August 3rd, 2010

LauncherPro expired

When I decided to try a custom ROM for my HTC Hero about one and a half months ago (official ROMs are still stuck at Android 1.5…) I chose to set LauncherPro as my default launcher which came preinstalled with the ROM. A few minutes ago I started to get a popup notice telling me “This version of LauncherPro has expired.” Nice to know (why does it expire anyway?!), but unfortunately it effectively locked me out from my phone: I was unable to switch back anywhere I could have done something useful (like opening a browser or the app drawer or switching back to a different launcher). To unlock the phone again, I was forced to install the recent version from their homepage. Luckily, I had USB debugging already turned on (else I would have been lucky if I could have got into the settings to activate it) and was at home where I have the Android SDK installed. After downloading the latest version, all I had to do was plugging the phone into a USB port and run: (-r is important or installation fails with “INSTALL_FAILED_ALREADY_EXISTS”)

adb install -r LauncherPro-0.7.1.0.apk

After a few seconds the install completed and after disconnecting the phone from USB I got the app chooser where I could re-select LauncherPro. A few moments later it finished reloading all widgets and the phone worked as always.

While I really like LauncherPro and would consider buying it, this incident scared me: I may have been able to get to the Market using the “back” button to download an update (had it open sometime yesterday) but imagine not being able to get there from the phone itself while being nowhere near a computer or with USB debugging turned off – I usually disable it and only had it turned on because I forgot that last week. There’s at least one guy at their forums who has USB debugging disabled. The developer apologizes in that thread but having had that unexpected sudden (remote?) deactivation, I wonder what else LauncherPro may do.

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