Last week Yahoo! announced their acquisition of Aviate the software company that produces an Android Launcher that is customised to your activities.
I’ll be honest; the app was new to me so I quickly downloaded and installed.
My expectations we’re too high since my last launcher experience was the extremely drab and (IMHO) pointless Facebook Home, which lasted less than an hour on my phone.
The first hour with Aviate, was much more impressive and over the next week I discovered some pretty cool functionality. So, here are my 5 reason why Android users need this app.
1. Smart home screen – Not only does the minimalist screen allow you to customise it with your own photo, it seems to start be featuring what it believes are your most frequently used apps.
What’s even more impressive, is that this screen changes depending on variables such as location and time of day. The screen grab opposite was for when I’m at Home, but it changes when it know’s I’m at work, or travelling.
2. Auto-categorized apps– if you’ve ever used folders on the Android home screen(s) you’ve probably put together your own categories of apps. Well, Aviate automatically does that for you. With one swipe it brings up a page of your most popular categories and apps. Which brings me to…
3. Customised categories – Don’t want to be limited to a few categories? Then you can add some more. Furthermore, you can move categories between categories to suit your own preference.
4. Integration with other apps – while Aviate does obvious things like pull the weather from Google Weather, and your up coming events/reminders from your Google Calendar, it doesn’t stop there. The device seems to pull on 4sq for location data and allows you to check-in. In all fairness this does add an extra unnecessary click to the process, but It’s pretty good all the same.
5. Widgets – I was a little worried, that a launcher replacing the typical Android home screen might negate the use of widgets – one of the highlights of the Android OS. However, I quickly learned that you can add different widgets to different home pages, making specific tasks within some of your favourite apps quickly accessible.In my case that was Evernote.
It’s been just a week since I installed the app, but it’s definitely a keeper. My expectation is that I’ll unlock more personalised options as the software learns more about how I interact with my phone.