Launch Center 1.1 is a useful utility for iPhone

App Cubby’s Launch Center is one of those rare utilities that’s helpful in a very real way. It allows you to create one-tap shortcuts to common tasks and even schedule reminders for each one.

I love Launch Center so much that it lives in my iPhone’s prime location: home screen, second row, second from the right. That’s the spot my thumb reaches most easily. We all keep track of such things, right?

Here’s why it lives in the coveted spot.

Creating Tasks

The first time you use Launch Center, brief instructions explain how to set up notifications. Once you’re done, it’s time to create some tasks.

There are eight task types to choose from:
1. Speed Dial
2. Text Message
3. Email
4. Launch Website/App
5. Post to Facebook
6. Tweet
7. Google my clipboard
8. Flashlight

Each offers one-tap access to a task. For example, the Speed Dial task lets you place a call with a tap. The Email task composes a message to the contact of your choosing, while Tweet and Post to Facebook do just what you’d expect.

The Launch Website or App task can open a website or launch an app. I use it to open 1Password, which I keep buried in a utilities folder three screens deep. Now, I simply tap the Launch Center task that points to “1password://” and it opens. David at App Cubby even provides a list of iOS app URLs to help with task creation. It’s a huge time saver.

You can create as many instances of a given task as you’d like, so set up multiple web pages, apps launchers or phone numbers.

Scheduling Tasks

Version 1.1 introduces task scheduling, which is brilliant. It lets you schedule a local alert to appear in iOS 5’s Notification Center for any task. Just select when you’d like to be reminded. Scheduled tasks can even be set to repeat hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or annually.

I recently created a task reminding me to make a call about my son’s Cub Scout meeting. When the time came, the notification appeared, I swiped it and placed the call with a tap.

Wish List

I do have some requests for a future release. First, I’d like to save an actual tweet, text message, etc. to a scheduled task. For example, text “Remember to check the mailbox” to my wife at 3:00 PM. As it stands, I can only schedule a reminder to text her.

I’d also like to group tasks, like App Launchers, Email Shortcuts, etc. Perhaps reveal them with a disclosure triangle. I’ve created many tasks and the list is quite long.

Finally, I’d like to be able to attach a photo to a tweet from within Launch Center.

Conclusion

Launch Center has become an important part of my workday and I wouldn’t want to be without it. It’s available from the App Store now for just $0.99. That’s a small amount of money for a hugely useful app.