App launchers are very popular on Android and they’re also exceptionally powerful because the OS allows developers the freedom to make them so. They are less popular, possibly even alien on iOS because it isn’t as open. Most users will have to jailbreak their devices to get anything close to what Android users enjoy. That said, iOS has never been as open as it is in its current version allowing developers to make use of the Notification Center. Launcher by far makes the most of it. It’s a free iOS app that lets you add widgets to the Notification Center for calls, FaceTime calls, and apps effectively adding a launcher and a speed dial functionality to the area.
Launch the app to set it up. Launcher has a free version and a pro version. The free version limits you to two rows of buttons in the Notification Center. You can add a contact, a web site or an app. The apps you can add are limited but include many of the popular ones like Facebook and Facebook Messenger. The pickings are in no way slim.
Once you’ve set up the widgets you want to access from the Notification Center, pull it down and add the Launcher widget (tap edit and then select it from the list). Whenever you want to launch an app or make a call, open the Notification Center and tap the relevant apps or from the speed dial options to either launch an app or make a call.
Launcher not only lets you open an app but it also, in some cases, let’s you choose a specific action to be performed when said app is launched. For example, you can set a button to open Facebook Messenger ready to message any Facebook contact of your choice.
The pro version of the app will give you more space to add icons, allow you to customize the icon size and remove sponsored launchers from the footer. Launcher was released a while back but Apple removed it from the App Store citing it violated terms (probably the one launcher to rule them all terms) but after some minor modifications, the app has been allowed back in the store.