Chameleon: A must-see home screen for Android tablets


Android tablet owners may have opted for their device over an iPad due to support for widgets, but a new home screen app called Chameleon is like widgets on steroids. And Chameleon’s developers are using Kickstarter to sell their app before it’s even released: A $5 backing will get you a copy of Chameleon if the project funds hits the $50,000 goal by June 15 (hat tip to Liliputing). After just a day on Kickstarter, Chameleon has already passed $6,700 in funding. After you see the software in action, you’ll understand why.

Instead of simple widgets, Chameleon is a dynamic set of home screens that you can customize on an Android tablet running Honeycomb 3.2 or better. The minimum screen resolution supported is 1280 x 800, so some of the early, small Android tablets may not work. What’s interesting about Chameleon is that its developers understand that users often open up groups of apps repeatedly at different times of the day or in different locations. So the app will change what it displays based on those two attributes, as configured by you.

Given how I use my tablet — and I suspect how many others do as well — Chameleon is brilliant. The first thing I do upon waking is grab a device and hit up the same apps every day for information: Twitter, CNN, email and a few select websites. When I’m working later in the morning at the office (OK, just down the hall) I’m listening to music on Rdio, reading RSS feeds and hitting Facebook. Chameleon could automatically show these apps for me on the tablet at theĀ appropriateĀ time and place. And aside from the smart contextual aspect, the home screens actually look good, which is something most don’t say about Android tablets.

The other intelligent bit here is that development team is looking to Kickstarter for the app. Of course it could build it, submit it to Google and get Chameleon in the app store for the same $5 price tag. By using Kickstarter, however, it guarantees a minimum amount of revenue up front instead of using Google Play and hoping to gain traction in a sea of apps. Clever on both accounts and good enough for my $5 pledge.


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