Jun 23 AT 10:51 AM Anthony Domanico 27 Comments

Quickdesk: A beta home “replacement” with a twist

Twitter user @Ruqqq has recently announced that a beta version of his Quickdesk home “replacement” application is now available on the Android Market. I use the replacement term very loosely, as the application is not necessarily meant to replace your home screen, but rather acts as a supplement or enhancement to it.

Quickdesk is basically another homescreen that you can access by double tapping your home button twice in succession (clicking home once still takes you to your main homescreen). Immediately the Quickdesk homescreen pops up over whatever you’re doing, giving you access to whatever applications and widgets you happen to add to Quickdesk.

What’s really cool about this app is it allows you to quickly launch an app from directly within another application. Are you in the Gmail application but want to make a quick phone call? Simply double tap the home icon while still in the Gmail application, then click on phone or contacts and Quickdesk will take you there. No more having to go to the home screen, launch your app drawer, and pick the application you’re looking for (providing you have that application in the Quickdesk screen that is).

The Quickdesk UI has a  5 x 4 icon view, providing easy access to as many as 20 applications or bookmarks (or 12 apps and a 4×2 widget, etc).

Though Quickdesk is still in beta version, it feels as if it’s an almost final release. I have been using this heavily for a few hours now, and haven’t had a single problem getting it to do what I wanted it to do. Overall it just feels very slick and polished, and is implemented very well.

Pros

  • Quick, easy access to your most-used applications/widgets
  • 5×4 home screen for maximum app availability
  • Acts as a supplement to your home screen, not a replacement

Things I’d like to see in future releases

  • Multiple Quickdesk screens. This would be epic.  And yes, this is the only flaw I’ve found.

Final Verdict: Quickdesk is a convenient addition to the Android platform. Though it will not be for everyone, I strongly recommend giving this app a shot.

Quickdesk-add-stuff Quickdesk-homescreen quickdesk-move-item Quickdesk-with-At-Bat-in-the-background

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://jakewharton.com JakeWharton

    This app seemed redundant when I first downloaded it. Now that I’ve had it for a few days I never realized how nice it is to have quick access to some widgets.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Oh yeah, this app is definitely very handy for many purposes.

  • http://keithcirkel.co.uk Keith Cirkel

    Just tried this app and it’s fantastic. My first fear was that it would give me some feature-lacking home screen by default and extend it with the double-tap screen, but thankfully you can still keep your old home screen, such as ADW Launcher, and have Quickdesk on top. Awesome abounds here.

    One thing that caught me out though – you need to set your new default home as Quickdesk – then in Quickdesk you define what you’d like your main screen to be. I’ll re-iterate this for effect. *Make Quickdesk your default home, then tell Quickdesk what home screen you’d actually like to run*.

    This type of application shows the power behind having a flexible OS like Android – and shows the inherent weakness in an OS like the iPhone. Things like replacement home screens and replacement keyboards means that even an outdated phone like the G1 can be kept as fresh or fresher than the current phones out there – with exciting new UIs such as ADW, Flyscreen and now Quickdesk.

  • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

    Just to be clear everyone, I just received word from ruqqq that this app is only compatible with 1.6+ devices. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON 1.5.

    • http://Website Yogesh

      Not working on HTC MT3G when used as defaukt home, screen starts blinking and nothing happens????

  • http://www.ashersimonds.com Vazguard

    It would be nice to see a slide-in/slide-out animation when opening and closing. It would make it fit in the Android environment a little better.

  • http://Website Soul_Est

    Wonderful find Anthony! This will definitely come in handy for those who don’t have dedicated call buttons (such as on the Milestone).

  • http://Website dave

    I like this app very handy to have but find the slight lagg it has when closing out of an app with a single home button tap is annoying. N1 froyo

  • http://Website nick

    hey how do you add apps and stuff to the quickdesk home screen when you hit the button twice and it pops up, all i have is dialer, messages and browser…

    • http://Website Soul_Est

      Just as on any of the homescreens, you do a long tap and select what you want to add from the pop up menu.

  • http://Website Matt

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but why is launching an app “directly from another application” so advantageous? Can’t you already do that from pressing Home, in most cases?

    I’m guessing the effect you MEAN is that it winds up like Android’s “recently used apps” menu, that you can get from HOLDING Home. (but more advanced?, and custom applications rather than just your most recent 6/8) In either case, I’ll test it out. It doesn’t sound like it’s as great as the review makes it sound, but I could see it coming in handy, if you have a specific set of apps you tend to run “on top of” others, but not necessarily apps that you’d start up by themselves. (Can’t think of any examples right now)

    Still, thanks for the informative review.

    • http://Website Soul_Est

      It’s truly advantageous for people who tend to use a large number of apps throughout the day and will need to go back a few key apps or widgets to continue on with what their currently doing. The default app switcher in Android only displays the last six distinct apps used. This means that if you do not have the app you want to bring up in that switcher (happens to me a lot), you would have to press home, navigate to the homescreen or pull up the app drawer and then launch the app or interact with the widget. This comes in especially handy for those without the send call and end call buttons on their phone as they can just launch Quickdesk and launch the phone app.

  • jakmayhopher

    how do you set it up for the myTouch 3G, everytime i press the home screen button twice it doesnt go to it. using ADW Launcher as default home

    • http://Website Soul_Est

      You have to set Quickdesk as the default home app and set default home app you normally use in the configure menu after you launch Quickdesk. Hope this helps.

  • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

    Hm,

    On the hero it only allows you to add widgets, shortcuts, and folders. No programs. Gonna assume that’s a bug, as that severely limits its capabilities. *time to track down a report problem method*

    • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

      Figured out you could use shortcuts then apps to add programs. Works I guess.

      The last problem that will prevent probably all older android phone users is this…

      Snapdragon phones don’t need Launcher in Memory to be checked which means this app works great for them. But for older phones like the hero and the MT3G using the double tap function doesn’t let the ADW Launcher stay on memory even though the Quick desk is in memory. That means every time you go to desktop again the launcher reloads entirely, and at least on the hero that is a very slow process. Think… what happens when you very first boot up the phone and it loads all your widgets and programs.

      This is a great idea, awesome in fact, and I look forward to using it… when I either get a faster phone or this particular problem is fixed.

  • http://Website mino

    NIce dashboard for android:)

    with panel/switcher of running application can be really great

  • http://Website William Furr

    How’s it run on a G1?

    I don’t even use “keep home/launcher in memory” because then that gimps other apps like the browser. So little RAM in this thing, it kills me.

  • taras

    Interesting idea but I don’t see the big difference between this and tapping Home once to get your normal home screen, then holding Home to switch back to your app.

    Also wondering why it needs the “Cost You Money” and “Read Contact Data” access rights.

  • http://Website Fat Mike

    BRILLIANT!!! Now if only I can remember the apps I wanted this for, helps when cleaning house and/or downloading game ROMS! MT3g with open home, and works great.

  • http://Website acepelon

    If you like this sort of thing, I have found App Launcher very valuable. You can access it from the notification bar, as an app (duh), or long press of the search key (if you choose).

    This is not a home replacement or enhancement and no tricks are necessary (thus no lag). Not fair that I am OC and on Froyo, but it doesn’t slow me a bit.

    The strength of these kinds of apps really depends on how you organize your main home screen. I tend to cluster types of apps together on the home screen, not necessarily the most used apps. I have a whole screen for Music apps but I might put my favorite one of those on App Launcher.

    Same thing with geolocation apps, restaurant apps, reading apps, etc. It may not really be a benefit to someone who lays out their main home screen with the exact same apps as they would put in the launcher, but that’s kind of the point here. I know I have not wasted the space on the home page for larger Beautiful Widgets and other widgets because I needed room for my most needed apps, but this allows me to beautify my home screen, or leave widgets/ apps off so I can enjoy my son’s picture on the wallpaper, but still access my most-used apps in a snap.

    Happy choosing, choice-lovers!

    DROID!

  • http://www.easyhome.co.il Itzik Kaiser

    Nice app.

  • http://Website AliceCuriouse

    Hi, I am sorry to bother anyone, but does anyone know how I can contact the QuickDesk developer?

    I can find his Twitter feed online, but I need to ask a question:

    I downloaded and launched QuickDesk and now I cannot access anything on my phone at all, I just have a dark black screen with no apps launcher — no way to go into any applications altogether. I can only access the notifications bar, and when I pull up my Task Killer app, it will allow me to select QuickDesk to kill, but it does not kill it — the screen remains black. After a few attempts I have gotten a message saying that QuickDesk is not responding — and even though I select “Force Close,” nothing happens. The screen remains black and I can access nothing.

    I am grateful for any help. Thank you.

  • http://blog.152.org metric152

    I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. It will allow me to run SlideScreen and access widgets.

    Thank you very much!

  1. JakeWhartonGuest 5 years ago

    This app seemed redundant when I first downloaded it. Now that I’ve had it for a few days I never realized how nice it is to have quick access to some widgets.

  2. Keith CirkelGuest 5 years ago

    Just tried this app and it’s fantastic. My first fear was that it would give me some feature-lacking home screen by default and extend it with the double-tap screen, but thankfully you can still keep your old home screen, such as ADW Launcher, and have Quickdesk on top. Awesome abounds here.

    One thing that caught me out though – you need to set your new default home as Quickdesk – then in Quickdesk you define what you’d like your main screen to be. I’ll re-iterate this for effect. *Make Quickdesk your default home, then tell Quickdesk what home screen you’d actually like to run*.

    This type of application shows the power behind having a flexible OS like Android – and shows the inherent weakness in an OS like the iPhone. Things like replacement home screens and replacement keyboards means that even an outdated phone like the G1 can be kept as fresh or fresher than the current phones out there – with exciting new UIs such as ADW, Flyscreen and now Quickdesk.

  3. Just to be clear everyone, I just received word from ruqqq that this app is only compatible with 1.6+ devices. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON 1.5.

    • YogeshGuest 5 years ago

      Not working on HTC MT3G when used as defaukt home, screen starts blinking and nothing happens????

  4. It would be nice to see a slide-in/slide-out animation when opening and closing. It would make it fit in the Android environment a little better.

  5. Soul_EstGuest 5 years ago

    Wonderful find Anthony! This will definitely come in handy for those who don’t have dedicated call buttons (such as on the Milestone).

  6. daveGuest 5 years ago

    I like this app very handy to have but find the slight lagg it has when closing out of an app with a single home button tap is annoying. N1 froyo

  7. nickGuest 5 years ago

    hey how do you add apps and stuff to the quickdesk home screen when you hit the button twice and it pops up, all i have is dialer, messages and browser…

    • Soul_EstGuest 5 years ago

      Just as on any of the homescreens, you do a long tap and select what you want to add from the pop up menu.

  8. MattGuest 5 years ago

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but why is launching an app “directly from another application” so advantageous? Can’t you already do that from pressing Home, in most cases?

    I’m guessing the effect you MEAN is that it winds up like Android’s “recently used apps” menu, that you can get from HOLDING Home. (but more advanced?, and custom applications rather than just your most recent 6/8) In either case, I’ll test it out. It doesn’t sound like it’s as great as the review makes it sound, but I could see it coming in handy, if you have a specific set of apps you tend to run “on top of” others, but not necessarily apps that you’d start up by themselves. (Can’t think of any examples right now)

    Still, thanks for the informative review.

    • Soul_EstGuest 5 years ago

      It’s truly advantageous for people who tend to use a large number of apps throughout the day and will need to go back a few key apps or widgets to continue on with what their currently doing. The default app switcher in Android only displays the last six distinct apps used. This means that if you do not have the app you want to bring up in that switcher (happens to me a lot), you would have to press home, navigate to the homescreen or pull up the app drawer and then launch the app or interact with the widget. This comes in especially handy for those without the send call and end call buttons on their phone as they can just launch Quickdesk and launch the phone app.

  9. how do you set it up for the myTouch 3G, everytime i press the home screen button twice it doesnt go to it. using ADW Launcher as default home

    • Soul_EstGuest 5 years ago

      You have to set Quickdesk as the default home app and set default home app you normally use in the configure menu after you launch Quickdesk. Hope this helps.

  10. Hm,

    On the hero it only allows you to add widgets, shortcuts, and folders. No programs. Gonna assume that’s a bug, as that severely limits its capabilities. *time to track down a report problem method*

    • Figured out you could use shortcuts then apps to add programs. Works I guess.

      The last problem that will prevent probably all older android phone users is this…

      Snapdragon phones don’t need Launcher in Memory to be checked which means this app works great for them. But for older phones like the hero and the MT3G using the double tap function doesn’t let the ADW Launcher stay on memory even though the Quick desk is in memory. That means every time you go to desktop again the launcher reloads entirely, and at least on the hero that is a very slow process. Think… what happens when you very first boot up the phone and it loads all your widgets and programs.

      This is a great idea, awesome in fact, and I look forward to using it… when I either get a faster phone or this particular problem is fixed.

  11. minoGuest 5 years ago

    NIce dashboard for android:)

    with panel/switcher of running application can be really great

  12. William FurrGuest 5 years ago

    How’s it run on a G1?

    I don’t even use “keep home/launcher in memory” because then that gimps other apps like the browser. So little RAM in this thing, it kills me.

  13. Interesting idea but I don’t see the big difference between this and tapping Home once to get your normal home screen, then holding Home to switch back to your app.

    Also wondering why it needs the “Cost You Money” and “Read Contact Data” access rights.

  14. Fat MikeGuest 5 years ago

    BRILLIANT!!! Now if only I can remember the apps I wanted this for, helps when cleaning house and/or downloading game ROMS! MT3g with open home, and works great.

  15. acepelonGuest 5 years ago

    If you like this sort of thing, I have found App Launcher very valuable. You can access it from the notification bar, as an app (duh), or long press of the search key (if you choose).

    This is not a home replacement or enhancement and no tricks are necessary (thus no lag). Not fair that I am OC and on Froyo, but it doesn’t slow me a bit.

    The strength of these kinds of apps really depends on how you organize your main home screen. I tend to cluster types of apps together on the home screen, not necessarily the most used apps. I have a whole screen for Music apps but I might put my favorite one of those on App Launcher.

    Same thing with geolocation apps, restaurant apps, reading apps, etc. It may not really be a benefit to someone who lays out their main home screen with the exact same apps as they would put in the launcher, but that’s kind of the point here. I know I have not wasted the space on the home page for larger Beautiful Widgets and other widgets because I needed room for my most needed apps, but this allows me to beautify my home screen, or leave widgets/ apps off so I can enjoy my son’s picture on the wallpaper, but still access my most-used apps in a snap.

    Happy choosing, choice-lovers!

    DROID!

  16. Itzik KaiserGuest 5 years ago

    Nice app.

  17. AliceCuriouseGuest 5 years ago

    Hi, I am sorry to bother anyone, but does anyone know how I can contact the QuickDesk developer?

    I can find his Twitter feed online, but I need to ask a question:

    I downloaded and launched QuickDesk and now I cannot access anything on my phone at all, I just have a dark black screen with no apps launcher — no way to go into any applications altogether. I can only access the notifications bar, and when I pull up my Task Killer app, it will allow me to select QuickDesk to kill, but it does not kill it — the screen remains black. After a few attempts I have gotten a message saying that QuickDesk is not responding — and even though I select “Force Close,” nothing happens. The screen remains black and I can access nothing.

    I am grateful for any help. Thank you.

  18. metric152Guest 5 years ago

    I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. It will allow me to run SlideScreen and access widgets.

    Thank you very much!