RNS::’s HiLauncher was the first application that attempted to bring a Windows-like start menu to Palm OS handhelds. HiLauncher recently was updated to version 3.4 – let’s see how well the program has survived the bites from the teeth of time.

When starting up HiLauncher for the first time, you can either make the program auto-generate a menu or start from scratch:
0a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

The program’s main screen is well-done; each menu item has a number indicating the sequence in which it should be looked at.
1a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

Setting up the trigger is very easy – binding the program onto the Treo’s launcher key unfortunately disables the list of recently-used programs.
2a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds 2b RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

Once the trigger is defined, the menu must be created. HiLauncher allows nested menus; each item can have its own foreground and background colors:
3a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

Menu items can do a variety of things – dial numbers, trigger actions, display information….and, last but not least, launch applications. The images below show a few of the possible settings:
40 RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds 4a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

Unfortunately, the ‘last-used’ icon is not as smart as it should be – it’s name does not change, and multiple instances cannot be cascaded in order to create a ‘last-used’ menu:
5a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

After the basic configuration is done, the menu can be tested:
6a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds 6b RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds 6c RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

HiLauncher has a few configuration options that allow you to customize the menu’s appearance:
7a RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds 7b RNS:: HiLauncher review   a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds

This review looked at version 3.4 of the program on a Treo 680. HiLauncher must be installed to RAM and needs about 150k of free space.

In the end, HiLauncher remains what it has been in the ages of the IIIc – a super-solid, stable and fast application from an experienced Palm OS house. While the application lacks a few features found in competitor’s apps(e.g. plugin support, background images), the truly insane speed achieved by lean, no-frills code definitely is worth it. Free trial available; full version costs 20$ with free updates for a lifetime!

Related posts:

  1. LaunchAnywhere – the review
  2. Palm plans to start selling webOS apps soon
  3. Mysteries of Palm OS Memory Part two – SD card or internal RAM
  4. UDMH Review – increasing your heap storage
  5. Card Reader review – transform your Palm into an USB stick

2 Responses to “RNS:: HiLauncher review – a lean and mean start menu for Palm OS handhelds”

  1. Tam, you wrote:

    Unfortunately, the ‘last-used’ icon is not as smart as it should be – it’s name does not change, and multiple instances cannot be cascaded in order to create a ‘last-used’ menu

    …which is not true :-) The tips within the program (available with the “i” icon in the “Design the Menu” screen) say:

    “Recent App.” – launch most recently used application. You may put several items of this type in your menu to get a list of most recently used applications. If an item has no caption, the recently used application’s name will show up in the menu.

    The same applies to the “Redial” items, which is described just below that quote in tips.

    Interesting review, anyway! :-)

  2. Hi RNS::,
    sorry – will update the review soon!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting

© 2013 TamsPalm - the Palm OS / web OS Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha