If you're a long-time reader of Android Central, you might remember when Phil reviewed Wave Launcher back in March. Recently, the developer updated the application to version 1.8 which added a lot of new functionality, enough that we wanted to revisit the application as well as introduce it to potentially new users.
Wave Launcher is an application that works in addition to your existing launcher (be that stock, ADW, LauncherPro, or something else). You activate it by performing a gesture near the edge of your screen, and a "wave" pops up, which gives you access to a customizable application list. You can put apps, shortcuts, or folders on this list and they all became just a swipe away. While the launcher is limited to 12 icons, you can put up to 10 apps or shortcuts into each folder, potentially allowing up to 120 total shortcuts. Last week, the developers pushed out 1.8, which gave users the ability to add widgets to their wave, turning Wave Launcher into a potentially powerful productivity tool, especially when it comes to music.
Using a music widget before this didn't make sense to me because I had to back out of whatever I was doing just to skip/pause a track on Spotify. Now, I just swipe on the side of my screen, select the Spotify widget, and hit pause. After I'm done with the widget, there is an "X" icon in the upper window you hit, and you can go back to whatever you were working on without ever leaving that application. It might only save me a second or two, but I think it's a more natural, logical way to handle music playback.
1.8 also feels a lot faster running on my Droid Incredible than previous versions did. The new widget options combined with the faster interface make Wave Launcher a great addition to my phone, and something you should check out if you're into optimizing your homescreen. After the break you'll find the 1.8 video put out by the developer, a few more screenshots of the app in action, and a market link. Wave Launcher is currently $1.99 in the Android market.