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Terrain Launcher Takes on Aviate with Contextual Cards, Personalized Feeds

June 17, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Android home launchers are plentiful. Nova is one of my favorites, though I’ve been using Aviate exclusively for several months. Samsung Accelerator has released a new home replacement this morning. It’s called Terrain Home, and it looks really interesting. At first glance, it’s a cross between Yahoo’s Aviate launcher and HTC’s BlinkFeed app. Let’s take a look.

Terrain has three main screens. The first looks like your traditional AOSP home screen. There’s a row of icons across the bottom and you can create folders at will. By default, the launcher creates a ‘Most Used’ folder with your…most used…apps inside it. There’s also a Voice Search icon. Then Terrain populates three shortcuts of its own. The right icon takes you into the app drawer, which is listed alphabetically like it is in Aviate. The middle icon takes you into Terrain Search, which can search your contacts, apps, and the web to find the info you want. The left icon takes you into a screen with customizable cards. These can be set to pull information that you want the most. Weather, recent and favorite contacts, traffic, and recent apps are just some of the contextual info that Terrain can provide for you. You’re also able to add personalized feeds from Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Spotify, and news like CNN and TechCrunch. There’s even some fun stuff like XKCD and Lolcatz. There are over 60 cards available right now. All of these feeds are customizable, and more will be added as the app continues development.

Terrain Home Screenshots AH

The app was developed by Dwipal Desai at Samsung Accelerator. Desai was the ninth employee at YouTube and was the originator behind YouTube Mobile. Samsung calls Terrain “Cliff Notes for your phone”. Terrain is still in beta, but it’s a solid release. I’m impressed, but because it’s in beta there may be bugs here and there. I found that some of the feeds were slow to refresh. Overall the launcher is smooth. It’s built on HTML5 and Samsung has an open SDK for it. Any developers that want to jump in and make something for Terrain can do so.

If you’d like to check out Terrain Home, you can get it from the Play Store. Make sure to drop a note in the comments and let us know what you think.