Chameleon Launcher received what I would call its first "major" update today, bringing the launcher up to version 0.8.0. Naturally, you can expect performance improvements and bug fixes, but the update also brings something that users have been asking for since the beta launched: more widgets.

The new offerings in the widget department include Facebook, time, and a "switches" widgets that brings power control options to the launcher. Unfortunately, the switches aren't yet customizable, so you're stuck with a stock set of options that includes airplane mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness, GPS, and sync. Hopefully the Chameleon team will bring the ability to customize these in a future update.

Screenshot_2012-08-22-23-06-54 Screenshot_2012-08-22-23-07-54 Screenshot_2012-08-22-23-07-37

After spending a few minutes playing with this new version, the performance enhancements are pretty obvious - everything just feels lighter and more fluid.

Full Changelog:

  • Added Facebook, Time and Switches widgets.
  • Reduced application pause and resume time.
  • Additional crash/freeze fixes.
  • Launcher and App Tray improvements.
  • Widget backgrounds now extend to the bottom of the screen.
  • Overhauled Widget SDK OAuth APIs and added more Widget APIs.
  • Several minor tweaks, fixes and improvements to general usability.

While these are all welcome enhancements and improvements, the Chameleon team is aware that there are still some quirks, and even took the time to detail things they're still working on:

  • GMail widget sometimes not working as expected.
  • There aren’t enough widgets (we just added 3, and more are on their way).
  • Widgets appearing blank (widget is still there, but no content is displayed).
  • Widgets being drawn twice in the same area (text doubling).
  • Chameleon can take a long time to start (this has been improved, and will get better with subsequent updates).
  • Chameleon restarts when connecting/disconnecting from dock.
  • Chameleon not working with ROM “X” (our current focus is on maximizing compatibility with official Android versions and tablets).

It's clear that they're working hard to deliver a stable product to the market before exiting the beta stage.

The update is available now in the Play Store to all beta testers.

[Chameleon Blog]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/bat0nas Tomas Misevičius

    It for tablets only? Or can be used with mobiles (Nexus) as well?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.broeders Mark Broeders

      No, it's only for tablets.

  • Himmat Singh

    I don't have it, but for those who do, does it use up a lot of RAM running in the background? Is it more than the average launcher? Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/Duncankrebbers Duncan Krebbers

      It uses 80mb of Ram on my Xoom, the default launcher uses 22mb, but I've got a lot less widgets on that. And the default launcher shows up under "cached backgroundprocesses" where Chameleon is listed under Active processes.

  • bungadudu

    @ Thomas - it will eventually be available for phones too. In the winter...

    // I guess now its clear for everybody why Google rejected their offer.
    Totally unimpressed.
    But if in the future this ui will resemble that of windows 8 might be cool.

  • http://twitter.com/iDroidd Alex Hernandez

    Glad to finally see an update. I sent them a message detailing my thoughts and concerns and it looks like they addressed a few, in a small batch but they addressed them. And I really think they nee to keep us Beta testers in the loop and give us a weekly update on what is being worked on. IMHO anyway.

  • Jax

    I'd like to help and provide testing feedback. Please tell me where should I address my opinions. This is an excellent home screen!

  • Montygue

    Fuck new widgets. How about allowing normal widgets to work. They have a long way to go and I hope one day it will be able to compete against other launchers. I know this is beta but it seems like all their efforts have gone into reinventing widgets instead of getting the launcher stable.