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View Full Version : Magic Button - The Minimalist Task Switcher


Ed Hansberry
10-30-2005, 02:00 PM
<a href="http://www.trancreative.com/mb.aspx">http://www.trancreative.com/mb.aspx</a><br /><br />Magic Button is a task switcher/killer that does that and little else, which is exactly what many want as many task switchers get increasingly large, invasive and troublesome.<br /><br /> Does not take up any of your screen real estate, yet easy to access. <br /> Located on title bar but does not cover any standard info, i.e. Sound icon, notification icon. <br /> Very small foot print (memory usage). Only 71 KB executable file does it all (help file is 8 KB extra). <br /> Makes close button really close applications. Just in case you haven't noticed, the default one only minimizes them. <br /> Compatible with latest and greatest Windows Mobile 5.0 (new in version 2.0). <br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/hansberry/2005/20051031-magicbutton.gif" /><br /><br />It also has a magic price, free! :)

bmck
10-30-2005, 03:43 PM
I've been using Magic Button which I preferred over the SwitcherBar utility that came with my Axim X50v. However it seemed to have a few issues - not appearing at startup when I set it to do so, cosmetic issues at switch on when a password was required/ delay in the Today screen appearing, plus freezes esp. with Odyssey Client.

I tried vBar as an alternative and, aside from discovering it doesn't work at start up if installed on my SD card, haven't found fault with it. It's also free, and even smaller (21 KB), utilising even less screen space. Check it out here:

http://www.vieka.com/vbar.htm

No indication whether or not it is WM5 friendly, however.

Cheers, Bruce

DaleReeck
10-30-2005, 03:52 PM
I'm happy to say that, so far, v2.0 is much better than the buggy v1.x. It seems to work as advertised now and does a few things better. For one thing, it now can put it's "home icon" up to four spots over in the task bar, making in Phone Edition friendly.

It also, in VGA mode, adds a battery bar (if you want) across the whole top of the task bar, a couple of pixels thick, similar to what SPB Pocket Tools does. But it's more subtle and, IMO, better looking than SPB's bar. On QVGA devices, it still uses the old vertical red/yellow green battery bar on the far right of the taskbar. It must be a resolution thing why it does the battery bar different on VGA vs. QVGA devices.

But v2.0 is definitely a big improvement over v1.x.

Gator5000e
10-30-2005, 04:03 PM
MG has worked wonderfully for me on my Axim X5 and X30. No problems at all.

welovejesus
10-30-2005, 08:12 PM
Magic Button v2.0 is a freeware must have! Magic Button v2.0 works seamlessly with GSPocketMagic++ 1.32.18 (http://www.pocketpcfreewares.com/en/index.php?soft=1276). GSPocketMagic++ in conjunction with Magic Button has been a suitable and better replacement for WisBar (and similar programs) due to GSPocketMagic++'s small system footprint, compatibility with (many, many) programs, speed, closing "X" that closes applications, semi-cascading menus, cascading access to the Setting icons, customizability, etc.

jngold_me
10-30-2005, 08:27 PM
I tried some of the earlier versions and really didn't like it very much. I have tried the new version on my 2750 and now I think it's time to drop WA2. I can't wait to load this on my new K-Jam which should be coming this week. :)

Macguy59
10-30-2005, 08:42 PM
Nice little app that has found a home on every PPC I've owned.

QYV
10-31-2005, 04:37 AM
What I love most about Magic Button, and why I use it over WisBar or its various clones, is the mode displayed in the screenshot where the top menu bar has the icons of running apps showing. There is no faster way to switch and close apps using a stylus - no extra tap for a drop-down menu, and you always know which apps are open. It's like a tiny version of the desktop Windows task bar.

JamesM
10-31-2005, 04:58 AM
What I love most about Magic Button, and why I use it over WisBar or its various clones, is the mode displayed in the screenshot where the top menu bar has the icons of running apps showing. There is no faster way to switch and close apps using a stylus - no extra tap for a drop-down menu, and you always know which apps are open. It's like a tiny version of the desktop Windows task bar.
Dude, that's Wisbar's main mode of operation.

japomani
10-31-2005, 05:22 AM
I have had the palm pilot 1000 (with 125k memory), palm pilot pro, palm III, PalmIIIC, and Palm TT. I just recommended the palmTX to a co-worker.

Now I have committed the ultimate heresy and purchased the new HTC Wizard. For the most part I have been pretty happy with the decision, I was looking for a change and the hardware combo is great. I have found the shift in OS metaphor difficult though but I think I have most of it figured out after spending 30 or so hours pouring over the UI and reading forums and the handbook.

I think I get how it all works now but have to admit that I find the interface a bit clunky and not very intuitive. After reading a few hundred posts on line I think that there are a large number of PPC enthusiasts that agree. I am also astounded that people aren't more irritated with having to wait to open a program.

This is a long preamble to ask, what solutions are you using to make your navigation and the UI easier and improve the performance of your PPC?

More specifically, please answer this question for WM5. About 4 out of 5 of the applications I have tried do not work well, including the one that I thought looked most promising, wisbar advanced 2. I am currently using pocket plus and really like it but it does not do a great job to remedy the odd "programs are open but there is no way to access them unless you pretend you are starting them again" metaphor, especially when you are on the today screen where there is no x box to click.

So, what do you use and any word on its current or planned compatibility with WM5.

Thank you in advance.

QYV
10-31-2005, 06:27 AM
What I love most about Magic Button, and why I use it over WisBar or its various clones, is the mode displayed in the screenshot where the top menu bar has the icons of running apps showing. There is no faster way to switch and close apps using a stylus - no extra tap for a drop-down menu, and you always know which apps are open. It's like a tiny version of the desktop Windows task bar.
Dude, that's Wisbar's main mode of operation.

&lt;shrug> sounds like it's changed since I last tried it, then (it's been a while).

If there a free version of WisBar that uses less memory than Magic Button and has the same menu bar with running apps, then I stand corrected.

JamesM
10-31-2005, 10:02 PM
&lt;shrug> sounds like it's changed since I last tried it, then (it's been a while).

If there a free version of WisBar that uses less memory than Magic Button and has the same menu bar with running apps, then I stand corrected.

Looking back at my response, I came across a bit rude - sorry! The beauty of course, of Magic Button is that it duplicates a cool feature of Wisbar with less memory use and for free :)

I tried MB a (long) while ago and it was unstable on my hx4700. Since then I've alternated between Wisbar Advance 2 and Dinar Soft's Handy Switcher. Although I miss WA's eye candy, this new version of MB is working great for me.
-James

Jason Lee
10-31-2005, 11:37 PM
I love magic button! Very nice to see it updated for WM 5.0.
I use pocket plus most of the time but always carry the MB cab file around with me to share with new Pocket PC users I meet. :lol:

ChrisDimi
11-01-2005, 12:19 PM
I have been using Magic Button for the last year and it is exactly what the Windows Mobile OS should provide! (I can not even imagine why those guys in MS do not change this idiotic behaviour of the "X" minimising the apps instead of closing). I am using version 1.8 and the only problem I have found is that if I set it to start up by its own, it would usually crash my Pocket PC (iPAQ 3630). Although this little bug caused 3 hard resets (with re-installing all software!) until I realised what the proplem was, ever since I switch off the auto start up feature I had no other problem. I just hope that it is fixed in version 2.