The really great thing about loyalty to any platform is that no matter what happens, you will always love what you’re working on. The really annoying thing about platform loyalty, however, is that you will always love what you’re working with, even if it isn’t worth the love. If you’re a loyal Windows PC user, it isn’t likely that you’ll ever admit that a Mac might have one or two things that you would kill to have on your system. Whether you stick to Windows for the price, the flexibility, the free applications or just because it is more awesome than a Mac, you may still have heard of Launchpad, a Mac feature that makes it easy to launch apps installed on your system. XLaunchpad is a Windows application that adds this feature to your PC.
In case you’ve never used a Mac, the Launchpad is a feature that resides in the Dock (the Mac equivalent of the taskbar), and shows icons for all installed apps as well as launching them. In Mac, the functionality is confined to app shortcuts, XLaunchpad, on the other hand, lets you add both application and folder shortcuts. It allows you to groups as many shortcuts as you like and launch them simultaneously. When you first launch the app, you will see four shortcuts added by default. To delete any of these shortcuts, click and hold on an icon. The icons will starts to shake and a cross will be superimposed on each one. Clicking the cross will delete the icon, without uninstalling the application or deleting the folder.
To add an icon, right click anywhere and select Add > File. Now, browse to the location of a file, folder or application shortcut. By default, the app has two screens (or pages) that you can add shortcuts to, but you can add additional ones by right-clicking and selecting New Page.
On a Mac, the Launchpad resides as an icon in the Dock; XLaunchpad runs in the system tray and can be launched from there. Since this isn’t the most convenient way of getting to you shortcuts, the app also supports hotkeys for toggling the Launchpad (F12 by default).
The app lets you customize the background image and the number of icons per row. Go to the app’s settings and from the Layout tab, select the size of the icons, the number of icons per row and the number of rows. From the Activation tab, select hotkeys to toggle the app, and from the Appearance tab, you may select a background picture.
To make it easier to add items to the launchpad, go to the Others tab in settings and select Add Desktop RightClick MenuItem or Add “Send To” RightClick MenuItem. You will be able to right-click on any icon and send it to the app from the context menu.
The app is, by many accounts, a good way to launch apps or open folders. Of course, you might be in the habit of launching apps from the start menu or just double clicking a shortcut on your desktop, but this app gives you the added advantage of launching several apps at once and organizing them into multiple pages. XLaunchpad works on Windows 7 and Windows 8 only.