Sunday, February 23, 2014

Launch Center Pro: Speed Up Common Actions on iOS Devices

blue icon with rocket ship in the middleLaunch Center Pro is an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that allows users to launch apps and simple tasks directly from the app. Instead of launching Safari, navigating to the search site, and typing in your search, for instance, Launch Center Pro lets you directly search Google or Wikipedia; Launch Center Pro also can be configured  by users to set up group email, instead of having to type in the email address of each recipient.

Launch Center Pro uses a simple interface to make it easy to simplify some of your common actions and launch them quickly. I frequently text my sister "where are you?" Instead of launching the Messages app, finding my sister's contact, and then typing the message, I created a Launch Center Pro action that sends a text to my sister saying, "where are you?" Now, when I want to text my sister, I just touch the icon for this action and a text saying "where are you?" is on its way to my sister.
Creating actions is easy with the built in action composer which gives users the ability to pick pre-made actions for apps they already have installed on their device. The action composer also allows users to customize the icon of the action to make it easier to find.

Launch Center Pro works with a number of apps, but support for more useful actions among third party apps is hit or miss. Some apps such as Prizmo integrate very well with the app allowing you to easily launch actions, but other apps such as Nike+ Running can be opened, but not further interacted with. It would be nice to be able to start a new run in Nike+ via Launch Center, but actions like that requires the developer to build special support for Launch Center Pro into their apps. Click here to view a list of the apps currently supporting Launch Center Pro.

I see Launch Center Pro as a great app for first time iOS users, and other individuals who struggle performing sequential functions. Launch Center Pro can make it easier for first time iOS users learn to use their devices. Instead of learning how to search Google, Wikipedia, Yelp, and Google Maps individually a simple search menu could be made with quick links to search all those services. In terms of accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, Launch Center Pro works well with VoiceOver and supports the Fleksy keyboard which is accessible.

Launch Center Pro costs $4.99 for the iPhone version and $7.99 for the iPad version. Click here to view the app for iPhone and click here to view the app for iPad. Click read more below to view screen shots of Launch Center Pro in action.

App was provided complimentary to reviewer for review 

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