Mar 15 AT 11:57 AM Matthew Stevens 34 Comments

Open Home Brings Cupcake Features to Android G1

Looking for a Home screen replacement? Might want to give Open Home a look. Similar to the other home replacement applications Open Home gives you additional Home screens, 7 total. Unlike aHome or dxTop, Open Home only slides either left or right, not up or down.

The developer, Better Android, already has a number of themes available and is being assisted by users over on xda-developer forum. Better Android is offering a free copy of the full application to the original artists of any available themes. The wording in the theme descriptions seem to imply he may have modified them from themes intended for another purpose and without the artist’s permission. I hope that isn’t the case, as it would be a copyright violation. Several of the themes are quite nice, a few don’t suit my taste nevertheless, are nicely done.

Soft keyboard on home screen

Soft Keyboard on Home Screen

What makes Open Home standout at the moment is the newly Open Home – Cupcake Full edition giving users a peak at the infamous Cupcake update, expected in April in the U.S. The demo features Live Folders and touch screen keyboard (search only) , screen rotation and something called Rename Work Space. Cupcake has additional upgrades beyond what Open Home can emulate at the moment most of which are beyond what Better Android could develop with the current API release.

To demo Live Folders install the Live Folders demo. This demo offers two previews, Contacts With Numbers and All Contacts. When added to the Home screen and launched each Live Folder displays contacts with a translucent background that appears like a “windowed” application. I didn’t have any trouble with All Contacts but Contacts With Phone Numbers displayed contacts multiple times and when a contact was selected displayed the wrong one, proof this is in fact a demo.

Additional features shown is an application dock which appears on the right side of the screen as a white star. The white star is difficult to see on the default skin, so be sure to look for it. In portrait mode a small magnifying glass appears on the left side when activated switches to whichever screen has the search window and shows the on-screen keyboard. The keyboard is responsive enough, certainly as responsive as the iPhone or Storm’s on-screen keyboards. I’m not a fan of on-screen typing but is handy for a quick one or two word search without opening the keyboard.

Application Dock

Application Dock

The last feature worth noting is the auto-rotating screen giving Android the much sought after ability of the iPhone and S60 devices for quite some time. Auto-rotate works reasonably well although could use a sliding sensitivity setting for better sensitivity if desired. Auto-rotate will be handy for those few apps the don’t fit on the screen in landscape or portrait however, without a landscape on-screen keyboard its functionality is less useful.

All of these options can be enabled or disabled from Open Home’s settings. There is an option for Renaming Work Space. I’m not sure what is defined as Work Space. I didn’t find any area that could be renames, as such appears to be a useless option at the moment.

Better Android is offering this application for $2.99 until more features are available, persumably when Cupcake is released. Better Android says this update is nearly the same as the Lite edition but also states the Cupcake edition may or may not go up in price with Cupcakes release. For this reason I don’t know I would recommend purchasing this app just yet. I might just stick with the lite version at least until Cupcake is released.

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  • PlasmaShark

    Oh music over bluetooth headset…. Soon it will be our time.

    • Tanya

      i have open home (free version).. my widgets that i installed are missing…. is this because i have the free version… another thing… how do i get my original home screen back after settinh open home as my default home screen!!!!!

  • PlasmaShark

    Oh music over bluetooth headset…. Soon it will be our time.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  • Blitz

    I’m having a problem with my g1…I recently installed open home, i updated it and now it keeps force closing. I can’t do anything with my phone. I programmed it so that it turns on with open home…is there anything i can do?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      You should be able to disable or uninstall Open Home. From the desktop, hit menu then settings. Go to manage applications and try to remove Open Home.

      • CJ

        I am having same roblem as blitz. U cant even pull up your menu because the force close pop immediatly pops back up

        • Taylor Wimberly

          From the dev of Open Home:

          “(Use) safe mode in case any problem: Hold down Menu when powering on, uninstall then reinstall”

          For more information see:

  • orlando

    i was going to ask is there any way i could only put 2 screens for open home on the g1 i cant stnd it with 7

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Not sure about Open Home, but I know with aHome it is possible. You can have only 1 or 2 screens. I also like that you can name each desktop.

    • Matthew Stevens

      There is no such option for Open Home. You don’t need to use all 7 screens. You can set any of the 7 as the home screen, in Open Home Settings, then ignore the remaining.

      • james

        chk out this new.. Diva aHome theme
        jst channged my G1 luks

        • http://Andoridandme blu3

          hey… i have a g1 n i dont know how to put the open home on my phone. i wuz just wonderin if u know how to do it,

          • Matthew Stevens

            Install it from Market nad you’re good to go. When you hit home you’ll be prompted to select the default Home or Open Home.

  • Helen

    … it sucks… i am living outside the US and therefore cant install the full version of Open Home… anyone can help me at all.. would reli love to install that.

  • shelby cosca

    i have recently purchased the open home full and it doesnt seem to want to download right away, it says starting download but it hasnt downloaded and its been sitting like that for 2 hours, i left it alone n thought maybe it would download while im doing something else but nothing changed. i turned my phone off and restarted the downloading and nothings changing. what should i do to fix my problem?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I normally just cancel and restart the demo until it goes. It normally works after about the 2nd or 3rd time.

    • Matthew Stevens

      This is an issue with Market in general not any specific application. As Taylor said stopping the download, sometimes a couple times, will usually do the trick.

  • Pinneng

    I checked on App Market just now for “Open Home – Full” and “Better Cut” but I couldnt find them.

    Any info bout this?

    • Matthew Stevens

      @Pinneng both apps are still there, might want to look again.

  • ronald

    hey i have a G1 and i dont how to opne the home page for the !phone 3 app

  • Gammax

    i cant even try it…=(

  • ronald

    Dang. I been trying to do it all day.

  • James

    everytime i try to go to open market to find Open Home all it gives me is the skins… and not the actual app

    • Matthew Stevens

      Keep scrolling down and you’ll get to it eventually. The fille name is “Open Home – Full” and “Open Home – Lite.”

  • James

    Thanks that worked !

  • highroller

    just downloaded the open home and pushed the 1.5 manually… can they widgets show up on the home screen

  • martin

    I’ve a bit problem with the market on my G1…y it couldn’t show the pay apps?there’s only apps for free?!!plz help me

  • Ronnie

    I downloaded Open Home-Full yesterday and now my G1 will not boot at all. It has never done this before I downloaded Open Home. The phone is stuck on the andriod graphic and won’t go any further. Please help!

  • david

    what theme is that plz email me with answer

  • Michael

    Recently just downloaded open home full.
    Keeps killing my G1…after major lag it just restarts the phone over and over again

  • MaStErMinDBoi

    I been trying to download open home but i cant seem to find it…. i retype in as “open home” “open home – lite” and it still wouldnt show, it just shows skins and other junk but not open home – lite…. and it only found 125-130 results for it…

  • ericB

    On Open Home, “Workspace” is just another name for screen. i.e.
    1st screen/workspace …. named “Systems Tools” ;
    2nd screen/workspace ….. named “Time Mgmt” ; ……etc.

  • http://Website Takino

    I’ve purchased the full version of Open Home several months ago and works to my expectations. However, last week, I turned off my phone and the program never returned. When the latest upgrade came out, it worked just fine. My phone doesn’t even recognize it. I’ve tried to re-install from the market, but it doesn’t even give me the option to open or uninstall. The program is there because there is still a “low storage space” warning.
    What happened, where did it go, and how can i get it back?

  • Briget

    I cant find open home at all I got a replacement phpne n ive been searchin for best apps app market I cant find anythin!!!!