Evie Labs has now partnered with several manufacturers and Verizon to bring a new breed of AI-powered contextual efficiency to the act of conducting a device search in the form of a new application that Verizon is calling AppFlash. The application should be rolling out over the next few weeks and will take up residency as a secondary home screen accessible by swiping to the left of a device's main home screens.
You're probably asking yourself what AppFlash is supposed to do that can't be done within other applications and launchers already. After all, many applications and launchers allow a user to search his or her device for applications. Where Evie's search differs is in its use of AI to bring contextual searches beyond just looking for applications themselves. For example, searching for specific media in AppFlash, such as a movie, will show users which applications the movie can be viewed streamed with and which applications can provide detailed information about that movie. The same kind of searching can be conducted in other contexts too. A user can search for a restaurant and then pick a specific app to make a reservation or get directions, from directly within AppFlash. It will also provide recommendations for other apps that can be downloaded based on applications a user already has installed or based on a search. If the user is unsure about whether or not to grab one of the recommended paid apps, AppFlash's virtualization allows a test-run of the app for up to a full minute. As an added bonus, there are no data charges for using that app virtualization.
It's also important to point out that 'AppFlash' is only the branding that Verizon is using for the search product and it may come to other carriers under a different branding, while Evie Labs actually refers to its own product as Sidescreen. Although Sidescreen is only currently going to be available through Verizon, the company has said that it has no contractual obligation to the carrier. Evie Labs will be using Verizon and its OEM partners as a kind of testing ground, citing that they "want to get it working" there first before pursuing release through other carriers.