[App Fridays] LaunchSimply - An Experiment in Recreating User Interface
Some apps are just really cool and LaunchSimply is one of them. Made by Sujeet Kumar Mehta and Archana Hitesh, founders of Bangalore based app development company, PrayerApp. With LaunchSimply, they wish to redefine how users interact with their smartphones, and quite frankly, it is one of the most original apps that I have seen in recent times.
I first started using this app a couple of months ago. We have spent enough time figuring out how to use the app and then getting addicted to it. Here’s our review of PrayerApp’s LaunchSimply.
What is it?
LaunchSimply is a gesture based application launcher. Instead of having to unlock your phone, click the app launcher and then click an app icon to open an app, you can simply move your phone in a particular way to launch an app. Sounds too futuristic? Watch this video, as Archana explains how the app works -
LaunchSimply also has a game built into it, which calibrates the sensors that the app uses to function. By performing the right kind of gestures, the grumpy faces (as shown in screenshot 1) will turn to smiley ones. User engagement +1!
Getting this app to work on some phones was difficult. But on the phones that it did work on, it was a source of endless amusement.
Too cool for its own good
While LaunchSimply is a really innovative app, its problems lies in its inability to be effectively monetized. They have launched a paid app recently, and while LaunchSimply’s features are good to have, will I shell out money to have it on my phone? I am not too sure.
LaunchSimply is trying to disrupt user experience on a smartphone and the app manages to do that to a great extent. Having said that, the gestures are predefined and work for some apps only. It cannot replace your conventional launcher as of now.
LaunchSimply’s problem is two-fold - Firstly, it isn’t a complete app. Second, the time it takes for a new user to get the app working on their phone is a lot more than an average user’s attention span for apps.
Pros and cons
The apps function in itself is a major pro. My heart goes out to the developers, who’re trying to build something cool, without much regard for its business. The one, and only, reason why this app ticks for me is -
- A great function - Truly unique and once it works, LaunchSimply is great showoff material.
Because the focus of the app developers is so skewed towards the functionality of the app, there are some gaping holes. Like these:
- A user guide - LaunchSimply could surely do with a user guide within the app to guide new users, step-by-step, to get the app running.
- User defined gestures - As of now, the gestures are predefined. If they could be customisable by users, that would make the app a lot more powerful.
- Support for all apps - If the previous point is fulfilled, then users will also have the power to set gestures of all apps, which would make LaunchSimply a complete launcher.
LaunchSimply earns full marks on creativity and uniqueness. It is not often that you come across an app that is so original. Its a cool app to show off to your friends. But to set up a business around this app is a tough ask, as of today. It’s not a complete launcher, it doesn’t have the best user experience and it most certainly doesn’t have a straightforward revenue model.
One possibility is if an OEM uses this app as a default on its phones. It will lend itself to a great marketing campaign and will appeal to the the lower segment smartphone users.
We hope that LaunchSimply grows as an app in the months to come and until then, download the app here and show off your phone’s new super powers to the world!