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Chameleon For Android: Now THAT'S A Homescreen!

Eric McBride


Homescreens. I cannot even imagine how much time I have invested in getting the homescreens on my tablet and my Sensation just the way I want them, only to change them again a few weeks later! Android skins like Touchwiz, Sense, and Blur all try to add extra options and features when it comes to customization, and while I was never a fan of skins, I have to admit that this new "skin" not only caught my attention, but honestly really impressed the hell out of me. If you're looking for the next big skin for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, I seriously encourage you to have a look at Chameleon. This isn't a launcher or just another skin, but an entirely unique way of customization for Android tablets, and man oh man is it pretty!

Chameleon is a UX overlay based on Android 4.0, and was developed by Teknision, which was the same company that designed the interface on RIM's Playbook tablet. Now while the tablet didn't make that much noise in the tech world in terms of sales, the interface was pretty damn nice, and was the main aspect that made it somewhat interesting. What they have done with Chameleon is very impressive, as it shows that a tablet homescreen can be used for a lot more than just a space for app shortcuts and widgets. 

The overlay makes use of the entire screen of the tablet, and adds specific smart widgets for email, apps, weather, RSS feeds, ect. What makes it so different is that it also integrates facial recognition technology to determine who is using the tablet, and allows the user to rearrange not only the homescreen, but the entire user interface on the fly based on which user is holding the tablet. This for example, could be used to set up a profile for you that has full permissions, and a seperate one for your child with limited permissions that would limit acess to specific applications as soon as he would pick up the tablet. Not only that, but the overlay also makes use of the tablets GPS sensor, allowing it to adapt to not only who you are, but WHERE as well. 

Teknision provides an example of how a businessman's flight has been cancelled. Instead of simply saying "you missed your flight", Chameleon would attempt to guess the consequences of the missed flight (missed meetings, reservations, ect) and then make decisions based on the circumstances. Sounds good right? On paper, it sounds like a game changer, but of course we'll need a hands on before making any further judgement. Teknision also went on to say that they are in negotiations with several Android manufacturers about integrating Chameleon into their products, and will come sometime in the future. 

Here's a quick demo video of Chameleon in action:

What do you guys think? A possible evolution for the Android ecosystem, or just another overhyped future Android possibility? 

Update: A version for phones is also on the way! Here's a screenshot of an early build running on a Galaxy Nexus:

Picture credits: Android Authority

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Write new comment:
  • Steven Blum Mar 12, 2012 Link

    Awesome! So clean and modern. Perhaps Android still has time to win the tablet war with Windows...

  • Eric McBride Mar 12, 2012 Link

    That war my friend..is JUST beginning :-D

  • Manu Dibango Mar 12, 2012 Link

    i think that`s what`s worth it to use Android.
    New ideas, new concepts, let's give it a try,
    sounds awesome...

  • Eric McBride Mar 12, 2012 Link

    Agreed! Would love to see this integrated as long as its not at a massive performance cost.

  • Cam charles Mar 12, 2012 Link

    so is it just for tablet or is it phone screen friendly too?

  • Eric McBride Mar 12, 2012 Link

    I think right now its just for tablets, as it would probably be tough to see what you were doing if all that were going on a 4 inch screen. Maybe a "lite" version would come out for phones later, but so far just tablets.

  • Cam charles Mar 12, 2012 Link

    thought that would be the case, it is pretty and very similar to how i have my nexus homescreen laid out with blocky portions of the screen used for widgets like calendar etc, with all the available screen space curtesy of apex :)

  • Eric McBride Mar 13, 2012 Link

    I use Nova myself and run a similiar setup, but not nearly as good as whats in the picture.

  • Cam charles Mar 13, 2012 Link

    I was using nova, but switched to apex as it preserves the widget drawer on non rooted phones, you can't drag from the drawer to home screen with out root but you can at least get that pretty display showing what all the widgets look like, I found apex preserves the ics look in general more then nova too whilst still having the same options to mood like crazy,I have noticed some lag from apex though but an update last night appears to have fixed that :)

  • Eric McBride Mar 13, 2012 Link

    Nice! I ll give it a try. I bought the Prime version of Nova, and its REALLY good, but Im always on the lookout to try new launchers.

  • JP Burdett Jun 26, 2012 Link

    Thanks Eric and everyone here! It's great to see all the interest from the Android community.

    I wanted to give you an update our Kickstarter progress - reaching almost 5400 backers and $60,000 in pledges!

    Development is coming along very nicely as we are building out support for smaller screen resolutions. You can see this and other video updates here: http://tinyurl.com/7p3kmsl

    And as if that wash't enough, the rumours are true - Teknision will be building out a mobile phone version with aimed delivery in Winter 2012. For a sneak peak take a look here: http://tinyurl.com/cpa9lrm


    JP Burdett

  • Eric McBride Jul 18, 2012 Link

    WOW! The phone interface looks great as well! Thanks JP!