One very useful aspect of Android is its ability to have actions and intents bring you to other parts of an app, rather than just opening it normally, for instance, like starting the camcorder mode of the camera or opening a specific ebook in an e-reader app. I use those abilities quite a lot on my own devices, and it’s something I know I’d miss if I were to go back to iOS full time. However, a new upcoming app for iOS might make that less of an issue.
Launch Center Pro is the name of this new app, which is an update of the existing Launch Center. The idea here is to have a system to launch actions rather than just app shortcuts, and in doing so, make operating your iPhone quicker. The video basically explains it, and anyone who’s dealt with similar systems on Android will immediately know what this means in practice.
While this is a great feature to get on iOS, it’s still far from the Android equivalent however, and I’m not quite sure what’s different about the Pro version compared to the existing non-pro version (aside from the UI). Either way, Launch Center (Pro) allows you to launch actions for supported apps from that one app, while Android’s action system alone has the added bonus of being accessible from elsewhere in the OS (lock screen, home screen directly, and so on), and through using intents you can even get this functionality on Android apps that don’t technically support it. Still, considering how locked down iOS is, even this level of functionality is quite nice.
As for supported apps, there’s a full list here. With hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store now, the number of supported apps isn’t really that impressive, but then again I’m too used to an OS where this is a built in feature, not a third party app. Launch Center Pro will also support any app that has URL Schemes, which is a system for app-to-app communication.
The app is “coming soon” to iOS, which likely means “once Apple approves it.” Until then you can always grab the non-pro version, which is currently on sale.[App Cubby]