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28/31: Not quite JARVIS but getting there

Thanks to [personal profile] vampirefan, I've been testing the by-invitation beta version of Aviate, a new launcher app for Android (phones only--not yet optimized for tablets).

What, you ask, is a launcher app? Well, maybe you don't ask, but I did. There are dozens of them in the Play store, and most of them offer ways to customize your home screen--different icon sets, widgets and themes, that sort of thing.

Aviate is a different order of being. It aims to present what you'll probably need when you'll probably need it, and it learns, both from you and from the wider user base.

First, it replaces your busy icon-and-widget-filled home screen with something much simpler.



Screenshot of the Aviate home screen showing a single photograph and only four icons
My home screen as of the time shown. I selected the picture. The red bus icon is telling me--for reasons I'm not clear on--that an intercity bus service stop is just up the street.


Then, starting with some basic data (time, location), some assumptions (you live somewhere, you work somewhere, you go places, you eat), some cultural best-guesses (you sleep at night, coffee is a morning thing, lunch is at noon...) and some usage data from your device (most-used apps), it offers up a shifting array of information.

For instance, if it senses that you're in transit, it switches to the "Going Somewhere" Space, and offers icons for apps most suited to travel--mapping, traffic, bus routes, Bluetooth, etc. If it guesses wrong, you can populate the Space yourself. (It put my Kindle icon in the "Nighttime" space--accurately enough--but failed to put my bus-fare app in the "Going Somewhere" Space, or my knitting counter in the "Home" Space. So I told it, and now it knows.)

In each Space it gives some Nearby listings that are fairly context-sensitive. For instance, my location hasn't changed all day, but at 10:00 Aviate was offering the café across the street, and at noon it put the new food cart next door in front of me. Strangely, at about 3:00, it gave me Portlandia (the statue--maybe a little afternoon break sightseeing excursion?), then BoltBus, a means of getting out of town. LOL. The listings, when you select them, display customer tips (from Foursquare, as far as I can tell).



Aviate: intriguing, promising, and attractive. I have five invites available if anyone's interested. Just PM me with an email address.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

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