Ever look back at something you did and admit to yourself you had over did it? Possibly could of done something alittle better? If my followers have taught me one thing this past year, it’s to sit down and listen to what they have to say about my work. What did I do wrong, what did I do right, how something could be simplified, how something may seem to somplicated, am I wording something correctly or incorrectly, did I mis communicate, am I falling behind, etc. One of my favorite moments is when a follower of mine will sit down and have a 1v1 about something im working on to make it better. There’s been alot of that with Sapphyx Launcher lately and in this months blog, we’re gonna talk about the changes coming i have in the works, the new competition and a holiday special coming.
Lets start off by talking about the new kid in town, Hyperion Launcher. 20k downloads in 5 days. Five fucking days. Am I upset about this? No, noooo, no, alittle, very. Um, it’s un practical or un real of how much attention this bran new launcher came to be and recieved in such little time. Nothing is original majority of it is copied or forked work, the onlybroginak code and development in Hyperion is the launcher settings and splash screen. People are actually paying for free features they can get in Sapphyx Launcher, Pear launcher, Rootless, Lawnchair and Ruthless. Your paying for forked code that is available on github for anyone to use in an open source free environment and these people are selling it. Just because they have a title behind them (The Substratum Devs), does not mean they should have any other rights to the Pixel Launcher mod competition and code. It’s just unreal. Now, after trying out the launcher, decompiling it, browsing the code and spotting the forks, i left a rating on Google Play.
And got the response
They don’t deny it either but they don’t care also. They who they are and what they did and know that their better than us. They have a crowd or sheep really and those people will defend them. If you don’t belive me and think I’m doing this just to harm business, I will decompile lawnchair and hyperion on my own time and do a comparison vidoc sometime. It just blows my mind who gets the attention these days vs who deserves it.
Ealier on Twitter, I had commented on an xda post and I said it blows my mind that I’ve worked on Sapphyx Launcher for 2 years and recieved no sort of mention. I got a reply from a xda follower saying it doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked on it not does anything deserve work. It’s who it is and what they’ve done. So, Why does Hyperion get the attention and not Pear Launcher or Sapphyx Launcher? Isn’t communication and developer report more important than what is actually created on release?
In the midst of all this, I’ve started working on a new beta update for Sapphyx Launcher. Now, it’s not just any beta update as you would think. Lately, I’ve been spending time communicating with followers, friends, and Co devs trying to figure out where I screwed up. “OK so you built this really cool thing in Sapphyx Launcher and your proud of it, but what does it do for us or mean to us, can we actually benifit from it?” Words that are actually burning a big whole in my heart at the moment. It makes me look at things I’ve done in Sapphyx Launcher and ask myself” Did I over do it? Is this really necessary? Can I just make this a core feature? Have we rethought about this feature? Have we decided on moving forward with feature X and Y vs Z?”
I seen one review and it kinda hit me hard. I was upset but at the same time I asked myself if they were right? “Everytime I come back to this launcher, I face the same problems. To much all at once. To many problems scattered all over. Focus on one thing at a time and I might reconsider.” Their not wrong but their not right either. Majority of the larger launcher mods are maintained and moderated by a team. Team A does this, Team B this does, Team C does that. Everything gets worked on in a respective time and patches are made on a priority level. In Sapphyx Launcher, it’s just me. I push out alot at once to see the reactions. I test multiple situations at once so I remember to comeback to it. I fix certain areas at a time and forgot about others. I decide on a careful matter if my followers are correct about a bug or situation and take care of it or decide too ignore it and continue. When you make the decisions on your own and have hundreds of people to please, it very difficult to fit in the middle or please everyone at once. You gradually make changes to adapt to change or fit needs of others.
Your going to notice a significant difference in the launcher settings. More categories, things moved around in appropriate areas, more options and new dynamics thatl change how you make decisions on customizing your homescreen. Now, some of these changes are taking tweaked features and making them permanent system core features you cant control vs taking a something i invented some time ago and making it even better. Once instance is the font chooser. I took some fonts and added them to Sapphyx for users to choose icon fonts. A good number of pixel launcher mods copied me. In the next update, fonts are downloaded ota and forked off an updated repository of fonts from Google youll be able to use and it will take up 85% less space as did the fonts I included in the apk. More customization, less space, more options. Over the course of time, I’m going to be looking how to improve this feature. This is going to including font search and font fast scroll. You want to be able to easily find what your looking for in a massive list. Iconics is a category that releases in the beta. In this category, you’ll find all the settings that revolve around an app shortcut, icon or font. This gave birth to icon editing and a new icon pack real-time preview engine. These 2 new features alone allow us to take step forward towards the premium market. Icon editing works like usual, you long click on a shortcut, pop open the menu, select preferences and a new bottom window pops up. In this window, users are presented with a hide app toggle, pick icon action, edit title feature and a notice to whether or not your icon can be edited. It’s a rather simple process but opens the door a wide verity of options for your homescreen. The 2 new categories (Swift Actionbar & Tob Bar) are still in development and will release on the LTS update. They will consist of new settings for the swift actionbar and settings available for the top Pill widget. Ive gone ahead and already made plans to add and revise current settings available for the Homescreen, Dock, App Drawer, Folders and Context Pages. More options will be coming to gestures but im waiting on Sensey 2.0 to start development and our first glimpse at Sketches 3.0 is yet to be reveled and how it works.
Their are a number of problems we currently face in Sapphyx Launcher. The crashes on huawei devices, the pre mature closing in the launcher settings, the message board crashing because it can’t detect internet properly or running out of news items, the context pages UI looks ugly, the lack of context pages, the broken back up and restore functionality and random quirks you have to deal with. It’s all good! That means theirs plenty to learn from, to improve, to work on and allow time to listen in on how these things affect users and how they can be approached differently. If a user is getting frustrated over the crashes or a single bug and know it’s their but keep returning. It means they want to use that feature, they want to see more of it, they want the dev to explore more options or to simply fix the damn thing. Trust me, I’m in that boat but you have to have patience.
Their are a few things i want to explore tho with Sapphyx Launcher I haven’t seen done yet. I’m not sure about you but I’m over these pixel launcher mods releasing and they all doing the same thing. (Their are about 500 forks of rootless pixel launcher in development) Now, people do prefer the whole aosp/pure android experience, i get it but it still can be offered from alternative routes? We’re so used to how things are and what we use and see, we think it’s normal and what it should be, but is it? Sapphyx Launcher offered a unique experience and it’s going to continue todo so. For better or worse. A good majority of people don’t use Sapphyx because it’s to complicated. It’s over done. It’s overkill to customization. It’s not built for the simple minded. Well, Sapphyx Launcher wasn’t built by a simple minded person. Your talking about the Bionx rom dev. The guy who got a functional Gingerbread rom working on an LG Ally. The guy who built a hybrid Xperia Rom for the Droid Razr. The guy who quit rom development because of people trying to copy him. Imtimidated by the work of originality. I want people to see what i can do. I want people to try my crazy madness of a launcher. In short, Il be introducing a new feature called Event Access Pass. This is a feature il be developing that will consist of the launcher allowing users to freely use Sapphyx Launcher without any license until the Access code is changed by an update. Access Pass codes will be delivered in community settings. It’s a chance to use Sapphyx Launcher for a limited to see if you really like the launcher or not. The pass code will be delivered to the community, the user takes the code and plugs it in the settings (somewhere),the launcher restarts and your unlocked and free to use the launcher as much as you want before the pass ends. It’s concept i want to play with alittle more but something i want to invest in to allow users to experimented with Sapphyx Launcher more, even after the beta conclusion.
During the next 2 weeks, I may release hotfix es. These small updates are just to finalize a few things from the beta and get the public into it. To stableize performance where it stands, to add hints, tios and tutorials where need be. After that….
During the next month(s), il be working on the LTS update of which we know as the Stable update(whether or not it to be stable at the time). This is the one that’s going to take time. We will see new context pages, a new interface window for certain features, revisions to the startup window, a migration to androidX support library, hopefully fixes to backup and restore, icon pack refinement and new tweaks, new actions, new features for gestures, more tweaks for your homescreen and Sketches 3.0. I have alot planned for the LTS update and im hoping what i have provided will keep you guys satisfied with what has been provided.
I am working on releasing 2 updates soon for GSD Mobile and Drywall. They keep everything in the flow of development. Drywall, I want to finalize a few things and get a privately updated build to seperate itself from the open source version. I like contributing to the open source community but I also like to save the best for myself. GSD Mobile will get a revised UI like Sapphyx Launcher did for android P and keep everything U need to know in a mobile format.
Theres a whole lot todo before the new year. I have set myself some goals. I want to release new apps next year to get myself off of Sapphyx Launcher for awhile so I can learn new things and broaden my train of thought. To set my expectations higher.
Il see you around guys.
Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!