New launcher is... optimizable (Feedback)

Dear Fairphone team,

I know, updates are important and there are more important things to an update than the look of the launcher… but
this is the most used feature of the phone and people spend time to arrange it to their needs, so if you update it, please ADD things and do not take away functionality, such as:

  • number of rows on the home screen
  • the ability to have empty screens
  • all configuratons the user did before (such as arranging his icons and widgets)
  • forgetting the position of page in App and Widget Menu when re-opening

I switched back to the “old” Fairphone launcher - and if it had not been around, this post would have been much more explicit…


Does anyone really have empty homescreen panels? Seems useless to me.
Old app drawer didn’t remember last page visited either I think.


Yeah, we do. I like to have an empty one for a cute wallpaper or whatnot.

Two big issues with that version of the launcher:
1 Only able to add a widget to the right, if I want to add a second page, I have to add at the right them move everything thing that should be on the right of it, on the right.
2 Cannot have an empty page.

Also what’s with the analog clock? I don’t remember the numbers to be just white, it’s totally unreadable on a white background… :confused:

Question: if I reinstall the original launcher, I will not lose the bug fixes of that update, right?
Also, where do you install that launcher from?

A warning before the update about the loss of settings would be nice.

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@sim6 I agree, we misjudged the impact. Could everybody help collecting the feedback on the updater in this thread? Then it is easier for me to relay it to the development team.

I will close other topics about the subject.


ad 1.) You can rearrange the sequence of the pages by pushing the soft key (menu) on left bottom, hold a page (shown smaller now) and move it to the left or right - great new feature.


yes, can’t pin FireFox bookmarks to start screen (from: FF-menu -> page -> put on start screen; or similar text)



OK, I can try that, but how do I use the new version again now that I’ve reinstalled the old one?

edit: never mind, got it by uninstalling old one. :stuck_out_tongue:
OK, it works indeed, and that’s a nice add indeed.

As for the empty page, I can make an empty page with one icon. :stuck_out_tongue:

I was not able to pin bookmarks on the homescreen from the UCBrowser either. But now I’m back with the old launcher and everything is good as it was before. I see no need to switch from something that is working to something worse…

And just for the record: I also don’t like the bigger icons and that we lost rows for apps on the screens… It took me three hours yesterday night just to get the screens right again. :frowning:

You can rearrange the panels in the new launcher popup when you press the menu button.

oh whoops looks like you already got it solved :slight_smile:

Yeah, thanks anyway. I’m fine with it now, still would like to have an empty panel but it’ll do. I like the bigger icons too and now that we can have an indefinite number of panels. :stuck_out_tongue:

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  • just the amount of desktops/home-screens you use (icons on two then two desktops it is).
  • you can rearrange desktops by pushing the settings button so that you can decide on the start desktop you want.
  • icon size. Its a better size and the amount of icons too are great.
  • you can rearrange the desktops by holding on the screen edge causing unnecessary entering of that mode.
  • After pressing the settings button and go into either widgets or apps you can press settings again to have the three choices, but there is no way to enter any of them (going into settings, the three choices don’t come up when pushing the settings-button. Only after entering widgets or apps). There is no use having the three options a second time - better just go back and press the settings button again.
  • the recent apps widget is not very pretty. Looks like a HTML4 table.

I don’t mind the new look. It took me four attempts before I was able to successfully install the new update and that was a very frustrating 60 minutes. I’m used to various smartphone layouts and the new one is closer to stock Android than it was before and it’s ok. So far no major issues, and I like the fact that Bluetooth now doesn’t say it’s stopped working, but my Bluetooth widget temporarily turns wifi off which it never used to. Have had to resort to settings to turn BT off and on.The new bigger icons are ok, but why were they needed?

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I haven’t installed the update so far, because I was/am “afraid” of the new launcher. I love my phone as it has been since january and I don’t want it to look different. Wouldn’t it be possible to include the new launcher as an option that can be activated and let the old one as the default, with all its icons in their place? Please!!! I would really like to update the OS because of the security and GPS improvements, but right now I’m too lazy to get used to a new look and feel or to rebuild my dektops.

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@Jerry: yes, I have an empty homescreen - and enjoy the wallpaper + clock look while working non-virtually.

Feedback @Marco:
it is not about the launcher itself (because I luckily didn’t apply the v1.8 yet), but about the updates to v1.8+ itself:

  • Please include in all further updates the possibility to still apply the UnifiedStorageUpgrade (USU)! It should NOT be neccassary to downgrade to v1.6 if I want to apply this USU later, because until now I was too afraid and did not had the time to re-set/backup ALL of my Settings and Apps! For further explanation look in this post from me!
  • Provide a complete ChangeLog at the FP-Updater-App for each installable version under “more information”
  • Make a pop-up with all negative results for the user, before the user can click on “install” in the FP-Updater-App! In the recent case it should look like this:
    "Be aware:
  • 1.) all your symbols and folders at the homescreen will be lost after update to v1.8!
  • 2.) After updating to v1.8 you will not be able anymore to apply the USU, exept by downgrading again to v1.6 (–> hope it will be changed in the update after the withdrawn v1.8) …
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You can install 1.8 and then install the old launcher from Google Play Store.

Here is my situation with the new launcher (I do not mind the bigger icons, nor the number of homescreens):

  • Somehow, my display stands out a bit over the white border on the right side, but on the left side, it is set a bit deeper (low quality production I guess…).
  • I have the calendar widget using all the 4 units in width.
  • I had the same widgets on the old launcher, but did not have any problems.

After applying the 1.8 update: When I now want to use the quick access drawer by swiping in from the left side (the one, where the border is higher than the display), I often move the calendar widget or change homescreen instead. It seems that the margin, in which the quick access appears, has decreased.

Can you reproduce this?

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On another note: this happened to me a couple of times throughout the day, after updating. Though it worked fine 90+% of the time. [EDIT: 50% if you click quickly after existing an app]

Do you see the white ghost-box with my messenger apps? I tried to open that folder, but this is all that happened. [EDIT: the folder is not fully unfolded, but clicking on icons does open apps] Click anywhere outside the box and it disappears. Click to open the folder again and it works fine then.

Thought you might want to know, with the new launcher and all.

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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…?!