time spent on rebuilding my home screens, only to find out that a bug prevents apps installed on the SD card to function via icons on the screen. I wonder how much time the Fairphone owners have spent on this upgrade/downgrade collectively?

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