I'll start with Hi-Launcher because
it isn't a standard-type launcher. Hi-Launcher is more
of a popup favorites list. In fact, it shares similar functionality
with ZLauncher's QuickLaunch Anywhere utility but takes
it to a higher level. Hi-Launcher's author, Radoslaw Nowak,
says that it brings Windows' Start Menu-like functionality
to the Palm. You may recognize Mr. Nowak as the developer
of the very popular Butterfly used to customize/colorize
your Palm's display.
Hi-Launcher configures simply enough.
The user should first set the activation trigger used to
popup the menu system. These triggers can be hard buttons,
silkscreen buttons, or silkscreen swipes. Hard button presses
can also be set to activate by holding the button down so
that primary PIM functions may be accessed upon simple momentary
Hi-Launcher requires menu configuration
from scratch. It does not import categories from the Palm
launcher. You create the menu items from a set of pull-down
lists. The first pull-down defines the type of entry while
the second provides a list of possibilities of that type
from which to choose. Although simple to use, this process
can be tedious if you add a large number of apps. Because
of this and the limitations of screen real favorite estate,
HL is best used with select favorite apps rather than as
a comprehensive launcher for your entire collection. Besides
standard apps, HL can present DAs and a variety of system
functions like backlight control and soft resets. HL allows
the user to make excellent use of color to differentiate
between app groups on the menus, and even includes dividers
and titles if desired. The menu items can also have the app
icons on them for quick recognition. The net result can be
as attractive as it is functional.
Part of HL's power lies in its nested
folders, much like Windows' Start Menu. Like Windows, this
can also be a significant weakness if taken too far. Even
with appropriate use of color, clutter becomes an issue.
Actual operation proved very slick. The
menu pops up over any application to present functions that
you decided would be useful or jump to other apps. You can
also set a hard button or silkscreen button/swipe to jump
to the last app used. You last-use can filter apps to not
be picked up for this last-use function, like your primary
launcher and apps assigned to hard buttons.
I found most of the functions and basic
setup intuitive. The online docs cover the functions with
appropriate screen shots. The setup program makes nice use
of context-sensitive help, wherein I learned how to kludge
together a list of multiple recent apps like McPhling. However,
it doesn't make much sense to nest the menus deeper than
your native launcher. For instance, I can get to any app
in, including the Home button ZLauncher from within any other
app in 3 taps at most, including the Home button. So for
me, it would be pointless to nest menus deeper than one level
down in Hi-Launcher. That's the way I have it setup in the
Overall, Hi-Launcher proved
a useful tool. I've read on the forums that some use Hi-Launcher
as a supplement to their primary launcher. I can certainly
see how that would be helpful, having used it to bounce around
as I wrote this review. I believe that Hi-Launcher shines
best as a favorites popup rather than as a repository for
your entire app collection, unless you have a meager collection.
You can pick it up for $14.95.
Instant of access to your most-used apps or system functions
Runs unobtrusively in the background
Inherits most of the weakness of the Windows'
Start Menu, especially clutter and lots of taps to get through