Sapphyx Flight Test

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ts been almost 3 months since we’ve seen an update release for Sapphyx Launcher. My mail box being flooded with questioned thoughts. “Is Sapphyx dead?” “When will the next update release?” “Anything new coming.” well, im breaking some silence.

Sapphyx Launcher 3.0 is in development and im here to break the silence of what exactly is happening in this next update. The update itself will not release untill i am satisfied with the changes, performance and physical value of the launcher. However, a flight test will begin soon on telegram were users will be able to try out test builds of this new update and see what they think of it and ultimately, be the judge. The update will feature fixes to favorite features like gestures, swift apps, Predictive apps, blacklisted apps and menu animations/operations. The update will include a material component updated launcher settings with enhancements to the gui making things easier and simple. A revised launcher profile system. Reworked menus and animations. Navigation and more. Even tho the launcher may look the same out of the box, over 100hours have been invested in rewriting the launcher to be compatible with Android Q and a few other devices we had problems with. The launcher itself is being cleaned and revised to be have less 3rd party software and rely on its in framework. Symphlyx gesture driver will replace Sensey gesture driver and a new app shortcut popup will be available to licensed users.

Icon customization and App blacklisting wont per say see any new features soon as i feel we have a good system as it is but will see enhancements in the future. In the newest builds, blacklisting apps have been reworked in a new system. A new way to black list apps is in development while blacklisting an app now syncs in real time in the app drawer menu. This was a problem many users requested to be fixed as they found it to be a very interesting and reliable feature for app hiding and organization. I want users to be able to control which apps can be accessed and seen in Sapphyx and making the Blacklist and People Lock feature better is important.

A large request to add Google Feed support is in the works. Im not promising anything but the development of the new context page system was rebuilt to allow such a feature to be implemented. You’ll only be able to use one of the other but i feel having that choice will knock competition socks off.

The one thing that has consumed most of our time is context pages. It has been rewritten from scratch and inspired by a concept i used in Sapphyx V1 almost 2 years ago. This new code will introduce a new way we handle those extensions going forward. Flight testers will be disappointed to see context pages not exactly available to them as nothing is ready yet. A basic Google widget search page will be available as well as a dummy page to demonstrate the new api. This new api will be released down the road as developers will be able to create their own Context Pages for Sapphyx Launcher. This concept is not like Rootless Launcher where it depends on a provider service. This API pulls resources from the external app and reflects it in Sapphyx. A full documention will be written when its officially ready. The API will be able to allow developers to access Adaptive colors and the profile data for personalization.

Adaptive colors will also be revamped to be simpler and more powerful. I felt like having a theme engine built inside Sapphyx Launcher has always been a great idea but building a simple to use but advanced gui has been the problem. Each category of colors (Primary, Secondary, Accent and Text) will have their own tab. In this tab, users will be able to choose a generated color for that category or manually pull a color from their wallpaper image with a dragger. Its a combination of all of the utilities we had before in a simpler and easier to use interface. Adaptive colors will be able to be used without a license but be limited to their choices of colors.

Users will be greeted with a new setup window on first start. This will help you setup the launcher the way you want it out of the box and hopefully allow the launcher to optimize itself for your device correctly from start.

In order to jump in the new flight program, users need to join the telegram news group. There, test builds will be distributed as they become available. I will look forward to hearing back from users via the telegram channel in the group discussion. I hope to see you all around.

Launchers are changing. New core features are being developed everyday. A wide variety of launchers will fail to keep up with the latest trends while some, like Sapphyx, will stay to the side and develop our own trend of development and try to focus on the NEW age. When you compare 2 launchers together. Let’s say Nova Launcher and Lawnchair for example. What exactly are you paying for in Nova launcher a premium user Lawnchair offers free? Granite, Nova launcher has much more stable updates, worldwide support, reps, and 24hr professional Support but Lawnchair is built by a handful of guys who have talent and have out done a developer we relied on for years in a short few years.

Our goal in Sapphyx Launcher is to provide you something you haven’t seen yet and if you have, from a different perspective.

Attached are several screenshots of work in progress implementations.

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Sapphyx Spring Cleaning

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!

Sapphyx LTS Beta final phase

Another set of Sapphyx Launcher betas are set to roll before spring is officially here. These betas will introduce new features, customization amd new standards fpr Sapphyx Launcher. I do want to stress that if you do decide tk enroll in these betas, your saved preferences may get wiped due to settings registry rewriting and optimization and some buggy behavior on the new stuff. Tho as always, please leave feeeback on the telegram group or send bugs and request through the issue reporter.

Just A Reminder

Symphlyx Launcher just received an update this weekend making it even more functional as a daily launcher. The changes documented are available in the changelog viewer in the About settings!

Sapphyx Launcher’s LTS update os currently in development as ive said before. Alot is going on atm as far as development goes. Some minor gui upgrades for material design 2, alot of fixes, some minor changes, improvements to customization and settings and a huge cleanup process. The one thing ive learned with Symphlyx is that users love the material components ive chosen to use to build the launcher, il be using these same guidelines in Sapphyx Launcher. Just because i learned how todo it, doesn’t necessarily mean we need it so a huge cleanuo process is in the making. This update will release with the ability to start string translation so i will have that process setup on github soon.

GSD Mobile’s new redesign is currently in develooment. I will be working on a simple design much like xda labs where you’ll have a news feed for blogs and news, an app section, a library section and a featured wallpaper section.

Drywall will also be getting a redesign in 2019 to prep for a possible library conversion. That will take some time and right now its mostly about how i want to approach the features drywall has to offer. Haven’t exactly approached it the correct way yet. I need the app to work correctly as a stand alone app and a way for launchers to tap into its resources as a wallpaper provider as Symphlyx and Sapphyx do. Drywall will see a brand new live wallpaper section, a new solid color section managed by the app itself, a full android X conversion and some improvements to permission management and wallpaper editing.

Changes will be made to the gocalsd website to be more simpler. Ive found that i dont have time to manage it anymore so it’s directly going to be just a Introduction to myself, my projects, references, groups and blogs.

See yall around! If you were a Google Plus follower, please follow me on twitter or my Facebook group.

Sapphyx’s LTS Update

Just an update on Sapphyx Launcher’s LTS update.

Its been a long journey with Sapphyx Launcher and with the LTS update, were gonna slap an inspection sticker on it for 2019 and prep users for bigger things. One of the focuses in 2019 is to get the launcher ready for translations. This would include going through and removing any code I dont use anymore thats been kinda linger past couple of months or even past year and chucking it. Any part of the launcher that needs general user interface improvements, theme adjustments, grammer, notifications, approaching users to customize something or how we can take somethings thats been a feature for some time and improve it.

There’s alot of work todo yet if im going to compete against Action Launcher, Nova Launcher and even Lawnchair. As development continues, il be sure to share progress in the telegram group soni can get real time feedback.

All i ask for from the users currently, are to provide feedback, submit request and bugs in the issue reporter and just have faith in things.

Enter Symphlyx

Its been awhile since I did a blog. Alot has been going on in my personal life to not have time todo a blog in awhile so we will take advantage of the moment.

First things first, id like to introduce Symphlyx Launcher. Symphlyx is my 2019 android project. Something brand new, something fresh and we’re gonna talk all about it and what to expect. Ive been working on it for about 3 months prior to showing it off to users and the progress ive made is something spectacular.

Symphlyx is a launcher i designed and built from scratch. It’s specifically desgined for users who are looking for something fresh, simple, lite, battery friendly, and has architecture friendly to Android Go. The average android customized hard core goer may not be impressed with the available customization, but they will be impressed with the battery and hardware requirements and stats. It’s not your average launcher experience but i have a feeling it’ll take the stage. We needed to break away from the pixel experience Launcher’s for awhile and by desiging this experience, itl hold true. Symphlyx was inspired by the google chromium desktop experience with Sapphyx Launcher core features (like popup menus, system themes, pin locking, app hiding and icon pack support).

The launcher is comprised of 2 main views. The homescreen and the app drawer. The homescreen has a scrollable widget header that has static built in widgets you can toggle and tweak with the ability to set custom widgets on supported slides. The homescreen is a gesture playground. Your defaults are double tap for the app drawer and long press for the settings drawer. The homescreen does not support shortcuts or folders so it’s a very clean homescreen experience. The app drawer is the most important thing about this launcher. Its built out of parts from Sapphyx Launcher V1, V2, and Sapphire Launcher. The Drawer columns can be edited in real time which is a biggy. The app titles will automatically adjust to the space provided so you’ll notice much cleaner titles and no cut offs like we notice in Sapphyx Launcher. The less columns, the larger the title spans. You’ll also be able to set a single or double lined title for your preferences or hide the text titles. Now Symphlyx won’t support adaptive icons, howevor, il be working in the background to build my own icon masking so it’ll be similar. The Drawer will also have a notification system built off of Sapphyx Launcher’s V1 bubble system. Apps will have an underlining notification system. If an app has a pending notification, the app will be underlined. The notification will be dismissed on item click. This notification system is rather generic but accurate. You’ll notice that some apps won’t display a notification underline and that’s because they use a newer notification system method so we will see how far this holds up. The only app ive found to not ablide by my notification system is Pulse by luke klinker. The App drawer searchbar works in 2 parts. As you type, apps will organize themselves by character but clicking on the app store icon or google icon, itl globally search for what you typed. If nothing is typed in the searchbar, the google icon or playstore icon will open their regular activities. Google Assistant can also be accessed regularly. The drawer also can hide apps as well as has a built in filter for broken packages we don’t need to see. The drawer also has a fast scroll and a pixel like bounce effect with a dismiss listener. Its a really interesting concept that im really enjoying. The drawer will also have a recents apps list up to 5 items. It’s basically a mobike version of chromiums desktop experience. It feels almost exactly like the chrome desktop. Apps will also have popup menus like Sapphyx Launcher supporting App Info, sharing, uninstall, action dash, shortcuts and notification channels. Popup menu actions will be dependant on your android OS.

Dynamic settings is something of a beaut. Imagine making changes to your launcher and not needing to restart your launcher. With the preview above, you can tell theirs not much available at the moment as we’re still early in development. When it comes down to customization, Symphlyx isn’t about what can be customized, its about what is prioritized as important and what can be automated. Symphlyx is about being simplified, about being compact and lite. What may be a cool idea may be what seperates the launcher from its soul purpose.

Symphlyx also has some internal settings like app management, app defaults, system os dependant features planned. Its not going to be about unlocking as much as possible for a user. If your on 6.X vs 8.X, features will be different.

Now, the development progression has confused some community members. Does this mean the end of Sapphyx Launcher or are both launchers going to developed in parallel. Sapphyx Launcher development has not stopped by no means. By going through some anonymous data and suggestions throughout thebyear for Sapphyx Launcher, i found that 32% users of Sapphyx Launcher never access the launcher settings. They use it as is right out of the box. They even at that point purchased a licensed just to support me. Sapphyx Launcher was to complicated for them but the performance they needed for a homescreen launcher met their demands. That kinda blew my mind. By developing a lite launcher with the same core features, i would target these users come this Spring and i would than have a launcher designed for power users and a launcher designes for simplicity. If you take a look at how many pixel launchers have emerged in 2017 – 2018, its Rediculous. By developing something we dont have yet, itl set off the launcher user base and get the attention we need to expand our community. Symphlyx will have a Alpha trial release on google play for the entrance of the Spring season. Whether its a paid app or free app is undetermined yet but rest assured, my testers will be served with a free pass entrance.

Sapphyx Launcher’s LTS update is being finalized. This means its being prepared for translations, ripping out deprecated code, revamping some features we enjoy, making some final touches on new enhancments and just a general polish for the year. I feel like Sapphyx Launcher is at the point where i can be satisifed. Its where we can continue feature development and everything has a home. Alot of my attention in the next update is focused on Swift Apps, the about sections, some app drawer enhancments and fixes to adaptive colors. Future updates will focus on Context Pages. I feel like Swiftfeed is due for a revamp soon as its the default companion everyone uses and their are some fine tuning we need to focus on. Images are fuzzy on some feed sources and text can sometimes be off scaled and sometimes the images are wrong. Ive learned a few new tricks since than so i feel the next revamp will have some much needed improvements.

Gsd Mobile and Drywall will also get some major improvements thisbyear as well. I cant talk much about them yet but they’ll be pretty nice apps to keep around going forward.

Welp, im off. I really wanted to take the time to talk about Symphlyx launcher this month. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask about it on the GSD Facebook page. Il be focusing on the community more on facebook since mewe hasnt really takwn off much and the GSD Page is related to all projects and not just Sapphyx. Follow GSD on facebook for more updates on Symphlyx.