Yahoo’s Aviate launcher for Android is nearing the end of its life, the company recently confirmed, revealing that support for the application will be ended on March 8. After that date, the Aviate launcher will no longer receive additional updates or new features, and although the application doesn’t seem to be queued for a removal from the Google Play Store just yet, any potential issues uncovered in it going forward won't be addressed. Furthermore, the Google Now-like Aviate Stream feature will stop functioning in early March, rendering one of the main selling points of the Android launched inoperable.
The Aviate launcher was first released in 2013 as a third-party Android app, and not long after its debut, it was acquired by Yahoo. The main idea behind Aviate was to offer a highly customizable user interface that changes in accordance with how the user interacts with the device. For instance, the launcher would take the time of day and the user’s location into account in order to display relevant information at a glance, and applications would be listed based on categories and according to how often they were being used. The launcher also received the Smart Stream feature in an update issued in mid-2015, giving users access to a Google Now-like series of cards containing information pulled from Yahoo search instead of Google’s own search engine. In other words, Yahoo Aviate was perhaps one of the best Android launchers for smartphone owners who relied on Yahoo’s services.
Meanwhile, Yahoo claims that the development team behind Aviate is now leveraging the knowledge accumulated over the past few years and is engaging in new and “exciting projects.” No other details have been revealed so it’s unclear whether the team is working on creating a new third-party Android launcher under Yahoo’s umbrella as an alternative to Aviate or is pursuing a significantly different goal. Yahoo hasn’t disclosed any reasons as to why support for Aviate will come to an end, though the app’s eventual demise shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that its last update was distributed in May of 2017. The most likely scenario is that the launcher unit was operating at a loss or not posting significant profits.