The Startup Yahoo Just Bought Turned My Phone Into The Device I've Always Wanted

When Marissa Mayer announced that Yahoo had purchased Aviate, a startup that made software that could “organise the apps on your phone’s home screen according to its best guess at what you need to see right now,” I was intrigued.

I’ve never been one for having tons of screens of apps and widgets. Android, iOS — didn’t matter. I just liked having a single screen of apps I use all the time, perhaps grouped into folders based on what I use them for. (I flip-flop on this all the time).

Immediately after installing and running Aviate on my Moto X Android phone, I knew that I’d be keeping it long-term. It transformed my phone into the device I’ve always wanted — powerful, but streamlined down to what I need at any given moment.

This is what my home screen normally looks like -- straight up Android as it came installed on my Moto X.

Aviate completely changes the look and feel of my home screen. It looks at what apps you regularly use in different contexts and creates 'Spaces' that organise your phone around things you tend to do with it.

This is my 'Work' Space. It has the apps I use the most for my job, my reminders, and a widget for my Gmail inbox.

Dragging from the left, you can see the other Spaces that are available.

My 'Home' Space, with shortcuts for setting an alarm and turning on Do Not Disturb (which I do every evening) and a widget with the weather, which I usually check every morning with Google Now.

My 'Going Somewhere' Space, which lets me quickly check traffic or navigate to home or work.

The 'Settings' Space has everything you would expect, plus a toggle to change the theme.

I'm a fan of night themes for apps like Pocket, so I really like that there's a setting to have that for my home screen too.

Swiping from the right of the home screen brings up the 'Collections' that Aviate creates from the apps you use the most, organised by what you use them for.

If you don't think an app should be in a Collection, you can simply drag it to the top of the screen to remove it.

Swiping from the right of the Collections screen brings you to a vertically-aligned list of your apps.

Here's the screen I now see when I tap the Home button. It might not be for everyone, but it's definitely an improvement given how I use a smartphone's home screen. Hopefully the team at Aviate will be able to use Yahoo's resources to make the app's predictive capabilities even better.

Imagine if your Google searches were answered by actual people...

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