Today Yahoo updated the launcher known as Yahoo Aviate to include a service much like Google’s own “Google Now” feature. Instead of users embracing this sort of alternate universe feature, users of Yahoo Aviate have responded with less-than-positive remarks aplenty. Yahoo calls this new feature Smart Stream, suggesting that it “puts relevant information front and center so you can take action right away.” “What if your phone could just show you the information you wanted,” said Paul Montoy-Wilson, Product Manager of Yahoo Aviate and Co-Founder of Aviate, “instead of forcing you through multiple steps to get there?”
Contextual display of applications was one of the main features of Aviate over the past several months – since almost the beginning of its existence, as it were. Now, as this new Google Now clone takes over, the widgets and contextual screen addition feature is at least three taps away.
“I wish i could switch back to the previous version because this one ruins the whole experience. Why would you get rid of what makes the app so great … ?” – Sergiu Negara, app reviewer
“Yes, thank you for the update but if you’re trying to improve a application then at least keep options like themes…. how can you possibly remove that? Only thing that made me stay with the application and it’s gone.” – Bryan Puckett, app reviewer
“Spaces away. Again. So-called Smart Stream is simply awful. Subtracting 4 stars for breaking what didn’t need fixing.” – Katherine Fritz, app reviewer
“Latest update is a big step backwards. I loved the leftmost contextual panel that would give me the best apps and widgets for my location/state (driving, work, gym, etc). Now that’s gone and replaced with some sort of Google Now cards knockoff.” – John Kneeland
Have a peek at our interview with Mark Daiss, Product Manager for Yahoo Aviate & Aviate Co-founder and see what this app’s origins are all about. “Right now,” said Daiss back in December of 2014, “we’re focused on building the best possible experience for Android smartphone users.”
Yahoo Aviate launcher is available in the Google Play app store this afternoon in its newest iteration. Have a peek, and let us know what you think of the update.