Go Launcher EX update adds media browsing in app tray
Go Launcher EX updates have been fairly incremental lately, but the latest update has a feature that actually made me wake up from the boredom of reading changelogs. In this new version, the app tray has a new option that switches it to media browsing mode, allowing you to browse images, videos, and music right there in the app tray.
The new browsing modes are available through a small RSS-like icon in the bottom left. You then choose videos, music, or photos, and the screen switches to a special viewing mode for that. Photos is pretty similar to how Gallery works, showing folders with image files in them. Having access to this in the launcher instead of requiring a separate app might actually be quite useful, although having the gallery app on the homescreen or in a homescreen folder basically puts it fewer clicks away.
The music and video options could be more useful in theory, but not so much in practice. It’s basically the exact problem that I talked about in my Poweramp article yesterday, namely the lack of any settings to control anything. It pulls all videos that the system has scanned, and does the same with audio. The result is two media viewers that follow the “anything goes” rule, mixing in custom notification sounds and camera video with actual music and third party video content. This is the way Android scans media if you don’t go nuts with .nomedia files, but that’s why other apps include settings to specify folders. Go Launcher seems to have skipped that “minor” detail.
Another issue with the music and video browsers is that it creates thumbnails for the items every time you display a set of files; it doesn’t create a database the first time and then pulls from there. The result is that CD covers flicker a few times before settling down, every single time you switch pages. Video just flickers constantly on my device, never settling down to a steady thumbnail at all.
Go Launcher EX is a very popular launcher for good reason, and I understand the need to innovate in the launcher world. For a launcher that still lacks the option to disable the dock though, this seems like somewhat of a random feature to add, especially when it has these issues. But hey, a free update to a free app is still free, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
Download: Google Play