If you have been following us for a little while, you must be acquainted with the PIE-style launcher seen in the latest ParanoidAndroid 2.99 Beta ROMs lately. It is really an amazing thing to be able to access various apps and shortcuts on your Android phone just by tapping the screen at a certain spot. Just as you tap the screen, a beautiful pie launcher pops up from nowhere with time, notifications info and pre-defined shortcuts. To enjoy the “expanded desktop mode”, that is what the PA team calls it, you will need to flash the custom ROM, but you can now taste some PIE goodness by installing the LMT Launcher app separately. The only requirement, however, is that you should have a rooted phone.
This kind of launcher is not new to Android users if you know about the TasKarou Launcher app that is available at Google Play store for quite a while.Similarly, the LMT Launcher is not a new launcher app to us. It has been also there for some time but it was rather in an obscure state. Then one day, XDA member noname81 updated it with the features of PIE and it became one of the most desirable things for Android mongers. The LMT launcher is an extended version of TasKarou Launcher with more options for customization.
The PIE feature in LMT Launcher has now been updated to version 1.86 and comes with several bug fixes. It supports about 20 shortcuts that can be set from within the app’s settings. You can set both extended menu buttons and long-press gestures to reveal secondary controls, in addition to the primary ones. Each button in the LMT PIE launcher can have separate apps/actions assigned to it and thus it gives you a wide array of choice in a beautiful way.
Here are some of the commands/actions/apps that you can assign to the LMT PIE launcher:
- None – Trigger no command
- App -Trigger an arbitrary app
- Home – Switch to home screen
- Home Longpress – Trigger the TaskManager
- Menu -Trigger the menu key
- Back -Trigger the back key
- Search -Activate search
- Search Longpress – Activate voice search
- Next App – Switch to the next running app
- Prev App – Switch to the previous running app
- LMT – Open LMT user interface
- Wifi – Toggle the Wifi mode
- Bluetooth – Toggle the Bluetooth mode
- GPS – Open the GPS config menu
- Key – Trigger an arbitrary key (e.g. “3” for the Home key – see Android Developers page for keycodes)
- Activity – Trigger an arbitrary activity (e.g. “com.android.lmt.InfoActivity” for the LMT info page)
- Web Page – Open an arbitrary webpage
- Script – Open an arbitrary script (e.g. “/mnt/sdcard/sendevent.sh” for Home Longpress – see attached script sendevent.sh)
- Kill App – Kill the current foreground app and switch to home screen
- Kill All Apps – Kill all apps and switch to home screen
- Tasker Task – Start a predefined tasker task (You should avoid spaces in your task name)
- Open Notification Bar – Open the notification bar
- Open Quick Settings – Open the quick settings
- Open Keyboard – Open the soft keyboard
The LMT Launcher with PIE feature is a fully gesture-controlled and highly customizable multi-tasking app and, despite the fact its existence since 2011, it is quite surprising that it has not yet made its way to the Google Play Store. If you got root on your Android device, do not miss it and having installed it will surely infatuate you. In case you have not yet rooted your phone, root it now. The app is worth voiding your warranty, especially when you can get the warranty back by flashing an official firmware.