October 20, 2011 | by Ben Crawford
Evaluated version: 0.9.0.1
Pros: Originality and speed
Cons: If you're looking for a homescreen replacement that functions like the stock launcher, Rocket Launcher isn't that.
I went from Touchwiz to LauncherPro to Go Launcher EX, and I am pretty set in my ways. Rocket Launcher, however, gives users a completely different experience. Instead of homescreens, docks, icons, and widgets, Rocket Launcher is one screen with web-like options for convenience. Minimalism at its finest.
From the clock and date circle in the middle of the screen, Rocket Launcher branches into e-mail, text, browser, phone, app, and widget circles to access your information as quickly and conveniently as possible. All of these circles jump straight into the app, no frills or graphics, and the app circle opens to a drawer with a bit more information on each app than usual.
Rocket Launcher is fast. It can open your e-mails and texts before you can blink. However, third-party browsers or SMS apps aren’t as specialized for this launcher. I use Go SMS, and I wasn’t given the option to set it as my default SMS app. I also use Miren Browser, and Rocket Launcher does let you select it as the default, but it always channels through the stock browser first. The app drawer does a good job of displaying your apps conveniently and neatly, though it is a chore to scroll all the way to the bottom for Youtube. Instead, a recent update gives you access to a few of your favorite apps when you select the clock/date circle.
I use every single feature of Go Launcher EX, and Rocket Launcher just cannot do everything I want it to. Widgets are kept on an entirely separate page, missing the point of “information at a glance” completely. Using third party apps is a headache, and getting to some apps in the drawer is harder than it should be. There are very few preferential changes you can make to the launcher itself as well.
If you are a minimalist fiend or want a simple to use, conveniently located homescreen, Rocket Launcher is perfectly suited to your needs. In terms of originality and speed, Rocket Launcher sets itself apart completely. There is no learning curve because it’s so easy. However, if you’re looking for a homescreen replacement that functions like the stock launcher, Rocket Launcher isn’t that. It is a new, original launcher worth a try to see if it fits your needs.