View and edit your App Launcher in a Text File [webOS 2.x] | webOS Nation
 
 

View and edit your App Launcher in a Text File [webOS 2.x] 7

by Adam Marks Fri, 11 Nov 2011 11:33 am EST

This tip is only for devices running webOS 2.x

One of the nice upgrades to the App Launcher in webOS 2.0 was the official ability to add, remove and rearrange launcher pages, even if this also could cause a lot of extra work trying to manage all your pages. And while Save/Restore will keep a back up of the launcher icon positions, if you wanted to keep your own backup of installed apps (and icon locations) you would have needed to take screenshots of each launcher page. Unfortunately, with webOS 2.0 no longer allowing the ability to tweak the icon sizes with Advanced Launcher Configuration patches, taking screenshots of all your launcher pages could become a tedious effort

Luckily, the ability to view and edit your launcher pages and icons in webOS 2.x can be accomplished by simply opening up a single text file on your device: /var/luna/preferences/launcher-cards.json. You can use Internalz Pro on your device to edit the file, put your device in Developer Mode and use webOS Quick Install to "receive" the file on your PC, or if you use Save/Restore you will find the file within the ZIP file contained in the "saverestore\com.palm.app.launcher" directory on your USB drive (look in the "launcher" folder within the ZIP file). Keep reading after the break to learn how to understand and modify this file.

The typical file is set up as follows:

[{"title":"LAUNCHER PAGE NAME 1","items":["AppID_default", AppID_default"]}, {"title":"LAUNCHER PAGE NAME 2","items":["AppID_default", AppID_default"]}, {"title":"BLANK LAUNCHER PAGE","items":[]}]

  • The entire file starts and ends with a [ ], respectively.
  • Each launcher page is located between { }, and is identified by a "title" and then lists the apps under the "items" section.
    • In the example above, there are 3 launcher pages, with the first two having 2 apps and the final page being blank. You would replace the "LAUNCHER PAGE NAME 1", ""LAUNCHER PAGE NAME 2", "BLANK LAUNCHER PAGE" and "AppID_default" with real data.
  • Note that the App IDs have "_default" added after the name.
    • If you look at the actual screenshot above, the Phone app shows as "com.palm.app.phone_default" instead of just "com.palm.app.phone".
  • If you see an "app" that just looks like a string of numbers (e.g. "00362802"), this is pointing to a "launchpoint", which can represent a contact or website you added to the launcher, or a extra shortcut to an app that you added with an app like dg Quick Cuts.
    • If you would like to determine exactly what that launchpoint references, you can look in the /var/luna/launchpoints directory on your device and edit the file that matches that number

Viewing this launcher-cards.json can serve a few different purposes. You can quickly rearrange your apps on your device or a PC just by editing the file and then loading it back on your device (it will require a Luna restart for the changes to take effect). However, I would recommend making a backup of the file before making any changes, in case your syntax is not correct and the file makes some changes you did not intend. Also, if you leave out any apps, they will automatically be added to the end of the first launcher page.

Another purpose of this file is to maintain a back up of all your installed apps. This can be extremely useful when migrating from one device to another--especially if it's a different model of device--since this will show you which apps did not re-install (either because they are not compatible with your device or they have been pulled from the app catalog). You no longer need to create screenshots of your app launcher pages (as recommended on our Definitive webOS Backup/Restore guide) since this single text file gives you all the data you need.

 

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7 Comments

Handy. I do wish I could rename a few of my apps, like calling Sprint Navigation "Sprintina," which is what I call the voice that tells me where to go.

I've renamed apps without problem (but maybe Sprint Navigation is an exception) by editing the appinfo.json file. Look for "title" in that file.

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I don't know how I missed this when it ran. Probably because it was Veteran's Day.

Anyway, very useful info. I'm picturing some kind of offline editor that would run on a computer and let you drag-and-drop apps from page to page after connecting the device via USB. Or perhaps additional functionality baked into webOSQuickInstall... ;)