Launch Center has gotten a major new update that brings new automatic app detection. While the app launched with support for built-in notifications, now the app supports launching third-party apps with specific commands, that can be scheduled to appear as notifications on iPhone and iPod touch.
The way it launches third-party apps is that iOS lets apps register with the device a specific URL scheme. Like how websites begin with http://, apps can register as tweetbot:// or facebook://, for example. Thus, when the device prompts to open up one of these URLs, the app will open. As well, special commands can be added after the // that will perform actions in those apps. Launch Center has commands for a selection of apps with registered URL schemes that it can launch. Those apps that are installed are displayed at the top of Launch Center‘s list, and then the specific control options are given. Then, the command can either be just displayed in the Launch Center main list, or scheduled to be appear at a certain date and time.
The uses for this are many. Want to be reminded to post a tweet with Tweetbot, with the specific text automatically entered in, at a certain time? That can be done with this app. As well, an app like Camera+ that supports launching from external apps can be queued up, reminding users to launch it at a certain time. These notifications can also be customized with particular titles in Notification Center for greater convenience.
Note that the feature is not perfect: apps sometimes crash, or work better if they’ve been closed from the multitasking bar, instead of being loaded into an app currently in memory. These are more the fault of the apps in question, rather than anything Launch Center does, as it is just using the app URL schemes that apps have baked in to them. This update to Launch Center is available now as a free update.
Released: 2011-12-21 :: Category: Productivity
Tagged with: $0.99, apps, Launch Center, notifications