1. sportex's Avatar
    Came across an app called Ivy in the play store. It's a ribbon on the side of the screen you slide out that you can attach apps and contacts. Frees up your home screen of clutter
    10-02-2016 02:52 PM
  2. nahoku's Avatar
    I think Swapps is better. Basically does the same thing as a side launcher, but much more configurable. Check it out.

    1) You can move/resize the handle to top, middle, bottom
    2) Reorder, change apps in the ribbon on the fly by long-pressing any app and selecting options from the drop down menu
    3) Yes, it also handles shortcuts to contacts too
    4) Too many other options to mention

    Not a perfect app, but very useful. Cost for pro is $2.49. The app has been around for a while and hasn't been updated since February 27, 2015. More than likely the dev stopped working on it. Still my go to for side launchers on my Note 4 and Note 10.1 2014 tablet. I like it!
    10-03-2016 04:37 AM
  3. Steve Spear's Avatar
    Just an update on Ivy.

    1) You can drag and drop the handle anywhere on the screen.

    2) You can not move apps directly from the ribbon, but you can remove and uninstall from the ribbon long press menu.

    3) Ivy also has widgets and RSS's feed

    4) Also super configurable.

    Give it a try!
    10-03-2016 07:11 AM
  4. nahoku's Avatar
    Give it a try!
    I did try it, but not impressed. The only thing I might use it for is RSS feed. Other than that, not being able to reorder apps in the ribbon is paramount for me. I couldn't even reorder the apps while in settings... unless I was doing something wrong. Also the app crashes when I tried to add people in the People category... also don't know if I was doing something wrong there too, but as soon as I clicked on the "+" icon, the app crashed. Maybe I have to enable something else before I can enable the People category and use it?

    I personally don't place a large number of apps in Swapps as I don't care to scroll. If I have to scroll to see things, I may as well just open the app drawer. The good thing about Swapps is that you can also resize the ribbon and icons. That way you can place more apps in the ribbon without having to scroll.

    I also found the UI of Ivy to be distracting... the way it steals focus and darkens the screen when you pull up the ribbon. In Swapps, the ribbon just comes up and the background brightness remains the same... makes using the ribbon appear seamless.

    I guess it all comes down to personal preference, but I haven't found Ivy to be very impressive... then again, I've only tested it for an hour or so on my devices.
    10-03-2016 03:30 PM
  5. Steve Spear's Avatar
    I did try it, but not impressed. The only thing I might use it for is RSS feed. Other than that, not being able to reorder apps in the ribbon is paramount for me. I couldn't even reorder the apps while in settings... unless I was doing something wrong. Also the app crashes when I tried to add people in the People category... also don't know if I was doing something wrong there too, but as soon as I clicked on the "+" icon, the app crashed. Maybe I have to enable something else before I can enable the People category and use it?

    I personally don't place a large number of apps in Swapps as I don't care to scroll. If I have to scroll to see things, I may as well just open the app drawer. The good thing about Swapps is that you can also resize the ribbon and icons. That way you can place more apps in the ribbon without having to scroll.

    I also found the UI of Ivy to be distracting... the way it steals focus and darkens the screen when you pull up the ribbon. In Swapps, the ribbon just comes up and the background brightness remains the same... makes using the ribbon appear seamless.

    I guess it all comes down to personal preference, but I haven't found Ivy to be very impressive... then again, I've only tested it for an hour or so on my devices.
    Luckily most of those issues are easily fixable. We have a fix for the contacts crash in beta now. Apps are reorderable by using the drag handle in settings (watch the YouTube video for more help). If you don't like the darker panel you can easily set the background to transparent, and perhaps disable the clock so only the ribbon is visible. Ivy is highly customizable, more so then many other side bar apps. Especially for a completely free solution. We've had other requests for resizing the icons and will be adding that feature at some point. Thanks for trying.
    sportex likes this.
    10-04-2016 07:38 AM
  6. nahoku's Avatar
    I didn't realize I was conversing with the developer of Ivy.... you didn't mention it. In any case, while you're here...


    If you don't like the darker panel you can easily set the background to transparent
    I think you misunderstood me. It's not the side panel that's distracting, its the fact that Ivy steals focus from the screen when the panel gets deployed... thus darkening the entire screen except for the panel. So basically, every time I launch the panel, I need to watch the screen change brightness levels until I select something in Ivy... and then watch the screen change brightness levels again when it launches an app. This is the distraction... especially in low lit rooms or at night. Look into a flash light... turn it on, turn it off, turn it on, turn it off... then you might understand where I'm coming from. By the way, I took the time to show 3 of my friends Ivy and all of them disliked the screen changing brightness!

    Someone also mentioned the necessity of having the Ivy icon launched to the screen every time the panel gets deployed. Why do you need to show it? Showing the icon is akin to having the Verizon or T-Mobile banner on the status bar... people already know what carrier they're on, so the banner is nothing but a distraction, not to mention it takes up space. Yes, I know it's a small Ivy icon and it's there to launch the app in case users want to make changes, but can't you put in an option to disable the icon so it becomes a user choice whether to see it or not? This is also where Swapps outshines Ivy... you don't need to enter the app to reorder or change apps, you can do it right from the panel. Of course, sometimes you need to launch the Swapps app to make changes, but you don't do this all the time, so going in and opening the app occasionally from the app drawer doesn't present a problem. It should be the same way with Ivy.


    Ivy is highly customizable, more so then many other side bar apps.
    While you may think it is, the shortcomings I've already pointed out doesn't make me think so. Have you ever tried Swapps? The operation is so non-obtrusive it gives you the feeling it was built as part of the phone's UI. Just the screen brightness changes of Ivy makes your app feel 3rd party. Might be hard for you to understand this, being the developer and all.


    Especially for a completely free solution.
    I personally have no problem paying devs for something that works the way I want it to, or close to how I want it to. That's why I bought Swapps. It's not perfect, and I wish it did fly-out folders, but since it's no longer being developed, I have to live with it lacking this feature. Still, the options that "are available" make it the best choice for me. That said, if one day, your app gets developed to the point that I wouldn't mind using it, I'll even gladly pay you for it!
    10-04-2016 07:20 PM
  7. Steve Spear's Avatar
    I wasn't try to be secretive. I apologize if it came across that way.

    To start I believe you miss understood me. The ribbon background is configurable yes, but the panel itself has a background that is configurable as well. I posed an example below of Ivy with a transparent background and a semi transparent black ribbon.

    We heard the suggestion about allowing the removal of the ivy shortcut and as you can see, in the version i'm running now it is removable.

    As for shortcomings, I think you can understand how it would not be possible to think of every possible configuration a user could want. Only being live for 10 days I think we have adapted pretty well. I've mentioned that we are adding icon sizes, but that seems to be the on feature you would require that we do not currently offer correct? Maybe you'll give Ivy another try once we add it.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    sportex likes this.
    10-04-2016 08:22 PM
  8. nahoku's Avatar
    I wasn't try to be secretive. I apologize if it came across that way.
    No problem... just caught me by surprise. I'm actually glad to be able to have this conversation with you.


    To start I believe you miss understood me. The ribbon background is configurable yes, but the panel itself has a background that is configurable as well.
    I understand now. What I wasn't aware of is that the panel even existed and was responsible for overlaying the screen. I was thinking that the panel and ribbon (verbiage-wise) was being used interchangeably during our conversation. I now know that when you say "panel", you actually mean "Quick panel". Yes, it was a misunderstanding, and changing to transparent takes care of the changing brightness issue.


    We heard the suggestion about allowing the removal of the ivy shortcut and as you can see, in the version i'm running now it is removable.
    Sorry, I wouldn't be able to tell since I can still see an icon on the screen... unless that's just a shortcut, as it is in a different position.


    As for shortcomings, I think you can understand how it would not be possible to think of every possible configuration a user could want. Only being live for 10 days I think we have adapted pretty well.
    "Shortcomings" are only in reference to a comparison of features in Swapps. It's not to say your app is bad. It's just to say that it falls short of some options offered in Swapps. I surely understand there's no way to know what every user wants, and I also know this app is new as evidenced by an almost blank website. Yes, you have adapted well!


    I've mentioned that we are adding icon sizes, but that seems to be the on feature you would require that we do not currently offer correct?
    For sure this is one of the things I would love to see. I would also like to see folders added where they span out across the quick panel area (now that we're talking about the same thing). I think you mentioned folders might be in the works? Also, because people are finicky, (speaking about myself), it would be good to be able to reorder icons and change apps on the fly in the ribbon (like Swapps does). It's not "really" on the fly as it does open another window where you can easily move the apps around, but still...

    Believe it or not, my major gripe was the quick panel problem. I dislike any kind of animations, and having to watch the screen change brightness was irritating to say the least. However, now that we speak the same language, that part is solved.

    As stated, if your app becomes something I would use, I would certainly try it again and purchase if necessary. I'll be watching for it.
    sportex likes this.
    10-04-2016 11:29 PM

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