There is no dearth of Android launcher apps in the Play Store. Some aim at lending a professional look to your mobile like the Arrow Launcher while a couple of these apps provide a horde of customizable options like Nova or Apex. Then there are some which are not fancy or smart but incredibly easy to use like Google Now. Well, the list could go on and on.
The number of active Android users are on the rise and as obvious, choices differ from person to person. What if you want something different from your launcher app, something unique. What if all you want is to launch apps fast — as fast as The Flash.
Well, there’s a new kid on the block which goes by the name of FastKey Launcher and is designed to launch apps in the quickest way possible.
FastKey is an incredibly lightweight no-fancy app that is built on the same lines as Spotlight for iOS. It incorporates a dynamic search approach, which not only makes the job of launching apps a lot easier but also makes the task of searching for a contact seem like a cakewalk, saving you from the hassle of going through the app drawer or contact list.
And it does all these in a flash, it claims of having a Ultra-fast 16ms response time which is pretty cool if you ask me.
This knight’s weapon of choice is the ever present keyboard on the home screen. A tap on one of the letters is all it takes to display apps and contacts that begin with it. For instance, a tap on P will display all the apps & contacts that start with P.
Even if the app search doesn’t impress you, I am sure the contact search go way beyond. If you ask me, it can be compared to the speed dials on phones with T9 keypads.
The results are built into two lines, contacts reserve the first line whereas the second line(s) is occupied by the apps.
The always-on keyboard is easily accessible and the turnaround time is fantastic, ultimately saving from the trouble of scrolling through the app list.
Plus, you can have the much cleaner home screen (save from the keyboard) as most of the apps are readily available.
Additionally, FastKey doesn’t replace the app drawer button or the dock screen, giving you the best of both worlds.
What’s Not so Good
The keyboard lacks numeric keys, therefore searching for an app that starts with a digit is an absolute no-no. So if you want to search for 9GAG, you will have to go the conventional way.
The matching can be off at times, especially for the recently installed apps, which are displayed alongside the searched apps. Though not much of a dealbreaker, but it does fall on the annoying side.
For instance, I searched using the letter S, while it did display the appropriate apps & contacts, it also displayed the recently downloaded app for Insight Timer.
What Can be Included?
Unlike Spotlight, this app doesn’t search on the whole phone, it simply searches the contacts and apps. Although a relatively new app in the market, FastKey can improvise a lot when it comes to user experience.
Perhaps, a bit of color here and there. Another aspect where it can further build is the contact search. Instead of the speed dial, a pop-up with an option for call and SMS might even further the cause of having everything under a tap.
Hit or Miss?
If a frills-free, simple and fast launcher is what you are looking for, then you will surely love this one, especially when you have tons of apps on your device. I bet there are very few apps in the market which can give competition to the 16ms response time.
But if you are looking for customization options in your launcher, then you can give it a pass, as there isn’t much customization scope.