If you love having the apps on your Android device nicely organized, then you must’ve liked recently reviewed App Man – a free, comprehensive app management tool for Android. New to the Android Market, A-WAL provides you with yet another handy alternative to organizing your apps, allowing you to launch them via customizable, category-based homescreen widgets. Apart from sporting a neatly-designed and nifty little app launcher, A-Wal lets you decorate your homescreen with customizable widgets, each containing a group of apps of your choice. The app bases its design around tiles slightly reminiscent of the Windows Phone 7 metro UI. You can easily circle through and launch your favorite apps from within these widgets.
There are a couple of distinct ways to utilize the app’s functionality. You can either use it as a standalone app launcher, or avail the homescreen widgets that it has to offer. If you wish to take the former route, just launch the app, and start filling its homescreen with folders containing apps of your choice. To do so, hit Menu > New Folder. The screen that follows lets you name the created folder and add apps to it by tapping the plus (+) icon.
Each added app appears as a separate tile under its parent folder. The bottom of each tile bears the app’s name, tapping which takes you to its Android Market page, and a small square icon that lets you select a poster (image) for the tile. You can choose to use the official poster of the app from the Android Market (if there is one available), pick an image from your device’s gallery, grab a fresh one, or stick with the default poster.
The three buttons appearing at the right side of each tile can be used to position it on the list or remove it entirely. The option to save folder settings appears at the very end of the list of apps, right below a couple of customization options that allow you to change the tile background and font color.
Long-press a folder on the app’s homescreen to Edit or Delete it.
The only annoying aspect of an otherwise promising app is the dissociation between its app launcher and widgets. Simply put, A-Wal currently does not let you use the folders you create for the app launcher as homescreen widgets, nor does it display widgets as separate folders within the launcher. For each widget that you wish to add to your homescreen, you have to go through the entire tedious process of filling it with apps right from scratch. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you only wish to use the homescreen widgets. Hopefully, future updates will add the option to use folders from the app launcher as widgets (and vice versa).
For an app that is relatively fresh to the Market, and excels in looks and functionality, users might ignore any minor shortcomings.