Better Cut is an application for the Android platform that has been around since the very first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. The developer first mentioned the app on February 16th, 2009. It attracted much acclaim for filling many gaps in the original Android release, it has now proceeded to version 3.0, which supports Google’s latest upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo). Question is, with all of the latest Android improvements, is Better Cut still as relevant as it was just after release?
In short, Better Cut is an application that creates shortcuts to many functions of the Android phone. A ‘shortcut’ means a quick link to a phone function that is usually buried deep in the various available menus. The list of Better Cut functions is rather big and includes the following:
- Direct Call
- Direct Text Message
- Installed Applications
- Available Shortcuts
- System Setting Shortcuts
- All Activities
- Website Shortcuts
- Make Your Own
Of the above-mentioned features, options such as ‘system settings’, ‘all activities’, ‘website shortcuts’ and ‘make your own’ are unique to Better Cut and not available by default in any version of the Android platform. Shortcut icons can also be altered by icon packs that are widely available for free in the Android Market.
The main advantages of the application do not become immediately apparent when using it for the first time. The developer emphasizes the advantages of system setting toggling options, website shortcuts and the changing of shortcut icons. As the toggling option is pretty much replaced by the power management bar included in all Android versions, including 1.6 and above, this function becomes less of a unique selling point. Website shortcuts are handy, but can also be done (albeit slightly less simply) through bookmark shortcuts in the default shortcut options. Even though both functionalities do indeed go the extra mile in what they promise, by themselves they are not worth the purchasing price. What is left is the option to change shortcut icons and names. This is where the application truly shines.
Better Cut is able to change the icon and to alter text to completely suit the users taste. As such it provides a way to completely alter the looks of your Android device, without having to use alternatives that will put an extra strain on your phone’s available memory. Under the ‘Available Shortcuts’ header the app is even able to alter icons for default shortcut options, making Better Cut perfectly co-exist with Android’s default shortcut functionality. The Better Cut application is well supported by a busy user community, so that a constant stream of new icon packs is guaranteed.
To answer the question in the introduction section: Yes, Better Cut is still relevant and yes, it is still a highly recommended application, well worth the $1.99 price point. Another question arises however, will it remain relevant in the future? Considering that ever since its release the app has sported the same functions, some that have slowly been caught up with by the development of the Android platform, it will not take much to make it obsolete. Until then however, the application is most certainly one to go with for users that want advanced shortcut and icon customization functionality.