By Legacy | December 3, 2009 6:59 AM
The honeycomb style Start menu found on Windows Mobile 6.5 is beautiful and finger friendly, but for some users it’s far too simple. Contrastingly, the classic list-style Start menu on WM 6.1 is outdated and not so finger friendly. Both menus lack easy configuring and advanced features. Hi-Launcher, from RanoSoft, is a new app that replaces your Start menu with one that can be customized and has advanced features. It was a popular program among the Palm community years ago, but now it’s revamped and available for Windows phone.
If you’re big on customizing and organizing your device, Hi-Launcher can do that and more. Whether it pertains to functionality or appearance, you can essentially customize any part of the menu. In the screenshot above, I decided to go with a simple color scheme of different shades of blue. I placed the date at the top, followed by different system information and functions. Now, I can easily view my available RAM, soft reset, rotate the screen to landscape, enable/disable Bluetooth or send a text to a close friend all from the main menu. Notice that I placed separators to give the menu some organization. In the next section, I added a submenu for my programs, a link to the WM 6.5 Start menu, and another submenu that leads to task managing capabilities. I also have quick access to Hi-Launcher’s settings in case I need to add new items. Lastly, I chose to display my recent tasks at the bottom of the menu. You can access items via software or hardware keyboard shortcuts too.
For the power user in all of us, Hi-Launcher fills the void that is present when using other menus/launchers. It’s also great for users who want complete control of their Start menu. A 10-day trial of Hi-Launcher is available and it will set you back about $15 in the event that you decide to purchase it. You can save a dollar by purchasing it from our software store. Check out the video from RanoSoft for a brief tutorial of Hi-Launcher and the list of features below.
Run static programs
Run recent programs
Run any executable file
End selected/all tasks
Switch between running tasks
Toggle phone on/off
Toggle Bluetooth on/off
Toggle Wi-FI on/off
Display Storage/RAM/battery info
Lock the device
Soft Reset/ Shutdown
List any system settings
Customize the appearance:
Colors, fonts, icons, alignment
Frame color, thickness, shape
Size (make menu small or large), position (anchor menu to different parts of screen)
Sorting order, keyboard shortcuts
Automatic dismiss timeout
Remove unused items
Pop up animation (fade/mosaic/build/slide)