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Glovebox for Android: a Beautiful App Switcher Taking Design Love From Ubuntu


Our Ubuntu-related coverage continues on today with an app called Glovebox. The app acts exactly like the side-pinned app launcher in the latest developer build of Ubuntu that Tim took a look at earlier, only this is obviously for Android devices. Once installed, with a simple swipe from the left (or right depending on how you have it setup), you can access your favorite apps, widgets, tasks, and shortcuts from anywhere. It’s a brilliant little app. 

While we have seen apps like this in a variety of forms, this appears to carry all sorts of potential. In the future, the developer plans to support custom icon packs, so that even your Glovebox can match your overall theme. For now, though, you can change between a handful of themes and tweak settings like opacity and density.

In the free version, you are allowed to add up to 8 of your favorite apps. In the paid version, which comes close to $4, you can add widgets, more apps, and all of the other goodies you’ll see listed in the settings menu. I’d suggest that you play around with the free version for a bit before deciding whether or not to fork out that kind of cash.

*Note – Also, I should point out that the current build is leaving some devices with an unresponsive screen after using the app for a bit. A simple reboot fixes the issue temporarily, but we’re waiting for a permanent fix from the dev. He has told me that this fix is a “priority” and he is hoping to have it out within the next few days.

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Cheers vonny571!

  • zoya

    The bar keeps disappearing within seconds. it doesNOT stay. How can I make
    it stay? I cant even select the app i want becoz it flicks back faster
    than a blink

  • Droid4LifeDawg

    An absolute waste of premium money, it worked fine for the first 15 min, now it just sits in the notification to “restart” only to work once and then back to not working and waiting in the notification to “restart” BS!

  • Ronald Lockwich

    This is awesome! I’ve been using Wave Launcher for way too long!

  • Tom Z

    This is very cool, but I was having the screen un-responsive issue, so I un-installed it for now. BTW, This was on a Droid Razr HD Maxx.

  • ddh819

    reminds me of my old samsung omnia

  • DanWazz

    Hmm, will have to try this out, after the unresponsive screen bug is fixed.

  • I dont really care for swiping from the left, Its too far to reach comfortably. I prefer the app Swapps, much more useful.

  • Lucas

    This is stupid – you already have your multitask nav bar button, and a home screen button and a back button – why bother with a “quick” app drawer that takes you to whatever you use most when you can access everything you use most already?

    Unless you closed the apps fully I guess.

    • Hothfox

      I’m not using it for reasons you stated, but I think the nice thing is that it’s like having your home screen available to you in any app you’re in. That way you don’t have to go home to open Gmail if you’re in Chrome. And if you’ve closed out of the app, it won’t be in your Recent.

    • rodney11ride

      Or for those that have a modded rom which eliminates the nav bar giving you more screen… an easyswipe shows the apps you would normally have in nav bar

      what you think?

  • John

    How much memory does this app consume for the people running it?

  • anguy

    Does anybody know an app, that can do the same but you swipe from BOTTOM? I can’t use sideswipes reliably because of case, while swiping from bottom is much easier.
    Swipepad is able to do it, but I want the window to stay on screen, not disappear when I lift my finger.

    • fartbubbler

      try Unity Launcher

  • trixnkix637

    Swapps is still king of this arena in my opinion.

  • Swappa is more my style!!

  • John Simonelli

    I’m having trouble with this on VZW GNEX with the latest nightly from CM 10.1. It works for a little, then I loose all function of my touch screen besides the nav keys… Pretty sweet app but can’t use my phone at all. 🙁


    Oh man…Kellex said App Store instead of Google Play Store? Is there another mobile OS in your life?

    • No, he like me, just needs a break from the corniness of the name sometimes.

  • Wave Launcher anyone? The peeps from OG Droid days would know what im talkin about. Still to this day use Wave. Best multitasking tool ever.

  • Royal2000H

    I’m suprised no one mentions this, but GMD GestureControl has pretty good functionality

  • tony digtal

    i use swipepad on the right and pie control on the left and love both. i will give this a try to see if i llke it better once the issues are worked out

  • My note 2 does this already

  • Cool app and no freezing issues on nexus 4. Looks like you have to buy premium per device. Lame.

  • Buckoman

    Seth Rogen?

  • Hep

    I’m now using this on the left side of the screen and Unity on the right. I haven’t decided if I like them both or not, so I may switch one of them back to Flip Launcher on one side. I’ve been using Flip Launcher since it was introduced to us on here and haven’t had issues with it yet.

  • JetBlue

    When theme support comes Dave better put out the Tersus and Lustre packs

    • Hopefully the theme support will come with compatibility for existing icon packs out of the box.

  • Chris King

    i use swipepad
    you can do this plus swipe for phone call

    • Mcdroid

      The difference between swipepad and glove box is the ability to mix contacts, widgets and actions in one screen.

      • You can do apps, contacts, and actions on SwipePad as well on the same pad, and also add widgets to it with a paid add-on (I think $0.99). So that really isn’t a difference; it’s just different implementations.

  • Kellex: You aren’t connected to Sonos because you’re in airplane mode.

  • Sean Wood

    And… It works with other launchers.. I have Nova Launcher and this runs side by side beautifully..

    • j

      It does work well, but unfortunately, I’m finding it incredible intrusive upon other phone functions. Half the time I go touch something on the side of the screen, the nav bar pops up instead.. keyboard, browser quick controls, etc. NO I’m TRYING TO HIT ‘Q’ NOT LAUNCH AN APP 🙂 It’s going bye bye.

      • Sean Wood

        Turn down the “Sensibility Level” it sets the width of the side bar that’s effected by your touch I set mine so that I actually have to come in from off the screen before it brings in the glovebox bar.

  • vonny571

    I had to do a couple battery pulls on my gnex too. I’m going to disable it until the update comes.

  • mark

    is there anyone believe that link, jump14.ℂom please reply

    • Mark34213

      that’s not true

  • Ricky Poole

    this is a great idea, however I had trouble finding the side slide, My phone would pop up with the wallpaper selection screen and It closes to fast. It would be better if you had a better location to put your finger to slide it out and that it stays open until you slide it closed.

  • Is this a rebrand of “Ubuntu Phone Experience”? It is exactly the same down to the everything.

    • Same thing I thought. Yes, I believe it is (mostly because of the ugly tutorial screen thing). Also, the dev says “if you bought the other version, email me,” which means there was another version.

      • Thanks. I missed the last line in the description about e-mailing the developer. I appreciate your help!

  • Dee Beezy

    and this is why android will always be the best OS

    • EvanTheGamer


      • picaso86

        I concur! do you concur??

        • EvanTheGamer

          I SO concur, sir! haha

        • Upvote for Catch Me If You Can reference (if that’s what you were going for)

          • picaso86

            Yes 🙂

  • I wish the right side gesture from Ubuntu Touch would make its way to Android. I really like the quick application multitasking.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Must give Glovebox a whirl…looks pretty awesome and very functional.

  • Actually something I’ll use!!

  • Justin Barrett

    I tried this on my Verizon GNex this morning, and it actually froze up my screen multiple times to where I had to battery pull. I really liked the idea and am willing to give it another shot when it’s more developed, but hopefully others have better luck.

    *Edit – just saw the note at the bottom. Apologize for redundancy.

  • How does this effect apps that utlize swipe gestures from the left side of the screen? Chrome’s tab switcher and Carbon’s account switcher come to mind.

    • Set it to a portion of the side of the screen, then hope you remember where it is and avoid it.

    • mercado79

      Exactly the problem I ran into when trying out LMT Launcher. I’d try to read an eBook and turning the page would bring up the launcher. Very annoying. Maybe there’s a way to fix that somehow, but I didn’t put much time into looking for a solution. Open to suggestions though!

      • ynksbsbll2

        I use LMT for it’s PIE functionality. There are a whole bunch of settings to specify which edge of your device, whether you want it top/bottom/center and how long/wide you want the area to be. Essentially you could make it the entire right side of your device, or you could make the activation area half an inch tall…whatever floats your boat

  • fartbubbler

    it would be awesome if it would support folders