Aviate, my personal favorite Android launcher, has been updated with some new features that make it better than ever. The app has been updated with live wallpaper support, a feature that users have been clamoring for. The launcher now works with the Nexus 6. The biggest change is a new Search function that places a search bar on your homescreen. This search feature "is your gateway to your apps, contacts and the Web, with Web results powered by Yahoo. Aviate will display all your search results directly on your homescreen, so you won't have to open a browser or separate window," according to the Aviate blog. There are also some bug fixes and optimizations that will bring better overall performance and user experience.
The Yahoo Aviate team is on point. We talked to Will Choi, co-founder of Aviate, a couple of weeks ago on the Android Headlines Show. He talked to us about starting ThumbsUp Labs, the company behind Aviate, and making the transition to Yahoo after the company was acquired. The story behind Aviate, and Will's journey with the app, is a really cool one. You should give that episode a watch when you get a chance. You can download the podcast and take that with you if you'd prefer to listen to the conversation we had with Will.
Aviate first made its appearance as a private alpha release in July of 2013. That alpha release was only open to a small group of people, at first. By October 2013, ThumbsUp Labs had opened up the app to a private beta and had close to 100,000 users on the app. It wasn't even a year later that Yahoo swooped in and bought the app and ThumbsUp Labs. Since then, the Aviate team has worked from within Yahoo to make the launcher better. They have spent a lot of time adding new features and integrating Aviate with Yahoo's other apps. If you haven't given Aviate a try, now is as good a time as any. What's your favorite Android launcher? Is it Aviate?