Yahoo acquires intelligent homescreen replacement app Aviate

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Aviate an Android homescreen replacement app which automatically suggests relevant information or apps based on activity of the user. Interesting part is, the company did not even finish developing its context-aware Android home screen, and it’s already an acquisition target.

Yahoo revealed the news at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in US that it’s buying Aviate for an undisclosed amount as it wants to use Aviate’s interface as a “central part” of its Android software in 2014. The company also said it will continue improving the product, but didn’t elaborate on possible Yahoo services integration.

“Aviate is still currently in private beta, but we’re opening it up to the first 25,000 people who use code “YAHOO” to celebrate the news. We’re just getting started, lots more to share in the coming months, so stay tuned.” said Adam Cahan, SVP Mobile and Emerging Products, Yahoo in a blog post.

Aviate’s alternative home screen for Android takes a completely different approach to organizing a user’s apps and data with a simplified user interface design. It tracks the user’s activity patterns and groups apps into categories that are presented on a particular time of day and the location.

It is perfect for those people who like to stay organised, and those who . The pre-installed vendor UI in several phones, give an option to the users to select different modes or scenes depending upon their activity – work, home, travel etc., the app does the same but automatically. For example in the morning it might show the user his/her calendar appointments and news apps in the morning “space”.

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Furthermore, Merrisa at CES event said that more than half of the total 800 million monthly users of Yahoo access it on their mobile phones. She added that Yahoo is focused on mobile and is guided by the amount of time people spend on their handheld devices.

This is the first acquisition of Yahoo in 2014. The company bought about 28 start-ups in 2013, including the USD 1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr.

The author can be reached at devesh@wirefootindia.com

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