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GDE Home Replacement for Android

GDE or Graphical Desktop Environment is an alternative desktop for Android.  Developed by rogro82, GDE was released in October 2009 and has rapidly accumulated a large following and is now at v 0.3.0.1.

It features up to 7 homescreens with some funky transition effects such as the cube (see screenshot) with full 360 degree rotation, stretching or fading, including the option of endless scroll and extra widgets written on rogro82′s own GDE framework.  GDE does not replace the original launcher but can be set as the default launcher.

GDE is compatible with Android 1.5 (Cupcake), 1.6 (Donut), and 2.0/2.1 (Eclair), and with the following devices; HTC Dream, HTC Hero, HTC Magic, DroidEris and Nexus One.  One XDA member has also tried successfully installing on his Archos 5!

Originally posted by rogro82:

Infinite desktop rotation. Your homescreens never end.  Go from last screen to first and vice-versa just by swiping.

Normal icon view in tray, as well as list view with alphabetical grab handle (much like contacts scroll).

Folder flexibility.  Place folders in tray.  Drag folders to desktop. Place items in closed folders on desktop. Place items in open folders on desktop.  Place items in folders in app tray.  Drag folders from desktop to tray.

Transition selection.  Choose from:  Normal, Cube, Stretch and Fade transitions.

Configurable buttons on tray handle.

Access phone settings from GDE menu or configure a tray button for even faster access.

User configurable number of homescreen (1-7 homescreens).

User definable default homescreen (select any homescreen as default when you press the home button) .

Ghost drop (Shows the drop location when hovering over an item).

The soft buttons can be customised,  the hard button too can be configured from within the GDE settings.  Fast fling action is also an option (fast forward/backward to first/last homescreen) and  GDE supports landscape mode using sensor rotation as well as compatibility with shortcut installers such as Bettercut.

There are various widgets available, based on rogro82′s own GDE framework for widgets including a Google search widget (which can search through media on the sdcard), Conversation widget and the impressive AppDock widget which enables left/right scrolling to launch the app of your choice.

The widgets must run off the GDE framework so it is not possible to use any HTC widgets from Rosie/Hero, although there are many clones (free) available on the Market.

Currently, it is not possible to hide app icons from the AppDock, nor sort in any order except that in which they were dragged and dropped originally.  There is however, scope in the future for automation when installing a new application, that automatically places the icon into the AppDock.

The big news is that GDE supports themeing and rogro82 has specifically developed a theming template for themers.  The themes are  complied into .apk files and once installed can be selected from a dropdown menu within the GDE settings.  There are a plethora of themes on the Market, free and paid.  Live wallpaper is supported for Andriod 2.1 only.

Currently there is no way to theme the notification bar without re-implementing the notification bar within GDE although rogro82 has hinted that this may be possible in future releases.  In addition, he has suggested that the ability for themers to control the positions and sizes of buttons, menu bars, as well as widgets, may be implemented in the future.  Themers are also requesting font support for all GDE internal menus and homescreen icons.

GDE v0.3.0.1 is currently available in the Market for EUR2.50.  rogro82 has not released a lite version but as usual, users can try for 48 hours before uninstalling and requesting a refund.

For more information on GDE and theming instructions, check out the application thread.

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