Although folders are nothing new to Android, their proper use has always been in question by hardcore users. Perhaps the rather bland and monotonous concept of folders in stock Android firmware has led many custom ROM developers to come up with goodies of their own. As a result, we are getting to see many uniquely designed and much purposeful folder apps arriving at a constant pace in the Android Market these days. Once such app that we recently came across is Application Folder - a free (ad-supported) homescreen widget for Android that can be used to create highly customizable folders containing shortcuts to a user-defined group of apps, bookmarks and/or contacts. Now, you might be wondering how it is any better than the built-in folder creation feature seen in iOS-inspired Android launchers the likes of GO Launcher EX and MIUI’s native launcher. For starters, you can choose a separate icon for each folder that you create using Application Folder. Furthermore, folders can be set to display contained shortcuts (when tapped) in either a side-scrollable badge or the conventional window view. Application is all about hyper-customization; it packs quite a few interesting features that we shall explore past the break.
The widget comes in two sizes (1×1 and 2×1), where the larger one merely adds a preview of the first three shortcuts contained in the folder.
Application Folder provides you with a comprehensive collection of icons and, in addition, allows you to choose custom icons from your gallery/SD card. While in Folder Settings, tap the folder icon to change it or hold down on it to choose between scroll (badge) and window views. Tapping the shortcut count will allow you to hide/unhide it or change its color.
We tested the app on an HTC Desire running MIUI 1.4.29 and found that folders repeatedly failed to reflect changes that were made to them (from within Folder Settings) on the homescreen, until the launcher was restarted or the device, rebooted. Selecting Folder Settings > Menu > Force Save seemed to do the trick in some cases. Hopefully, said issue will be resolved in a future update. It must be noted that, since some users did not face this issue at all, we may have been suffering from placebo effect. However, you can give it a shot and let us know how it worked for you.
You can grab the widget from the Android Market for free via the link provided below.