Blloc Ratio - the future launcher for Enthusiasts?
Yesterday I finally received an invitation to download Blloc Ratio from the European company Blloc. I discovered it thanks to TechAltar’s video about the phone Blloc Zero. The company is very responsive and it has an active online community that is responsive and helpful when it comes to newbies and solving bugs. Blloc is very transparent and takes into consideration the recommendation of users. If a feature is requested by many, it is added to the roadmap of future updates.
I must admit, I love the concept of a minimalistic design aimed at reducing distractions and increasing productivity as much as possible. I love the monocrome theme and I am waiting for the soon to be released feature of choosing your accent color - the yellowish lime green is definitely not my favorite.
The product is still in an early beta, so if you download it, be prepared to experience minor bugs - especially in the Root. The Root is a section in the launcher that acts as some sort of Google assistant. It is organized with cards that you select to show information; the ones I prefer are the notes, weather and news source cards. Root has a few bugs, mainly, it is difficult to delete a card once you created it - this is even present in one of Blloc’s recommended new user videos - and there are specific problems for specific cards. For example, the news card needs to be manually updated and the YouTube card doesn’t show any results - which is a bummer.
I don’t have any complaints about the tile system, I find the design clean and efficient - of course, it is up to you to customize it and take the most out of it. One bug that you may encounter with the tiles is that when expanding one tile to make it bigger, it may create a mess, with tiles not properly floating on the screen and floating one over the other. In that case, just restart the launcher and it will get fixed.
Now, it is important to add that the most useful feature is, in my opinion, the Tree. The Tree is a hub where you scroll between your contacts and can text to them using any of your messaging apps without having the hassle of finding the right one. That means: no more multiple conversations on multiple apps. Thing is, this highly advertised feature is still not implemented yet and will be implemented soon. Other missing features include shortcuts for websites - for example, creating a tile for your website and accessing it directly - and for settings such as Wifi or Bluetooth (the ones in the notification settings are always there, though).
The last feature worth of note is Blloc Desk, a companion app for the launcher that helps you back up your phone data and in the future it should be compatible with Blloc Tree - which, if you ask me, would be amazing: no more having to install Whatsapp, Telegram and similar on my Mac!
In the end, Blloc Ratio is a very interesting project and I am glad I have been invited to it and will be contributing with ideas and testing. I think that right now it is a valuable launcher and could be a good alternative to your native one. If you are a tech enthusiast and Dark theme lover like me, you’ll enjoy Blloc, but otherwise I would recommend to wait a while before downloading it since it is still an early beta version.
Blloc Ratio comes in two versions, the full one (Desk) and the Light one. The Light one is free, the full one costs 30$, but right now both are invite-only and are free of charge for people who are invited. There are only few devices supported and the invitation queue is very long: there are 80k people waiting!
Thank you for reading my first impressions,