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Thread: Home Screen Replacement - ADW.Launcher

  1. Master Droid
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    #1

    Home Screen Replacement - ADW.Launcher

    This is one of a series of brief postings on Home Screen Replacements. This review is based on the version that was available in the App Market during the period October 22, 2011 through October 31, 2011. The posting contains my personal view of the Home Screen Replacement. These were all reviewed on my Droid 3. If you like this Home Screen Replacement, please post and describe what you like about it. If you do not like this Home Screen Replacement, then please describe what you do not like about it and/or what you think needs to be changed to improve it. Just saying something like “I like it” or “It sucks” provides not much in the way of information to those with an interest of finding out more about this Home Screen Replacement.

    ADW.Launcher

    ADW.Launcher is a full feature, highly customizable home screen replacement for your phone. It offers smooth performance. Some of the customizable features include:
    - Show/Hide Status Bar, Icon Labels
    - Customizable Grid sizes (rows and columns)
    - Dock size (but not scrollable)
    - Themes!

    ADW Launcher seems to be limited to 7 screens. But how many do you really need? The screen transitions are smooth and looping is supported. There does not appear to be choices for screen transitions. However, different screen transitions are more of a ‘whiz bang’/’eye candy’ and do not add to the functionality.

    I had no problems setting up ADW.Launcher and customizing it for my usage. I see it is as a high quality, highly customizable home screen replacement that will serve folks extremely well.
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  3. Master Droid
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    #2
    Good idea REMilk.

    I've found one issue with ADW so far. Rotating the phone while on the desktop may screw with the dock's theme slightly.
  4. Master Droid
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by REMilk View Post
    - Dock size (but not scrollable)
    Actually, if you swipe up on the ADW dock you can access a scrollable dock. You need to make sure it is enabled in ADW's preferences. It isn't as nice as GO's implementation, but when you consider the intrusive privilege requirements of GO, I personally have to choose ADW as the current best free launcher. It is also interesting to me that GO has taken ADW's freely available code and made some changes but hasn't made their own code available or even acknowledged ADW.

    My current ranking:
    1) ADW
    2) Nemus (great but does not allow you to change the number of rows & columns)
    3) Zeam (fast, but has very few extra features)
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  5. jev
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    Master Droid
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    #4
    I appreciate your efforts on highlighting the various launchers. I've tried most of these but some I haven't heard of yet. And the various privileges each asks for don't bother me a bit, seeing as how nothing is really "secure" on a cell phone. I currently use QQ launcher and am quite happy with it. Thanks for your efforts.
  6. Master Droid
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    nothing is really "secure" on a cell phone.
    What makes you think this?
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  7. Master Droid
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    #6
    [QUOTE=NoBloatware;1802317I personally have to choose ADW as the current best free launcher. [/QUOTE]

    Bloatware, in related posts on Home Screen replacements, you have indicated that you will not, in some case even try a Home Screen replacement because of the permissions they require. However, with ADW.Launcher being you Home Screen replacement, you did not post that there were any permissions required. In fairness to the other Home Screen replacements, I think this is needed. I researched and here is a list of some of the permissions needed for ADW/Launcher:
    1. Directly Call Phone Numbers
    2. Personal information of others (Contacts)
    3. Your personal information

    I always take the list of permissions with a grain of salt. In some cases, the developers list every possible permission the app needs while others take a lesser approach. I feel that in some cases, the developers understate the necessary permissions. For example, when a 'themed' home page replacement contains updated weather and news, then Home Page replacement needs internet access, even if the the developer of the app has not specified this permission is required. It may also need personal information to determine the 'location' to report.

    I guess that I have a little more faith in these developers than you have. I am not naive, I have been a victim of stolen credit/debit card numbers a total of 3 times over the past 8 years. None, thankfully, via the web. All three occurred at restaurants. Even though this has happened to me at restarunats, I still use my credit and debit cards at restaurants.

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you, I am looking at it from a different point of view.

    Bob

    Bob
  8. Master Droid
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by REMilk View Post
    Bloatware, in related posts on Home Screen replacements, you have indicated that you will not, in some case even try a Home Screen replacement because of the permissions they require. However, with ADW.Launcher being you Home Screen replacement, you did not post that there were any permissions required. In fairness to the other Home Screen replacements, I think this is needed. I researched and here is a list of some of the permissions needed for ADW/Launcher:
    1. Directly Call Phone Numbers
    2. Personal information of others (Contacts)
    3. Your personal information

    I always take the list of permissions with a grain of salt. In some cases, the developers list every possible permission the app needs while others take a lesser approach. I feel that in some cases, the developers understate the necessary permissions. For example, when a 'themed' home page replacement contains updated weather and news, then Home Page replacement needs internet access, even if the the developer of the app has not specified this permission is required. It may also need personal information to determine the 'location' to report.

    I guess that I have a little more faith in these developers than you have. I am not naive, I have been a victim of stolen credit/debit card numbers a total of 3 times over the past 8 years. None, thankfully, via the web. All three occurred at restaurants. Even though this has happened to me at restarunats, I still use my credit and debit cards at restaurants.

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you, I am looking at it from a different point of view.

    Bob

    Bob
    Here is the difference between Go Launcher's and ADW's requirements (from Go Launcher):


    • Network communication
      • full Internet access
        Allows an application to create network sockets.


    I concur heartily with NoBloatware here. He is absolutely correct to be concerned, and everyone should be concerned about these permissions. That said there are lots of gnashing teeth over permissions by people that don't understand that something that sends an email will need access to contacts and such. Still, a comparison of permissions is absolutely important and when you see something that can create network sockets, you should be concerned about it.
    Last edited by Fr33dom; 10-23-2011 at 09:09 AM.
  9. Master Droid
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    #8
    Fr33dom hit the nail on the head for me. The big thing is the Internet access. If an app has Internet access, it may only be downloading ads, but it also opens the door for the possibility of uploading my sd card data, contact info, identity, SMS, etc. In the case of GO Launcher, it has been reported that the app "phones home" by connecting to Go's server at boot. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE to me, especially given that GO has taken ADW's code and not released their own code or even thanked ADW.

    Personally, I don't need or want a home launcher to have these extra privileges. Other people may like the launchers that you talk about than integrate weather or something. To be fair, I should have pointed this out. Some launchers may legitimately require Internet access, SMS access, etc. As I said: not for me.

    That being said, even though I may trust some of these developers, it's a matter of principle for me. I want to go with devs that are reasonable with their privileges. Another thing that bothers me is when an app starts on boot for no reason. Obviously, a launcher needs to but an app like a web browser or camera does not.

    I'd love to see a change where people really start scrutinizing the privileges required and developers are forced to behave. Wishful thinking?
    Last edited by NoBloatware; 10-23-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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  10. Master Droid
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    #9
    I have no qualms with folks having concerns about the "permissions" that an app needs. The potential impacts should be understood.

    My concern was over the fact that the responses to companion threads identified the permissions, but the writer neglected to identify the permissions needed for his favorite. I am just ensuring that all readers understand that ADW.Launcher also requires permissions.

    Bob

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  11. Master Droid
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by REMilk View Post
    I have no qualms with folks having concerns about the "permissions" that an app needs. The potential impacts should be understood.

    My concern was over the fact that the responses to companion threads identified the permissions, but the writer neglected to identify the permissions needed for his favorite. I am just ensuring that all readers understand that ADW.Launcher also requires permissions.

    Bob
    I will list all of ADW's permissions here:
    -modify/delete SD card contents
    -read contact data
    -dial phone numbers
    -system tools (make applications always run, modify settings, retrieve running apps, expand/collapse status bar, kill background processes, read Home settings & shortcuts, set wallpaper size hints, write Home settings and shortcuts
    -control vibrator

    Compare these privileges to any other launcher. Except for the other reasonable ones I've found--Nemus and Zeam--all of the other launchers require scary things like Internet access, SMS, identity, etc. privileges.

    Internet access, for one, is a big deal. That makes it possible for apps to upload your SD card contents, contact data, and identity to a server. I rest easy knowing that this isn't possible with ADW, Nemus, and Zeam. It kind of annoys me when an app asks for too many privileges. It's an invasion of privacy and a security risk. That's why I always try to support devs who are responsible with the privileges that they require.
    Do you like uninstallable bloatware?
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    Contact Verizon (anonymous w/ fake name if you like)
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