September 3, 2010 | by Lars Aronsson
Federico Carnales, probably one of the hardest working Android coders right now, has just released a new version of his popular homescreen replacement LauncherPro. The update to v0.7.7.2 includes a number of tweaks and bug fixes, such as improvements to the 3D app drawer which earlier sometimes would trigger involuntary long-presses.
The biggest addition, however, is for Plus users only: a Twitter widget. One of the most requested LauncherPro features was support for the HTC widgets, but since they are stored within Sense and cannot be used elsewhere, Carnales decided to make his own versions of them. There were already five widgets in LP’s arsenal: People, Bookmarks, Calendar, Messaging, and now Twitter can be added to the list.
The developer had initially planned to just make a widget that combined Twitter and Facebook, but once he started coding he decided that it would be preferable with three widgets instead: one for Twitter, one for Facebook and one Twitter/Facebook combination (such as the HTC Friends widget).
The Twitter widget looks great, is easy to configure and naturally uses the correct form of authentication unlike some other Twitter apps. Since all LauncherPro widgets can be resized, the Twitter widget comes in one size only. There are three different views: Timeline, Mentions, and Direct Messages. There is also a Compose button, and when you tap on a tweet you can reply, retweet, or send a direct message to the user.
The new widget currently has one major downside, though: the update interval is 15 minutes and cannot be changed. Future updates will luckily support a custom refresh rate, but since it ought to be a very easy option to add compared to writing the actual Twitter widget, it’s weird that he didn’t include it from the start.
One final thought: LevelUp Studio had to change the design of some of its widgets because they looked too much like HTC Sense – will Federico Carnales eventually have to do the same?