Whenever we download an after-market Android launcher, we know that we’re in the for more of the same. The same paginated home screen layout, the same paginated app drawer and some custom transition effects added just for the sake of being different. And guess what, none of these features ever make us feel like we’re using a different software. It’s principally the same thing with some added glitter and we’re fed up with it. Last week we decided to sign up for the Aviate Beta, a launcher which promises to be different.
A few days later after signing up, we got our product key. Activating Aviate was a breeze, and we were instantly taken with the Aviate homescreen. And that’s where Aviate struck us as being something truly different. The Aviate homescreen doesn’t look anything like Android,or iOS for that matter. There’s a single homescreen that’s divided into sections depending on the widgets that you’d like to add. By default there’s just a single wallpaper widget, but you can add additional widgets if you choose to. The experience will not be the same as before, because even the wallpaper is added as an image widget. Some widgets will look out of place, and you’ll have to think really hard before adding anymore because we think the homescreen is only good for around 3 widgets at the max.
Despite the widget limitations, the homescreen looks completely different and completely brilliant. There’s something very minimalist about it. But it isn’t boring. After we had stopped admiring the homescreen concept, we decided to check out the ‘Collections’ feature of Aviate. Collections are essentially pre-made folders to group your Android apps.
Aviate might get some of the apps wrong, but we were mostly impressed by the accuracy of this feature. You can add apps to the collections as you like, so there’s some customizability here. Unfortunately, you cannot create custom ‘Collections’, so you’ll have to make do with the existing 30-odd Collections that come with Aviate. This limitation didn’t particularly bother us, though. If you’d just like to go through all of your smartphone’s installed apps, Aviate offers its own version of the app drawer in the form of a vertical menu where apps are organized alphabetically.
It’s a nice addition, but we found ourselves going to the collections feature more often. Aviate also offers some customizability when it comes to the look of the interface. You can download custom icon packs and choose between ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ versions of the interface. Over all, we are majorly impressed by what the Aviate launcher has accomplished. In fact, we’re inclined to say that this is our favorite Android launcher out there.