First Look: Chameleon launcher Is It Raising the UI bar?
With every new android device i receive the first thing I do is put a custom launcher on it. Customization is one of the many reasons I choose Android over “the other guy” and the launcher is a very big part of that. One thing I’ve noticed by experimenting with different launchers is they seem to have a set formula on how they work. In my opinion, tablets and phones alike don’t have much to set themselves apart from the stock ICS and Jellybean launchers. Sure, you can add additional animations or customize the amount of screens you use but no launcher has set a higher standard. Myself, never being contempt with the status quo started looking around at applications that would offer a uniquely innovative experience and that’s when I came across chameleon. I watched all the videos on YouTube showing off this unique launcher and immediately grew fond of it just from watching the videos. So much so that I bought the pre-order from their website in hopes of being one of the first people to use it.
The first thing you see when opening up the app is a completely blank slate, a customizable dock on the bottom and most of the screen laid out for the addition of widgets. Each screen is mostly widget based showing you the information you want right from your screen without ever having to open an app. Now most widgets already do this but, with how beautifully organized chameleon is laid out everything just seems more organized. The app is currently in beta so I do not have many widgets to show you but, I can tell you I’m extremely excited to see Netflix and other widgets I would use on a daily basis.
A feature that has to be my absolute favorite and, unique to this launcher, is the ability to set different home screen layouts based off your location, time of day and even the WiFi network you are connected to. I use my tablet for work and pleasure so its nice to wake up in the morning and have all of the things I like to do while drinking my morning coffee automatically on the screen when I unlock it. My work Information is displayed for me upon arriving and at night everything ready to go for me to relax. Who would’ve thought my tablet would make things so convenient for my daily routine. Finally, you can swipe between screens if you want to view a different dashboard and can name them whatever you like.
Chameleon utilizes both portrait and landscape modes, leaving your widgets in the same places but also resizing to fit perfectly with the screen. Also, if you have an application that does not have a widget simply put it in the customizable dock for easy access. I have noticed a few bugs with the dock and even with some of the widgets but we have to remember this is still in beta.
Overall, this is not a how to or even a fully in depth review as I have only had the application for a short time. My excitement for this launcher has been never ending and even in the beta stage I can say this launcher raises the bar for tablet experiences. In my opinion this is how a tablet should be out of the box, a beautiful yet customizable interface that gives you all the information you want withot any wasted screen real estate. If you have been thinking about Chameleon or want a completely different tablet experience you can either wait for a full release next month or head over to their website http://chameleon.teknision.com to pre-order.