If you own an Android device and have yet to try an app launcher, you are missing out. There are dozens to pick from, and most offer an alternative, customized version of Android’s interface. However, their primary purpose is to help you get things done more quickly, by making apps more easily accessible and widgets smarter. Perhaps the most impressive of these offerings is Aviate, which is now owned by Yahoo, and which uses intelligence to serve up relevant apps. This week, it received an update which took the intelligence way beyond apps.
You install Aviate in the same way you would install a standalone app, but it fundamentally changes how your phone operates. It has its own app drawer, the contents of which are arranged to match with your regular usage patterns. For instance, you might check your emails and the weather forecast in the morning, but spend more time in your instant messenger of choice in the evening. The system also reacts to what you are doing in realtime — if you plug in your headphones, it assumes you will probably want to open a music player.
With this week’s update, however, Aviate has added another string to its bow. Using the same contextual awareness it employs to order apps, Yahoo’s launcher can now provide relevant, real-time information, in a similar fashion to Google Now. If you are on the move, it will present directions; if your favorite team is playing, you will get the live score.
Of course, such a wildly different interface takes some getting used to. But I, for one, can vouch for the improved workflow that app launchers can provide, and Aviate is gradually becoming an impressive mini operating system in its own right.
At the time of writing, the update has only been released to the US and India, but it is likely to arrive elsewhere soon. It is compatible with Android 4.1 onwards, although it only works with phones.
Source: Aviate Blog
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