Chameleon Gives Android Tablets a Better Homescreen

Despite Google’s best efforts with Ice Cream Sandwich, the homescreen interface for Android tablets could be a lot better. Chameleon, a new Kickstarter project hopes to improve the Android homescreen.

Chameleon is a homescreen replacement app from Teknision that uses a collection of custom widgets to make the Android tablet homescreen neater and more useful. The app has widgets for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Gmail, Google Drive, weather, calendar, media player, and an RSS reader. Users can arrange the widgets anyway they like according to the app’s grid layout.

The Chameleon homescreen can change according to time of day, WiFi network, and GPS location. Users can set the app to use one homescreen with weather, email, and maybe news and social networks for the morning, another with calendars and email at work, and another one at night with social networks and media. Users can have a number of homescreens available, and can easily switch between them at any time.

Unlike a custom ROM, Chameleon doesn’t replace everything on the Android tablet, it just replaces the homescreen if users want it to. The default homescreen will still be available, should users change their mind.

The app works on any Android tablet running Honeycomb 3.2 or higher with a screen resolution of at least 1280×800. Teknision optimized the first release for 10.1-inch displays, but it will work to make sure it works on smaller tablets as well.

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A Kickstarter pledge of $5 or more will net backers an early release of the app. Teknision aims to have the app in the Google Play Store in September, but backers will receive it in August. A $10 pledge will also get backers wallpapers designed to look nice with Chameleon. Other rewards include T-shirts, a “custom DNA11 FingerPrint Portrait,” and even a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with Chameleon pre-installed plus extra goodies for $5,000.

  

Comments

  1. Rob says

    Chameleon is not worth your time or money. What it is is a series of widgets on a a couple of nice looking backgrounds. That’s it in it’s entirety. You have very little control over where you place the widgets (there is a strict grid pattern to use) or how much you can resize them (according to this grid pattern) and when you resize them smaller these widget they lose a lot of info (ie what they display). Only widgets desgined by Chameleon can be used and right now there are only 5 (twitter, gmail, facebook, instagram, and news…with very limited sources), so forget about using any widgets from your favorite apps unless chameleon deigns to create one in the future. These widgets also have limited functionality and you have no control over that limited functionality. Say you want to manually set your location on a weather app, or set your facebook app to update manually or perhaps every two hours instead of one. You are out of luck, it’s chameleons way or the highway. Want an app (not a widget) on your desktop, well you can but only along the bottom edge of the screen and only five. Have multiple gmail accounts and would like notifications for each one better be prepared to have multiple large widgets taking up screen real estate or your out of luck. As for the supposed context wonderfeature, it’s been tried before. Do you really want to have to jump through extra hoops to do something because it is a certain time of day or you are logged on to a certain network, if you like those extra steps then this is for you, if you like everything ready to go at your finger tips when and where you want it then this is best left alone. For crying out loud hitting the home button at the bottom of your screen doesn’t even take you to your homescreen. This home screen replacement has limited functionality, so unless twitter, facebook, and instagram updates are your entire world (and even then there are better widgets included with other apps) this app will not be worth even 15 minutes (the refund window) of your time. If you have broader interests, and need something that you can set up exactly how you want it, to be useful for work and play AVOID THIS HOMESCREEN.

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