Ubuntu Touch has a number of neat interface elements, one of which is its sidebar launcher.
But unless you’re willing to flash your phone or tablet with an unstable – and not-yet-entirely-useful developer preview – you’ll have to wait for a hands-on feel for how it works.
That is, unless you install a custom app for Android called Glovebox.
Before we go on I will point out that the developer of Glovebox says his app ‘is not based on the Ubuntu Phone OS sidebar‘.
It’s up for you to decide how sincere a claim that is, but what’s more relevant than its inspiration is the functionality and style it offers. And in both cases it’s similar enough to the ‘Ubuntu Touch’ launcher to be of interest.
Features, Themes & Neat Stuff
With a quick swipe of your thumb from the side of the screen you can launch pinned apps without lifting a finger – how many apps can promise that?
Options available in the free version include:
- Add and arrange up to 8 app launchers
- Adjust position, size and location of ‘swipe’ area
- Choice of various Launcher themes, including ‘ubuntu phone’
Cough up some extra dough and you also ‘unlock’
- Add unlimited app shortcuts to launcher
- Add widgets to launcher
- Adjust opacity of launcher
The developer has put together a slick video demoing the app, including some of the premium features:
Drawbacks, Bugs & Crashes
The biggest drawback in this otherwise ‘free’ app is the locked functionality. Without coughing up for the premium version you are limited to 8 apps, no widgets, and limited customisation options.
And while the pomo video above shows off some Ubuntu Touch-esque icons, the app doesn’t currently support icon packs.
Do be aware of bugs. The most common being that the launcher ‘freezes’ on screen, and can’t be swiped away. If this happens app freezes (which it does) open up the main settings pane and toggle it off and then back on.
Glovebox is a free app for Android 1.6 and above. In-app premium version available for extra features.