Skip to main content

Launch Center Pro for iOS gets widget shortcuts back years after Apple rejection

Launch Center Pro for iOS gets widget shortcuts back years after Apple rejection

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Launch Center Pro, the iOS utility that offers shortcuts to various features inside apps, now has a Notification Center widget that lets you launch your custom actions from wherever you are in the OS. Other apps like Workflow have similar functionality, but Launch Center Pro's addition is particularly serendipitous; the original Launch Center had a hacky way to achieve much the same thing a few years ago, but Apple wouldn't allow it under its App Store policy of the time.

Since then, Launch Center Pro has gained a loyal following as a grid-view launcher, but the need to launch the app each time to access a shortcut has always made it feel a little more cumbersome than it should be. Now you can use it the way its developers always intended by swiping down from the top of any iOS screen.

launch center pro

Apple's new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus can work a little bit like Launch Center Pro's grid view out of the box; the pressure-sensing 3D Touch display lets you perform specific actions by hard-pressing an app icon, for example going straight into Instagram's photo-taking mode. Launch Center Pro will likely remain more customizable, though, and the widget functionality will still set it apart. And, as with other third-party productivity tools that Apple takes inspiration from (see: Alfred, Instapaper, and so on), users who've spent time curating and relying on their personalized workflow can prove difficult to convert.

Launch Center Pro's widget functionality comes with version 2.5, which is out now on iPhone but not yet for iPad. Version 2.5 also adds compatibility with over 100,000 new apps. The iPhone version is on sale for $3.99, a dollar off its usual price.