[App Of The Week] Multicon – Reclaim Your Home Screen Real Estate

Even though I have 7 home screens on my EVO 4G, I still sometimes find myself cramped for space. I have a whole bunch of apps and shortcuts that I would like to have instant access to. Enter Multicon.

The function of Multicon is to make widgets that pack in a number of downsized icons in the space that would normally be occupied by only single ones. This enables you to pack a large number of app shortcuts onto a home screen that only fits 16 by default (on most handsets).

Multicon is especially useful for devices with larger screens, such as the 4.3″ EVO 4G, Droid X and the 5″ Dell Streak because it’s much easier to click on icons several times smaller in size on those devices than on ones with smaller screens.

Now let’s cover the basics.
The Basics

The app itself is used just like any other widget. Install it from the market and long-press on a blank section of your home screen. Right off the bat, you are presented with some options to configure your widget:

You can choose one of several options to configure exactly how much space you would like to fill with your mini-shortcuts. For my purposes, I am going to choose the 1×4 size, which will create a single widget occupying 4 regular Android rows and 1 column, by default fitting 16 mini-shortcuts in total. After you choose the size you want, you will be taken back to your home screen which, in my case, looked like this:

To begin configuring the widget with custom values and shortcuts, simply click anywhere on the widget you just made. This is where the magic happens. Upon clicking the widget, you will be taken to the configuration screen. From here, you can do all kinds of fun things – you could leave the column and row settings at their default, or you could max the values out.

Using the 1×4 widget as an example, with the values maxed out (3×12) you have the potential to achieve an INSANE 144 (3x12x4) SHORTCUTS on a single home screen panel. I’m not sure I would recommend that, however, unless you have tiny-tiny hands.

Since Multicon doesn’t display application titles, you need to make sure you know what your apps’ icons look like. For example the Mail icon looks very similar to the SMS icon, so it would be wise to place them on the opposite sides of the home screen or quickly learn their exact positions.

Once you decide on your row and column counts, the rest is as simple as clicking the Android icons and choosing the apps, shortcuts, or actions you would like to use. One cool feature built into Multicon is this set of system settings toggle widgets:

To edit the number of columns and rows or change the shortcuts later on down the line, just fire up the Multicon app itself and click the “Edit widgets” button.

For my setup, I didn’t have 36 icons that I needed in the place of 4, so I went with 2 columns and 6 rows. Doing this allowed my icons to be a bit larger, which I like. My final setup ended up looking like this:


This app is extremely handy. With my 7 home screens, I have the potential to allocate a grand total of 1008 shortcuts (even more if you pack 3×12 mini-icons into smaller sized widgets – in which case you’ll need a microscope).

Multicon is extremely versatile and useful to people like me who have a lot of apps and want them accessible with one click. If you, too, are constantly fighting for real estate on your home screens, this app is a gift from above.

If you would like to download Multicon, you can scan the barcode below with your Android phone or visit its Appbrain page here:

QR code for market://details?id=com.h9kdroid.multicon