Home

Share this Story

The Tato Series: An Interview With Fede Of LauncherPro

So, anyone who knows me should know two things about me:  I love Sapphire and I love me some good ol’ LauncherPro.  When it comes to launchers though there are lots of choices other than LP like ADW, Stock, Helix, and the list goes on. Well we took a poll a lil’ while ago to show what our readers were using then, (Time for an updated poll? I think so!) but there was one launcher missing from that list that lately has pretty much wiped the floor with the competition. That Launcher, is none other than LauncherPro.

Besides ADW, LauncherPro is the definitive Home replacement application. With a widely growing list of widgets and customizable  features…who could argue? I have been fortunate enough to score some time with the man behind the app, Mr. Federico Carnales. Please enjoy this as much as I did; he was a sincere pleasure to talk to!  

————————————————————————–

Tim-o-tato: Hi Fede! Thanks so much for ‘sitting down with me’! Mind giving us your name and occupation?

Fede: Thanks for having me, Tim. My name is Federico Carnales, and I’m a full time, self-employed developer of LauncherPro.

Tim-o-tato: And what a great App it is! So how long have you been working on LauncherPro?

Fede: Why, thanks!  I started working on it April of this year.

Tim-o-tato: So from April it has become one of the most downloaded apps in the market place. Surprised with this success?

Fede: Quite a bit…I hoped it would get popular, but I didn’t expect it to become so popular so fast! It’s been a wild few months!

Tim-o-tato: I can only imagine! What made you want to begin this project?

Fede: Well, I really liked the idea of HTC Sense’s launcher, bringing the most used apps of your phone right to the home screen. But I didn’t have an HTC phone, and my phone at the time didn’t support custom ROMs (Motorola Milestone). So in short, the idea behind LauncherPro was to bring an experience similar to HTC Sense, to any phone by any manufacturer. Funny thing is, now I have tons of users who ditched Sense for LauncherPro :-)

Tim-o-tato: Ouch! That poor Milestone. So since you have a Milestone, you must be from out of the States. Where are you located exactly?

Fede: I’m originally from Uruguay, but currently live in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tim-o-tato: So in Argentina is there a big Developer scene at all?

Fede: For Android? No, I don’t think so. There aren’t many Android phones in the market here. Which is upsetting.

Tim-o-tato: So you’re a big fish in a pretty small pond.

Fede: Indeed

Tim-o-tato: If there are more Devs down there like you, we need all the Android phones down there as we can get!

Fede: Hahaha … I’m sure there’s tons of talented developers here. Android just hasn’t quite caught on yet. Give it some time, you’ll see more developers from around here!

Tim-o-tato: So you must have a background in development. Care to share you history?

Fede: My background in development is all self-taught. I started developing websites when I was around 14, and then got into web programming a couple of years later. Started getting some freelance gigs, which I did for a few years. Then got a bit sick of freelancing and decided to do my own thing.

Tim-o-tato: Wow, so started at 14..

Fede: Yup

Tim-o-tato: What type of sites were you working on at that age?

Fede: I was mostly just learning, playing around with HTML. I think my first website was a portal for Webmasters. I was really into web marketing and that kind of stuff.

Tim-o-tato: Haha. Wow. That’s good! At 14 I think I was just sitting on the couch playing video games. I should of been on a computer. I could of doing bigger things :-P

Fede: Haha, yeah, I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf, so that was a good hobby for me.

Tim-o-tato: You’re not alone anymore! So we all know that people arent allowed to purchase the Plus Version of your app since you live out of the US. What’s the story behind that? Have you contacted Google about that at all?

I would think they could make an exception for Apps with a certain download marker? Like a prize for being so popular!

Fede: At the moment there are only 9 (I think) countries allowed to sell paid apps on the Android market. The rest of the world doesn’t exist apparently. It’s weird because I was getting paid by Google (Adsense) almost ten years ago without a problem

Tim-o-tato: I would think since you’ve made something better than even their Devs have that they would just hire you. I’ll talk to some people! Haha

Fede: Hahaha! I don’t think I’d like to work for Google though. I’m quite comfortable being my own boss. :-)

Tim-o-tato: Wish I could say that! So how many hours would you say you’ve put into LauncherPro?

Fede: Hmmm… hard to say, wish I kept track. Several hundred hours for sure.

Tim-o-tato: So since this last update, can we see a lot more coming from LauncherPro? More feautres for the future? (perhaps a gmail widget PLEASE!)

Fede: Yes, there will be a LOT more coming in the future and a Gmail widget is part of the plan, yes!

Tim-o-tato: Yay! Well I’m happy now.

Fede: Haha. Also, I’m slowly starting to work on rewriting the whole thing from scratch. Instead of starting with Android’s launcher.

Tim-o-tato: That must be lots of work

Fede: Yes. But I will keep updating the current LP while I re-build it from scratch.

Tim-o-tato: Lots of people have talked (wished for) a partnering with ADW and yourself in making the ultimate Home Launcher. Do you think something like that would ever become reality?

Fede: Probably not. We have quite different takes on software.

Tim-o-tato: So you two talk and are aware of the fact that people either use you or him? lol It is actually quite the feud I would say between users. ADW or LauncherPro!

Fede: Yup, definitely. It’s all about personal preference.

Tim-o-tato: That’s what I always say. Both are better than stock and that’s all that should matter. Haha

So is it just you, or do you have any other helpers/developers with this app?

Fede: Just me so far. I am definitely planning to hire a developer to help though. And also someone else to take care of support, documentation, website, etc.

Tim-o-tato: Well you have my email? ;-) The future is looking extremely bright for LauncherPro which is great!

Fede: Yes, I see a lot of future in LauncherPro!

Tim-o-tato: So you must get lots of emails about your App. About how many a day would you say?

Fede: I used to get over 500 hundred a day! Most with the same questions and suggestions. So I started referring people to the forum instead. It was getting out of control. The forum has been there from the start but a lot of people didn’t know about it, and a lot of people think it’s better to just email the developer. Which was fine when I started and was getting 10-15 emails a day.

Tim-o-tato: Then it blew up! Haha

Fede: Yes. And a lot of pepole don’t realize how much time it takes to reply to that many emails a day. Time that is much better spent adding cool new features to the app instead of answering the same questions over and over.

Tim-o-tato: Exactly. I could not agree more. So say you weren’t a Launcher Dev. Is there any other type of Apps you would want to Dev for at all?

Fede: Hmm… I know what I don’t like developing, and that’s games. I’m much more comfortable developing utilities. As for types of Apps I’d like to develop, maybe a Twitter app. There’s lots of great ones out there already, but I think there’s room for improvement. Or maybe a music player? Haha

Tim-o-tato: The Facebook App is also HORRIBLE… Help Fede! Haha

Fede: Yeah, that would be cool too! The problem is that the Facebook API is currently a bit limited. So there’s no way to make a fully functional Facebook app with the API. Twitter on the other hand, exposes pretty much every feature through their API.

Tim-o-tato: Awe. So when you’re not Developing what do you like to do? Any hobbies?

Fede: Baking! Haha! I always liked baking since I was a kid, and a few years ago went to pastry school and got a pastry chef diploma! Other than that, I love going to the movies and eating out.

Tim-o-tato: That’s awesome! For giggles, whats your favorite thing to bake?

Fede: Hmm, I make a bad-ass lemon meringue pie :-P

Tim-o-tato: Yum!

So do you ever stop by Droid-Life to read up?

Fede: Yeah, whenever I have time. To be honest I hadn’t heard of it until you wrote your first piece on LauncherPro. But I’m glad I found it, it’s definitely one of the best Android sites out there!

Tim-o-tato: I’m using that as a quote! Haha

Fede: And you guys have been nothing but awesome to LauncherPro and me. You’ve been covering LauncherPro from the very beginning!

Tim-o-tato: Thanks! We love to hear that!

Tim-o-tato: Is there anything you want ask the readers? Feature requests or anything of that nature? Now would definitely be the time!

Fede: Hmm, not that I could think of…I always try to make some time to read the comments when LauncherPro gets blog coverage.  So I’m watching everything and always taking notes when someone suggests something interesting.

Tim-o-tato: Now since I have you right here…this is MY chance! There is a feature I was always curious about, and thats the infinite loop of the homescreens. Is that gonna be in the works? I would pay big bucks for that! Haha

Fede: That’s a tricky one. The main problem is the wallpaper. Live Wallpapers would be incompatible with that, and normal wallpapers would have to be loopable to keep them from looking awful when you join two ends together.

Tim-o-tato: Hmm, well if there is one man I believe in…it’s you hopefully! lol

Fede: LOL! It will probably come eventually.

Tim-o-tato: Well I wanna thank you SOOO much on behalf of Droid-Life and everyone Fede for your time! It was a real pleasure!

Fede: Thank you! Pleasure was all mine! Take care!

————————————————————————–

It was a great time talking to Fede and I know we are ALL looking forward to future updates and progress reports.  Thanks everyone for another great week in life, a Droid-Life!

-Tim-o-tato

Get LauncherPro here at Fede’s Website!
And please check out the rest of The Tato Series!

Got ideas for more interviews? Message me at [email protected] :-)

  • Jo

    “I should of been on a computer. I could of doing bigger things.”
    are you serious? you have been on the internet for more than a day so you couldn't possibly be..

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkj.droid Kenny Jackson

    LP has an awesome dock, but ADW has so many more configurable elements. Plus, you can't beat open-source.

  • CoRy

    No funny questions today. Haha once again tim-a-tato does it again, a great interview with a great developer. Goooo Droid-life.com

  • Bribri8785

    Great interview! I love LP, it's amazing and has my DROID looking and working exactly how I want it to. And Fede is HOT!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattiebizzle Mathew Bolden

    google voice widget like the messaging widget would be nice

  • themonkley

    If he has based launcherpro off of the stock android launcher, how is he not obligated by the licensing terms to release the source for his program?

  • Barry

    I would have liked to know why Fede finds it necessary to push out an update every other day or so. I know lots of people really like that, but I find it annoying and so do people I know in real life who also use LauncherPro. It's become a running joke – another LauncherPro update is out!

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      I could understand how updating too much could be annoying…BUT…it's not like they're little worthless updates. He is adding all new features with each new update and it is constantly getting better! Plus, you don't HAVE to upgrade if you don't want to…

  • jason6g

    Thank you again for the awesome app! I convert at least 5 people a day to launcher pro, I make it a mission to get launcher pro and handcent on as many phones out there!

    sometimes people already have handcent, but i have yet to meet someone who already has launcher pro!

    keep up the good work!

    • blu3bird

      Nice to meet you, I'm Blu3bird. I already have Launcher Pro! :)

    • Coaster36

      I have launcherpro as well. You dont get out much do you?

      jk when ever I try and sell someone on any apps they just tell me “its just a phone andrew, no one cares” well I care damn it, screw you all!! I love my droid.

  • Wiltdogg19

    LP rocks!!

  • ReebX

    Anybody else notice that some of the best developers are self taught? Makes you really wonder if the classical university education is worth it, that is if you aren't required to have that little piece of paper.

    • quiklives

      I've been thinking about that lately. I don't know a thing about programming and still feel like a n00b with most of this stuff, but I'm thinking about trying to learn and maybe make something myself. Maybe a few college classes would help for someone like me, but I think most degree programs require a lot more than what you need to just *learn* a subject.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Shanklin/100000620941274 Ryan Shanklin

      Yea I think that its because they truely love to develop and for the right reasons. Oh and they learnes their own way and not someone elses.

  • http://twitter.com/sk8kd222 Ben James

    A great interview!! LP is the most useful app on my d2 and its so interesting to learn about the guy behind it! It was cool to see his face too!

  • Charlie

    Launcher Pro is awesome, period. Now… Who is pictured in Sydney? Is it Tim-o-tato or Fede?

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      That would be Fede :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonmorales Jon Morales

    Fede, would love a music player if it adds something unique to what's available now. I am currently suffering from the redraw issue that so many others are also experiencing (on the support forums). Is a fix for that coming soon?

  • tydyy

    you know what would make a good interview? a double with two different developers! say…adw and LP? that would of been a good interview.

    adw and helix! that's a win in my book.

  • NadTwist

    Fede: LauncherPro is awesome and I purchased your Plus version as soon as you released it! Keep up the great work!! You have drastically improved the Droid user experience. =]

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Emaw-Kennedy/504157652 Michael Emaw Kennedy

      I did the same!

  • Gg101

    Love Launcher Pro and happily paid for the plus version. The ability to download and install comprehensive themes would be great. LP is already very customizable, but everything needs to be set one thing at a time currently.

  • Scott in MA

    I tried LauncherPro on my Droid X. It noted I needed a switcher. I installed that too. Unfortunately, the recommended switcher never accepted my setting either LauncherPro or Blur to default and it did not work for me.

    • Aubreyvt

      It did the same thing to me. I found out you have to install it and then reboot your phone. Once you reboot it is there in all its glory. You do nont have to install swither just Launcer Pro and reboot. Injoy!!!! I have for the last 4 days.

      • Scott in MA

        Thanks for the information. By reboot, you mean to remove battery, wait 30 seconds, reinstall battery and start? Or is there a faster way?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/BRMRAXD73FASNQDMATY2SQV2AI andres g

    Launcher is awesome, but that facebook widget is a battery EATER!!!

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      I use the “friends” widget and I noticed a lot better battery time with that ;-)

  • Urugami

    Tim,

    Great interview. Always nice getting some behind the scenes info.

    BTW, Did you ever find out the meaning behind CVPCS?

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      Crystal Vision PC Soultions :-)

      • Urugami

        Thanks for answering that nagging question….

  • Chris Nimon

    “I make a bad-ass lemon meringue pie” lol. All interviews should be that relaxed so we can get a real sense of the person. ADW is a great launcher but LP+ is like a jalapeno pepper fart. So glad I bought it.
    As for interviewing Kellex, how can you not give us the goods man? We all want know the man behind the curtain. Your readers demand it. Besides if you do it we'll quit pestering you about it lol.

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      I'll think about it :P

  • Brock Overcash

    It would be awesome if you could integrate something like widgetlocker into LP

  • nblufire12

    Legit!!!

  • Stephen D

    Great interview. LP is amazing. I recommend it to anyone with an Android phone, and I went ahead and downloaded it for a lot of people. At first they're mad, but as soon as they see how smooth the transitions are they get over it. I just have one request. Is there anything that you could do to LauncherPro to speed up redraws? I don't get why they are so slow on the Droid. There's gotta be something you can do to help it. Thanks for all the hard work and the best launcher Fede.

    • http://twitter.com/fedecarnales Federico Carnales

      The rewrite should speed up the startup (redraws) a lot.

      • http://twitter.com/TonyG916 Tony Garza

        great work man.

      • Stephen D

        I was hoping it would help that. The redraws are enough to push me to a different phone. They take forever. Although I'm sure the re-write will take a while.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GAAUHG6LXRFI24LOH6X7SYDXBY Dan

      Regarding speeding up redraws, I'm not sure if this is related, but you can use the…

      Preferences -> General Settings -> Keep in memory setting

      …to help with the performance of LauncherPro

  • memnoch73

    Another great job Tim!!! Thanks for talking to the guys we are all curious about… LP rules!!!

  • Kdkinc

    great series !!
    Nice to know about the people behind the scenes.

  • Rain_king46

    Great interview. Launcher Pro was my first paid app and worth every penny. Amazing app! My request for the next LP widget would be a news reader to match the Facebook and Twitter widgets.

    • Rain_king46

      P.S. I just wanted to say that I feel that Launcher Pro actually makes my DX a better device. How many apps can say that they actually make the hardware better?

  • youngnamlee

    Thanks Fede for all your hard work! and you too Tim! Launcher Pro is always the first app that i recommend to my friends.

    • GNO

      I'm trying to get all the guys here at work to convert too! Picked up another one today :-)

  • Lilgoweezy

    LOVE LP, would never have known about it if it weren't for DL

  • Sslayer22

    I be Fede would make an awesome music player! We need one with a good EQ!

    • Calculatorwatch

      I totally agree. Android is somewhat lacking a totally killer music player and he might just be the one who could create it :)

      Wait till you get some help though Fede, you gotta keep adding cool new stuff to LP!

  • Craig

    Yeah, he makes a great app, PAY THE MAN!

  • L_P

    Good interview!!

  • Sslayer22

    LP rules!

  • Cyberdemon

    Very nice!!

  • Madan48316

    Cool guy. I can't imagine how many stupid questions he recieves a day. It would be nice to purchase LP+ through Google Checkout.

  • http://twitter.com/mikejr Mike Gardner

    The questions and topics submitted by the interviewer were good. However, I would appreciate it when you do these interviews if you could clean up the dialog some. I understand that it is designed to be more colloquial, however it is distracting to see so many smilies, “lol”'s, etc. while reading. Keeping the tone a bit more professional makes the reading informative while retaining the added interestingness of an interview.

    On the whole, it was awesome of Droid Life to promote some great software. LauncherPro is one of my must haves for my DX. It is nice to get to know the thoughts and ideas behind such a critical piece of software.

  • http://twitter.com/mikejr Mike Gardner

    The questions and topics submitted by the interviewer were good. However, I would appreciate it when you do these interviews if you could clean up the dialog some. I understand that it is designed to be more colloquial, however it is distracting to see so many smilies, “lol”'s, etc. while reading. Keeping the tone a bit more professional makes the reading informative while retaining the added interestingness of an interview.

    On the whole, it was awesome of Droid Life to promote some great software. LauncherPro is one of my must haves for my DX. It is nice to get to know the thoughts and ideas behind such a critical piece of software.

    • andrew401

      lol…… a little extreme don't you think? maybe when you write a blog you can do it your way?

    • quiklives

      Perhaps when you run a popular website and interview developers, you can clean up your dialog.

      I really enjoyed the interview as it was, and in fact prefer people to represent themselves authentically and not as some mass-consumption, media-neutral, Photoshopped plastic imitation of themselves.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

        Well said :)

    • memnoch73

      I whole heartedly disagree… I love the “real” of the posts and this site. Keep up the great work guys.

    • aczm1988

      Wow it was all in good fun. Who cares lol?

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      Hey man! Thanks so much for the helpful feedback!
      I really do appreciate everyones take on it.

      You'd be surprised at how hard it is to please everyone “lol”
      Thanks again for reading!

      • http://twitter.com/TonyG916 Tony Garza

        lollerskates

      • Anonymous

        Yup… this is a blog with every day people NOT pro jounalism ..lol… or I can say::

        findings suggest that in the mainstream media, particularly on front pages and general interest programs, the press reflects exuberance about gadgets and a wonder about the corporations behind them, but wariness about effects on our lives, our behavior and the sociology of the digital age.

        Social media, on the other hand, suggests that people who are on the cutting edge of technology are not only more interested in discussing the topics, but more positive in general about specific advancements, like new versions of smartphones or new social networking sites. ( insert smily here).

        Just having fun.

        • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

          You rock :P

        • CoRy

          That was awesome (insert smile here) haha. Omg imlfao

  • EC8CH

    Theming of LP Widgets…. that's where the money is!

    Loading customized LP apk's and waiting and reloading them after every LP update is frustrating.

  • Incredbledoes

    Wow great chat you guys, I can see the real human behind the android!

    ID

  • Jdstell

    Just finished reading the interview. Geez, you wrote “HaHa” or “LOL” eighteen times in that interview! lol

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      I know…I like to laugh…..out….LOUD!
      And don't try and tell me it takes away from the professionalism of the interview cause that's so B.S.! :-)

      Thanks for reading!

      • Craig

        These are always great, really glad you do them, thanks!

  • tbaybe

    awesome work yet again!!!

  • Xxcoexx

    FIRST!

    • Michael_NM

      Not this time buddy! :P

  • Michael_NM

    Firstastic!!!

    • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

      Dude! Congrats! :-D
      Now read the darn thing! lol

      • Anonymous

        TATO, Great interview man with Fede he is the BOMB LOL, Keep up the good work and don’t worry about what those fools are saying, your interviews are great for this blog.
        That’s the fun personality of Droid Life and that’s why people enjoy it so much. Good Job Brother

        • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

          Gracias Senor! We doing lunch this week? Hit me up!

      • Michael_NM

        Read and enjoyed. This is a great series! I think you should interview Dr. Droid. :)

        • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

          Kellex is too shy to get interviewed. In all honesty, the only way I'll interview him is ON CAMERA, so everyone can finally see that baby face! :-) lol
          Awwwe <3