August 8, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Larva Labs announced today that SlideScreen, it’s popular home screen replacement that focused on information rather than icons, is no more. Due to what looks to be “an intentional change” in the way the Gmail Android app provides data that Slidescreen relied on, the group has reached the conclusion that it simply cannot deliver a good experience without that information and will cease development. As a result, Larva Labs has removed SlideScreen from the Android Market and made the most recent beta version downloadable on its site.
The recent Gmail for Android app was updated with new security permissions that removed third-party access to the Gmail database. That effectively broke links for many non-Google apps that relied on Gmail, including LauncherPro, and led to force close errors. LauncherPro developer Federico Carnales wrote about this problem in July and said that unless Google releases a revised API that provides secure access to the Gmail database, his app won’t be able to support Gmail. Larva Labs’ Matt Hall states on the company’s blog that “there appears to be no workaround.”
Google gave developers advanced warning of the change but didn’t provide any clarity about a way it could be fixed. It’s good to know that Gmail is more secure today, but still disappointing to know that security came at the expense of a great app. We can only hope a new API is released soon enough for LarvaLabs to reconsider developing SlideScreen.