First, before you read any further, it's probably worth noting that this only works with phones that support long-press functions for the search key. Yep, that means the Galaxy S devices are out. For Droid X and Droid 2 owners, there's an app that enables long-presses on the search key for those phones.
Thanks to XDA Developers forum member appelflap, there is now an app that lets you specify exactly what you want to happen when you long press the search key on your phone. With LaunchKey v1.2.1, you can choose from several functions to assign, including launching a specific app, toggle system functions such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or even bring up a customizeable menu of selected apps.
More details and download link after the jump.
One of the things I wish my EVO 4G had is a dedicated camera button. Yeah, I know I could just add a shortcut to the homescreen, but sometimes I'm in the middle of reading an article in the web browser, or deep in to a session of Angry Birds, only to look up and see my 2 year old son doing something that I would really love to grab a picture of. By assigning the Camera app to launch when I long-press the search key, I stand a much better chance of grabbing that priceless moment.
By using the custom menu option that LaunchKey provides, you can give yourself quick access to up to eight apps, or you can assign spots on the menu to be toggles for one of a few system functions.
All in all, it's a great little app that gives you the ability to do a little more customization of your phone. In playing around with it for a little while this morning, I ran in to no major issues with it.
You can download the app from the market using the links below for around $0.95US. Alternately, you can get it for free from the official thread at XDA Developers. Note that if you have a Droid X or Droid 2, you will also need to download an app called HomeSmack to enable long-press functionality for the search key. Just search for it in the market.