Garrett92c brings back the 4x4 for the Pre3 | webOS Nation

Garrett92c brings back the 4x4 for the Pre3

by Derek Kessler Thu, 13 Dec 2012 6:37 pm EST

Garrett92c brings back the 4x4 for the Pre3

The HP Pre3 was kind-of sort-of not-really released well over a year ago. The last official webOS smartphone also has the distinction of being the best, but we've been hearing ever since its launch the cry for the return of the much-loved 4x4 icons patch. If you haven't been with us since the olden days, here's what the patch did: it modified the layout of the app launcher to fit icons four across and four tall on Palm Pre (the dock was persistent with the launcher opened in webOS 1.x) instead of the default three-by-three. Sixteen icons at once instead of nine. Nearly double the fun.

The update to webOS 2.0 brought a great many things to webOS, including a new natively-coded launcher that was faster and more stable than the Mojo-coded launcher of old. The problem is, the old patching techniques of webOS 1.x couldn't apply to this natively coded launcher. Homebrew developers puzzled over the problem, but eventually it was concluded that the launcher was unpatchable and we gave up on our desire to have more than three icons across on our webOS smartphones.

Except, not everybody gave up. Homebrew developer extraordinaire Garrett92c (the man behind the Glass Effect Suite theme, AIOSettings, and Dash Weather, just to name a few of his many webOS projects) kept at it, eventually coming up with a solution. He's released through the webOS Nation Forums the a new still-in-alpha (caveat emptor) UI Scale patch, exclusively for the HP Pre3 that scales down a few of the user interface elements of the launcher, making four icons across a reality.

The patch only works on the Pre3 (thanks in part to the need to scale up app icons for the larger screen) and shrinks down app icons in the launcher and dock, the height of expanded notifications, the height of the Just Type entry bar, and applies the Glass Effect Suite to the launcher. The result of shrinking down the icon sizes is that the launcher can now fit four icons across and five and a third vertically. The scaling isn't entirely down to the old Pre size, slotting somewhere between the 64px of the Pre and the 96px of the Pre3. Text size has also been shrunk to deal with the reduced horizontal space per app. Added bonus: the shrunken icons mean you can fit five apps in the dock instead of the original four.

The patch is still in alpha stages and undergoing changes and tweaks and fixes (for example, the Calendar icon currently doesn't display the date with UI Scale installed), with the warning that you should be prepared for your device to be corrupted beyond repair should things go poorly. The patch isn't yet in Preware (though you can grab it from the webOS Nation Forums at the source link below), which isn't surprising given the alpha status. But we've installed it anyway on our Pre3 and it's exactly as advertised: small icons and more of them. After being stuck with three-across since webOS 2.0's debut in late 2010, it's kind of distracting to have four-across on a webOS smartphone today…