Aviate, which is now open to everyone, was an invite-only beta since its launch last October. Previously, users had to request an invitation and spend time on a wait list to get access to the app.
Unlike many other Android launchers, which focus on customization, Aviate aims to simplify your home screen, according to Mark Daiss, the app’s cofounder and Yahoo product manager.
“It’s intended to be simple … The stock Android experience is a little confusing,” Daiss told Mashable. “We saw this huge opportunity to innovate and move out of this app-centric model — this grid of apps — and really move towards something that’s a little bit more compelling for the user, and gives the user information the moment it’s useful without them having to search.”
Aviate learns from your habits, and provides recommendations based on the time of day, and what you most likely want to see at that moment. For example, when you wake up, you may see how long you slept (the update includes sleep-tracking capabilities), the weather forecast, news headlines and a brief overview of your calendar for the day.
But the app also adds context to this information. Instead of just seeing the weather forecast, Aviate will also let you know when the weather will be significantly cooler or warmer than the day before. It also knows the places where you spend the most time, and can tell you how much traffic to expect during your morning commute.
What’s more, Aviate is continuously changing throughout the day based on your location and patterns. Once you get to work, for example, the screen will change to emphasize the apps and information you typically use while working, such as email, calendar and other productivity apps.
The latest version of Aviate was built with the Incredible Labs team, another recent Yahoo acquisition, which created the Donna virtual assistant app. While Aviate doesn’t have a human-like persona, the team did build some assistant-like features into the app, particularly its calendar.
Aviate’s calendar pulls in information from all the calendars on your device, not only displaying your events, but also acting as a smart calendar. It can automatically dial in to conference calls, and send “I’m running late” emails to other participants with one tap.
Aviate also organizes your apps into themed collections, such as music, social and news, so you can easily find apps without swiping through multiple menus. The favorites section provides easy access to text, call or email for people you contact the most often.
The new, public version of Aviate rolled out to Google Play on Monday.