comparing homepage alternatives

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SheilaHoff
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comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

I'm still searching for the perfect homepage alternative and thought I'd start a thread with my own observations. I'd love to find some way to have larger icons and text labels. PandaHome offers this ability but I haven't had time to explore it yet. I also haven't tried any skins for these as I do not want to spend any money until I'm sure I want to stay with an app. And most of what I've seen is geared to a much younger crowd. My own taste leans toward clean, simple, sophisticated and more of all, easy to SEE! So far I'm finding I mostly prefer the native Archos interface. Here are the pros and cons as I see them...

Native
* best thing is that we have access to the Archos media center icons. I only use 2 of 5 of these regularly. It would sure be nice (as many have mentioned) if there was a way to have them each be made into shortcuts for use in other interfaces.


Open Home
* slickest looking interface, very clean, modern elegant looking clock and favorites bar
* I'd probably use this if I had the Archos m/c icons


PandaHome
* I think this allows for more then 3 homepages which can be nice for some folks. I haven't explored this as I don't need it.
* The apps panel offers a way to locate apps if you have tons of them, via alpha segments. Again, I don't have that many.
* There's a cute little 3-light indicator that tells you which of the 3 panels you're on
* it has its own set of custom icons that include such things as turning auto-rotate on/off, shake to switch
* the theme setting page is portrait only
* The ONLY reason this interests me at all is that it offers the ability to change fonts and icons. However the fonts only go up to 18 pt. I need to look into how to create alternate icons and see if it's possible to install larger version of the fonts (they seem to be TTF)

Looking forward to your experiences and recommendations.

Sheila
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by gschier »

I use open home because I can have 7 desktops. I have filled up my entire system storage with apps so I have tonnes. I enjoy playing around with the themes, fonts, icons, etc. And also Open home seems to be faster than the native home for some reason, with less crashes. Also I like the fact that I can view my desktop in portrait mode. This is much better in my opinion.
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SheilaHoff
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

I hadn't realized about the portrait mode...kewl. Can you recommend any themes? And how do you play around with the icons?
gschier
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by gschier »

I think you have to buy the full version to change fonts and icons. If you search online there are tonnes of themes for it. I'm using "ghost black" right now.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by Cptnodegard »

Where do you get open home? I can only find the free version on the market and market links that dont work on the archos (for the paid one).
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

Ah...that makes sense. I didn't want to buy anything until I was sure I'd use it. So you're really happy with it then? How do you access your video and music? It seems that there's no way to get it via the Archos Media Center interface unless using their home too. Is that accurate? In fact I'm not even sure how to access video w/o it at all.

I just discovered there's also aHome which I haven't tried yet and gets good reviews. Also this one: http://dxtop.wikidot.com/

And here's are a couple of reviews that compare them:
http://www.allshadow.com/2009/06/04/com ... 1-android/

http://androidandme.com/2009/03/reviews ... open-home/
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

I got OpenHome from this page:
http://www.filecrop.com/open-home.-apk.html

I have a question for those using it. I have the battery widget on my desktop in the native home. when I use OpenHome it's not there. I try to add it via add widget but it isn't an option. Is there some reason we can't have the battery widget outside of the native home?
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by gschier »

I have a question for those using it. I have the battery widget on my desktop in the native home. when I use OpenHome it's not there. I try to add it via add widget but it isn't an option. Is there some reason we can't have the battery widget outside of the native home?
Not sure why this is. I would just use a different one. I dont use a battery widget in open home because it displays it as a percent in the bottom right corner.

And to answer your previous question: currently there is no way to acccess the media center through openhome. I just go to file manager and select the movie I want to watch. If i want to hear music, i just use the android music app. maybe archos will make some shortcuts for media center like they did with file manager.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

Thanks...that was helpful. I hadn't noticed the battery meter with OpenHome. Maybe the Lite version doesn't have it. I may have to spring the money and pay. But I want to try the other free versions first.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by SheilaHoff »

Nice video review of 4 home replacements...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlm_f2e9tlY
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by jschall »

@SheilaHoff:

Five months on, have you found an alternative to Home that meets your requirements?

I just installed then uninstalled Home++ and wanted to share my experience here.

Home++ met my requirements completely - 7 home screens, a screen switcher, the one-click widgets worked fine.

BUT - perhaps because of the many home screens, it took up too many CPU cycles, and often froze my A5A to the point of the paperclip reset.

Too bad, it was really nice while it lasted.

- Jeff
- Jeff
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by gschier »

I think if the main Android/Archos Home screen could be in portrait then it would be the best home screen app for us. I love SweeterHome 2 but it takes up too much RAM. Home++ is also good but I don't like how few icons you can put on a screen.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by AllenPapapetrou »

jschall wrote:@SheilaHoff:

Five months on, have you found an alternative to Home that meets your requirements?

I just installed then uninstalled Home++ and wanted to share my experience here.

Home++ met my requirements completely - 7 home screens, a screen switcher, the one-click widgets worked fine.

BUT - perhaps because of the many home screens, it took up too many CPU cycles, and often froze my A5A to the point of the paperclip reset.

Too bad, it was really nice while it lasted.

- Jeff
Hi Jeff,

Did you use ATMF or any other Task Manager w/Home++?

Allen
-An old geek 8)
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jschall
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by jschall »

Allen wrote:
"Did you use ATMF or any other Task Manager w/Home++?"

I don't know what ATMF is. I guess I didn't use it. Why do you ask, Allen?

- Jeff
- Jeff
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by jschall »

So, I tried Sweeter Home. It lasted all of 15 minutes on my A5A. The provided themes just aren't made with the Archos 5 IT in mind,

Has anyone found an alternative homepage that works well with the A5A?

- Jeff
- Jeff
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by hauk »

I use the SweeterHome 2 beta and made a theme for myself. It's incredibly customizable - perfect for me although it can take a long time to set up. Still a little buggy though.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by dasdren09 »

I vote Archos just allows portrait version of there native one. I like it and It is convenient. Otherwise I am also using Home ++ because it gives a great portrait and is the only one that shows the HTC clock correctly.
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by map002 »

I continue to enjoy Open Home. Looks great, does everything I need, is very customizable and is constantly being updated.

Michael
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by AllenPapapetrou »

I'm with Michael here. There are so many choices. I decided to stay with Open Home and love it.

Allen
-An old geek 8)
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Re: comparing homepage alternatives

Post by jschall »

Thanks, gentlemen. Open Home has been on my A5A for 3 hours now - a new record!

It has the following advantages over the Archos default, for me:
- Portrait orientation for the home screens
- More screens, so I can spread my applications around
- Folders to group related programs
- Screen labels

There are probably lots of other neat features in Open Home - but I have not found any documentation, FAQ, forum. All I could find was the Better Android blog (http://betterandroid.wordpress.com/)

I am crossing my fingers that Open Home is a keeper!

- Jeff
- Jeff
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