New Aviate app makes Android phones more intuitive
There comes a time in every smart phone owner’s life when the number of installed apps outweighs the brainpower available to the owner to keep them all managed. Enter Aviate, a new home screen management system for Android that aims to keep everything under control, intelligently.
The just-announced Aviate is an Android app that provides, in its own words, an “intelligent homescreen that simplifies your phone.” And while anyone can shuffle apps around to make them adhere to a more sensible organization scheme, the beauty of Aviate is that it does all this automatically, on the fly, and based on where you are or what you’re doing.
Once installed, Aviate is the first thing you see when you unlock your phone. Instead of the standard Android home screen, you receive a simplified screen that offers contextual information and access to the most relevant apps installed on your device. If you’re dining at a restaurant, Aviate will place the icons for food-centric apps such as Yelp and OpenTable in a menu on the screen, and you’ll be offered the option to check in on the social network of your choice without having to dig around to find the right app. Aviate will also automatically pull and display information about the location from other location-based services, like Foursquare, right on the home screen.
Similarly, after you go to bed, Aviate will understand it’s not the time for action-packed video games but might instead offer more relevant apps like an alarm clock or an ebook reader in its dock. A weather report and selections from tomorrow’s calendar will also show up on the system automatically. While you’re at work, your calendar, email, and communications apps might be given top billing. Of course, the specifics are all dependent upon the types of apps you have installed on your device.
Android launchers aren’t a new idea, but this degree of intuitiveness and adaptability breaks new ground for the OS. Many of the other launcher systems on the market today are geared toward helping you organize your apps or aggregating data, particularly social network feeds, a la Facebook Home. Aviate’s ability to build an ever-changing home screen based on your activities and location is a completely new way of doing things.
At present, Aviate is in private beta, with more than 70,000 users registered to download the app. Starting today the beta is being opened up to those registered users, and each user will have another five invitations to hand out to those not lucky enough to be on the list already. Aviate is compatible with most Android devices (requiring version 2.3 and up), including a wide variety of Qualcomm Snapdragon-equipped smart phones. Keep an eye on the company’s home page for news about its formal unveiling.