We skipped a month, didn’t we? That’s what happens when get alittle over whelming which they have. Alot starts to happen when the weather gets nice in my life. Il spend less time on the computer and more time landscaping, tensing to gardens and just doing some R&R. However, theirs a community and a follower base that expects some content out of me so we’re gonna talk about a rough road map of what to expect before summer ends and what is currently going on with Sapphyx and its major changes.
May, I plan to be getting a new tattoo. What this does to a one’s arm that uses it to do alot of lifting at work and typing at home is a yet to be discovered. In June, im going out of state for a family vacation for some time. June is also this nerds birthday month so I’m probably not going to be doing much of anything on the code side of things. When I’m not coding, I’m looking back at what I have accomplished in the background and reading over feedback and request and also observing how people use and interact with what I have provided them. Specifically the last few weeks in Sapphyx Launcher.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Betas and recent updates in Sapphyx Launcher, you’ll notice it has received a huge remodel of style, colors and appearance in the launcher settings. Im not the best designer or themer in the world but you will notice I’m trying to take a few things more seriously. Developers from all around have reached out to me personally to give me tips on design, features and just general feedback recently. This includes Pear Launcher, Ruthless Launcher, Lawnchair, and Lucid Launcher. All of which these launchers have different perspectives of a launcher homescreen experience and all of them have different goals and opinions on pretty much everything. What i have been focusing on lately in Sapphyx Launcher’s settings activity. It has the most mixed feelings from users all around. Some hate it, some love it, some are confused of it. One user asked me why I don’t just create a settings activity like all the other launchers have. What’s the fun in that? Even Action Launcher has gone out of its way to create a fun and interactable settings activity. I personally feel that if a developer has an opportunity to develop something from scratch to show their personality, originality and skill; they should take that chance to. The Settings activity was never meant to be confusing. It was meant to be a fast and easy way to navigate through your settings and get to what you want without putting much effort into it and allowing your device to not have to much effort it to it as well. Recently, I’ve been trying to improve on this. Making customization straight forward, making profile editing easier to understand and how it actually works, more gestures, more actions, simpler material designed buttons, text and views. Just a wide variety of smaller yet important things to look at. A couple of things I’m currently working on are a new profile editing activity, a new adaptive colors theme editor, a new Material Component style applied to the settings activity, and a few other things that will be better off to discover on your own. The general idea is to simplify everything and make it not so confusing and intimidating.
Context pages are one of the coolest things about Sapphyx Launcher and im also looking to improve them as well. These pages were inspired by Luke Klinkers blur launcher. Sapphyx V1 actually was built on the same code that created his pages but eventually I had to kill it off because it wasn’t dependable. We were the first to create our own expandable Companion pages but because we didn’t have a popular reputation, no one knew about it. Imagine looking through a list of pages, finding a companion you wanted, downloaded it, installed it off Google Play and and applied it to your launcher. That’s what we had back in the day but feature wise, we were limited. That is why now, Context pages are now built beside Sapphyx Launcher relying on context from the base activity to accomplish what they do. The goal now is to build a reliable preview chooser activity, build more pages, build more options and make this a special feature exclusive to us. One request has been made to buddy up Sapphyx Launcher with a Google Companion. This could be done but i have no idea how to accomplish this yet. We would have to make the google Companion be listed like a context page, disable context pages when selected and its just a mess but it’s in the books. If it can be accomplished without breaking what we have, itl be done. But on the other hand, how many people would sit there and use the context pages, hours have been invested in, when they have the google feed? The nasty truth is that they wouldn’t. It’s the default thing todo these days in a pixel like launcher. Context pages will be improved in the coming updates and new ones are in the books. One that I’ve een teasing for a a very long time is called Rayne. It’ll almost be like the one plus shelf companion and have a miniature version of every page included as a card. This will be an Onyx exclusive addition and be released sometime in the summer (hopefully).
Swift Actions have made their appearance in the latest builds and users are pretty satisfied with them. I have a whole lot of ideas to accompany these actions but it will take some time to allow me to figure out what I actually want todo with them. Their not a copy of pixel actions but more of a list of actions the launcher has suggested based on variables that are currently in place. Connected to wifi? Show a wifi action. Connected to a headset? Show Bluetooth settings. Applied an icon pack? Show a quick icon editor action. Updated to a newer version? Show a whats new action. This list can grow and as it grows is when il have to start making decisions on how to handle the list and what users can do to limit what’s available to them. Unlike lawnchair and Pixel launcher, Sapphyx has a list of actions VS just 2 items below your predictive list.
Ive been asked when i will improve People Lock. I added this feature some time ago and haven’t really heard much back since than. I feel it was executed properly but it just needs a better UX and added to more items like actions, predictive list, and swift apps. It can’t be tied to anything outside of the launcher but it can keep your homescreen secure which was the goal.
As far as the homescreen goes for Sapphyx Launcher. I see alot of people complaining it looks ugly, or the text is to small or icons are to small. It’s just a matter of tinkering with it for awhile until you get a look that fits your device. How i calculate the sizes of everything is abit different from all the other launchers but i will spend some time on how we approach this. Maybe a new size prediction should be looked into. We get different results all around and finding that actually works for everyone is very difficult. It won’t please everyone. Il be happy if i please 35% of the user base.
Adaptive Colors was a theme engine added to Sapphyx Launcher months ago to allow users to generate their own theme for their launcher automatically or manually. These next few weeks, il be focusing on creating a brand new interface to make it feel more interactive as well as easier to understand. If your apart of the telegram group, you’ve probably seen the design for the new interface. How it will be approached is based on a pager ui. Each page being a color. Primary, secondary, accent and text color. The header image will automatically be your wallpaper. From their a list of colors will be generated. You choose a color than choose the transparency level of the color. Now, if your using a live wallpaper, you’ll probably get garbage results so users will be able to click the header, add their own image and generate a new list of colors. If the colors are still not what you want, you can use a drag extractor to grab a color from the image as your manually picked color choice. It’s a flawless idea but executing it is what im worried about. This will come in the next few weeks.
Im not really invested in any new customization features for Sapphyx at the moment. Im more worried about if what we have now was executed properly for our launcher. Obviously, users have discovered that icon editing and size calculation is way different that other launchers and their right. Everything done to Sapphyx was built for it and only it. You cant expect to copy something from another launcher and hope it works for yours. It never works that way as I’ve discovered in the past. You develop features and customization built for you and only you. That’s why Sapphyx V1 failed and died. I was to worried about what other launchers were doing and eventually destroyed the project in my own fault. Sapphyx now has been built on my own ideas, my own crappy code and believe it or not, is very successful now than it ever has been. I approach customization from a unique angle.
There is a question that lingers in the air. I’ve been testing Sapphyx Launcher on Android Q beta and frankly, I’m worried. Their are a few things that don’t work and looks like a pain in the corn hole to fix. I’m in no position right now to rebuild Sapphyx Launcher on a new launcher3 base from Androids git. Right now, my decision has been made to continue were we are and make the best of it. Just simple make it work. Maybe next year, we will see a brand new version of Sapphyx service and take over its current package as a proper sequel with a new system but its a long ways off to discuss.
Symphlyx, GSD Mobile and Drywall are all expected to recieve updates after Sapphyx Launcher’s LTS update releases. I have some pretty interesting changes coming and planned.
Ive talked about Drywall and GSD Mobile in the past few blogs and what to expect. Since our last conversation, GSD Mobile was actually removed from the playstore due to advertisements not labeled correctly? (whatever that means) so it’s basically lit a fire under my ass to start the project update soon. GSD Mobile will just be an app you can keep tabs on blogs easier, my apps, my libraries and new wallpapers from Drywall. Drywall is getting a whole new make over in its new update. I had plans to make it into a library but it’s going to be to time consuming atm… So il be rebuilding to rebuild easier as a new package. The goal is to just remake Google Wallpapers as an open source package with some extra components.
Symphlyx, the Android Go variant of Sapphyx Launcher and my pride and joy to come. Symphlyx was released several months ago as a pre release test build. It wasn’t finished but i wanted to see how people reacted to it as my vision as a lite weight launcher. The feedback I got was flawless and development will continue here shortly. I’ve had alot of time to sit on a few things and have had time to revision a few ideas I had planned for the launcher. Widgets will be approached differently, homescreen interaction abit differently, customization and most importantly a dock for favorite apps. All these changes are based feedback in have gathered and hope to see some eyebrows raised when the new update releases. I don’t want to talk much about it as I want this launcher to be abit of a mystery to users. They’ve watched me build mods out of launcher3 but they wouldn’t have a clue how i would handle a launcher built from scratch.
Until next time my friends, followers and families. I do these blogs to allow followers to see what’s on my mind on my projects. As a regular android user myself, it’s very frustrating to not know what’s going on behind the scenes of a project I follow. Has it died or is something awesome going on in the background? These blogs allow you to take a step forward and get a preview of what’s to come and let you know if your gonna want to stick around or not waste your time and move forward. The applications and products I will build going forward will only go as far as you want them to. When the feedback amd support stops, il move on to bigger and better things. If support and feedback is strong, you can be assured things will get better for you.
Thankyou again for supporting!