MegaLauncher 4.3 from MegaSoft2000
Megasoft2000 develops and markets a large
number of applications, some utilities like FastCPU, but
mostly games. MegaLauncher has a distinguished history, being
the first third-party launcher to support Sony's 320x320
screen resolution. I started with that version—MegaLauncher
3.2.2—when I bought my Clié PEG-T615C. That
was a couple of years ago, and I regret to say that MegaLauncher
has changed little since then.
Upon initial install, MegaLauncher does
not read the system category settings, nor can they be imported
later. Apps can be dragged and dropped onto the category
tabs to rearrange them. The three elements at top of the
screen may be changed by tapping and holding them until the
choices pop up.
Category tabs may be assigned icons, but
they just take up more space on the screen. I couldn't find
a way in the documentation to eliminate the category text
names, although you can change their font. Tabs are optional
and can be passed by in favor of a category pull-down list.
Application icons may also be changed to those in MegaLauncher-specific
icon files. Multiple icon files may be simultaneously active
Tapping and holding on an app brings up
a quick info dialog with useful function icons. The category
can be changed from here, and the file can be deleted, beamed,
the name changed, or copied/moved to/from the card. A very
nice and colorful implementation.
The configurable tools at the bottom of
the screen can be customized. Three tools per position pop
up when tapping the arrow next to the displayed tool. Tapping
the displayed tool executes its function. Some tools act
immediately like the display controls, some bring up further
menus for selection. MegaLauncher includes a world clock
as one of its tools. However, the tool icons take up too
much real estate for hi res devices. They almost seem to
be smoothed out low res icons rather than custom-designed
hi res versions. The extra space could be better used to
display more apps or tools.
The Application Information display list
constitutes one of my favorite MegaLauncher features. It
lists each application together with its data/support files
(i.e., those with identical creator IDs) and their respective
sizes. Entries may be expanded individually. Using this information
will tell you which files will be deleted with an application,
as well as how much space an individual app eats up in RAM.
As you can tell from the screen shots,
MegaLauncher supports background images. Unlike other launchers,
these images must be in a proprietary ML format rather than
readily available bitmaps or jpegs. MegaSoft provides free
creation utilities on their web site, but from what I see,
the process involves breaking images into pieces and thus
not very straight-forward. Each tab can have its own image,
but of course they'd all be in RAM at about 300K each for
a 320x480 display, 200K for a 320x320 display—no free
lunch. The application name text colors and sizes can be
tailored for visibility against the chosen background.
All the add-on icons, skins, and images
may be stored on a memory card until needed. MegaSoft provides
a built-in data manager to manage these files. All operations
remain manual, though, requiring the user to delete or move
files. The background files are essentially bitmaps, and
therefore eat up a lot of card space for hi res images.
Unlike the other launchers reviewed here,
MegaLauncher does not support Palm's 320x480 display. This
makes the huge tool icons even more annoying on a T3. It
does support 16-bit color, though.
MegaLauncher tips the RAM scales at 391K
(hi res OS5 devices) for the app and 971K for skin, category
icons, replacement app icons, and background image. The net
total comes in at 1,362K for the entire package.
MegaLauncher provides a useful launcher
of moderate power that adds significant capability over the
built-in offering. It sells for $19.95, mid-range for this
roundup and a reasonable value for that price.
Nice file information display
Background image support for individual tabs
No Palm OS 320x480 support
No file manager or other advanced tools
Poor use of screen real estate (huge tool icons, no ability to hide tab