Contrast, the company which just released the excellent new app Weather Up, has today pushed a major update to its popular Launch Center Pro utility. The update brings the app to version 3.0 and includes a host of new features, such as NFC Triggers, “True Black” mode, Siri Shortcuts integration, and more.
Apple opened the door to new extensibility features on iOS with extensions and Notification Center widgets in iOS 8, but mixing app launchers with the swipe down Today view was quickly disallowed by the App Store as we saw around this time last year. That policy has since changed and we’ve seen developers able to build better widgets like Workflow’s recent update.
Launch Center Pro has been working on its own Today widget, which puts actions like opening the Instagram camera or messaging a specific contact a swipe down away from anywhere directly in Notification Center.
David Barnard, CEO of Contrast, has today announced that they will be bringing a slimmed down version of Launch Center Pro to the Apple Watch. You can see how the app has been transformed from the grid appearance of the iOS version to a simple list, to optimise screen real estate on the Watch’s much smaller display. This means users can initiate quick actions from their wrist, rather than digging their phones out of their pockets.
The company will ‘hopefully’ have the app available in the App Store when the Watch ships sometime in April.
Another tweet indicates that the company is working on more WatchKit apps as well.
After first grouping together last year to offer huge discounts on popular apps from independent developers, App Santa is coming to town for the second year in a row with up to 60% off popular iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps to celebrate the holidays.
This year App Santa includes discounts on over 40 paid apps for iOS and OS X from developers including Tapbots, Realmac Software, Agile Tortoise, Readdle, Supertop, Junecloud, and more. The discounts kick off today and will run through December 26th giving you a chance to save money for yourself or gift apps to your family and friends. Check below for a list of confirmed App Santa apps this year:
- Tweetbot 3 for iPhone — Reg. $4.99 — (Review)
- Castro for iPhone — Reg. $3.99 (Review)
- Clear for iOS / Mac — Reg. $4.99 / $9.99 (Review)
- Deliveries for iOS / Mac — Reg. $4.99 / $4.99 (Review)
- Launch Center Pro — Reg. $4.99 (Review)
- Ember for iOS / Mac — Reg. $4.99 / $49.99 (Review)
Contrast, the makers of the popular iOS automation app Launch Center Pro, released two new apps today that hope to “speed up tedious tasks on iOS.” Group Text+ and Email+ each include features that make texting (iMessage and SMS) and emailing your favorite contacts or groups of contacts easier and quicker.
If you’re familiar with Launch Center Pro, the iPhone and iPad app we’ve covered that enables powerful automation on iOS, then you may recognize Contrast’s new iPhone app debuting today called Contact Center. While its name sounds like it could be an alternative address book, it’s actually a simpler, easier to learn version of Launch Center Pro focused on staying in touch with your favorite contacts.
Contrast describes Contact Center as allowing you to “automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message, jump right to a contact in WhatsApp, automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message” and more; below we’ll take a look at the new app.
Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.
While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally…
Launch Center Pro 2 delivers an iOS 7-inspired user interface and a gorgeous new icon as well as several new features including Dropbox backing up and restoring, various themes, action sharing, and more.
People often ask why anyone would need a separate app to do what their home screen does, but as Contrast’s tag line explains, it allows you to “Launch actions, not just apps!” I’ll share a few of my favorite actions below.