In the latest swell of trying to re-invent the wheel, app developers have started turning their focus toward making those insanely small - yet incredibly needed - smartphones into more intuitive and dynamic extensions of daily life. When developers like Facebook tried to create their own intuitive software, Facebook Home, it was a complete failure. But from the carcass of Facebook Home, there has risen a number of promising developers such as Everything.Me, which touts a type of "learning" interface. Here are five things about Everything.Me that you should know for their release today:
1. Treat Your Phone Like a Cellular Lover
From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, the Everything.Me interface takes the time, your location and gives you suggested apps to use at that moment. By tracking your past history and analyzing your general usage of the phone and your apps, Everything.Me makes predictions on what you'll need at any moment.
But this predicting power probably won't happen well into your relationship and interactivity with the phone, which might frustrate users initially. Just like a first date, you have to learn your partner's habits before understanding what they'll do next. Everything.Me does the same, but has to be trained and reinforced by users in order to correctly predict your app needs. Even those who are socially unpredictable have a sense of routine, which makes Everything.Me usable for groups en masse.
"It practically anticipates your needs whenever you pick up your phone, so it may show different things at different times and different places - all depending on how you enjoy using your phone, and on your context," developers for Everything.Me said. "In the morning, it will offer the apps and information you review every morning, when you walk in the park, it might offer a map, or some great restaurants nearby. It’s the simplest feature to use - you just open your phone, and the stuff you need, is ready for you."
2. The Search Function Makes Your Phone Its Very Own Search Engine
Searching using Everything.Me is a bit like using Google on a micro level mixed with your current phone search. On most android devices, searching usually means looking for saved documents or contacts. But with Everything.Me, searching is a bit more multi-functional, acting as not only a search for your phone, but also a number of in-app searches. So, let's say, you're looking for an artist. All you'd have to do is type in (or speak) the artist's name, and Spotify might show up (because you use it most often) and ready to play those artist's songs. Also, the artist's Last.fm station might show up, along with their Soundhound page. But beyond accessing current apps, Everything.Me also lets you know what people in your area are using, so you have the option of trying them out.
"We expect the engine to become even better at anticipating needs now that we roll out of beta with the new context features," said Lauren Perry, a PR representative for Everything.Me.
3. Say Goodbye to Your Boring Old Interface
For years, developers have been trying to figure out how to make the phone more usable. On Google Play or Apple's App Store, there are thousands of productivity apps that try to hep streamline your phone usage. But the problem has always been the static nature of the phone. It doesn't move, it doesn't anticipate. If anything Passport for iOS was the first app that gave iPhone users predictive technology, alerting you that you have a Starbucks card available when you were close to one, etc. Everything.Me answers those problems by taking away the need for the user swipe. By having everything you need on your home screen, based on when you need it, the need for constant swiping and searching goes away.
4. Bringing Apps Back to Life
The best apps are usually the ones we've forgotten about, and it seems to happen constantly. Whenever we download an app, we tend to forget about it and never access it ever again. Unless there is an update or some kind of auto-reminder set up, apps usually have little chance of being accessed beyond the first or second time. Everything.Me has a unique approach to getting your apps from their lonely lives by throwing it on your home screen every now and again as a friendly reminder. In this case, Everything.Me is beneficial for developers, as well, by herding back app users who may have forgotten about their product.
5. The Phone Crowd Sources Info from Like-Minded Users
Although the phone might not instantly adapt to users, the added benefit of Everything.Me is that it uses crowd sourced information from people who use their phones similar to you and does predictions based on that. "All your context data is kept anonymously," said Perry. "However, we do calculate what is popular for each context for groups of people similar to you in terms of how you use your phone ... even when you install the launcher for the first time, the prediction are instantly good ... the anticipations improve as it adapts to your own usage."