5 best iPad launcher apps

by Derek Walter

February 11 2014

Launch Center Pro can ramp up your productivity.
Launch Center Pro can ramp up your productivity.

While custom launchers are typically the domain of Android, there are some clever launcher apps that can improve efficiency on the iPad.

These apps enable specific actions with a simple tap. You can, for example, use a launcher app to launch an email or iMessage to a friend with one touch instead of opening that specific application and navigating through the menu to perform that task.

Launch Center Pro

Launch Center Pro can perform many specific tasks that can help one be more productive from an iPad. For example, you can program Launch Center Pro to search Yelp for pizza, launch a specific web site, or perform a frequent Google search.

These actions are then bookmarked inside the app and available every time you re-launch it. It is a great way to add some extendability that is not possible on the iOS home screen.

Drafts

Drafts is designed to be the starting place whenever you need to write text. If you want to tweet, post to Facebook, send a message, or create a to-do item just launch Drafts and send the text to the appropriate app. It can make such actions faster by connecting any of the large number of supported apps to Drafts.

Drafts also smartly opens to a blank text and cursor every time it launches, so you can just start writing immediately.

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Launch+

Launch+ supports 3,200 different apps with quick launch capabilities. You can also schedule Notification Center reminders and send messages to contacts through a variety of suported apps, including Skype or FaceTime.

Launch+ includes some system controls as well, such as adjusting the screen brightness, device volume and controlling music.

QuickPick

QuickPick lacks some of the visual polish of other entrants in this field, but is very easy to customize. Just type in the command you wish to save, such as initiating a new phone call, email message, or playing a song. These specific actions will then be available any time that you open the app. 

Google Search

If you are a heavy user of Google apps, the Google Search app is a good way to quickly launch the company’s native and web apps. An “Apps” button features prominently on the front page of the app (much like when opening a new tab in Chrome), making it easy to switch to another Google product. 

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