07
Mar
unnamed

In a post to its official blog today, the team behind Chameleon Launcher announced version 2.0, which simultaneously hit the Play Store. The update, which is – for now – only available to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers, brings a handful of popularly requested features. Perhaps the biggest of these is optimization for the small screen. Yes, Chameleon is now specifically optimized to work on your smartphone as well as it does on your tablet.

ChameleonLauncher2

As part of the optimization (which supports screen resolutions of 720x1280 and up), Chameleon has gained the ability to hold multiple home screens in each context. While the number of screens is limited to three, that is undoubtedly better than the one-screen limit held by previous versions.

Home screen widgets have also gotten some love. Widgets now have a "new, bolder" header with a handy overflow button that houses options for expanded functionality. The calendar widget (which requires an add-in), for example, has an overflow button that will allow users to add events directly with one tap. While no new widgets have been introduced in this release, Chameleon points readers to chameleonwidgets.com, a site for community-built widgets.

Screenshot_2013-03-07-18-31-55 Screenshot_2013-03-07-18-41-29

Those of you who weren't backers or pre-order customers need not worry – Chameleon indicates the 2.0 release will only be in beta for "a couple weeks," after which normal Play Store customers will get access. To see the full post, just click below.

Source: Chameleon

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://twitter.com/nklsrh Nikhil Suresh

    Oh jeez, some of the Play Store reviews are NOT making this look good. They're citing a lack of updates, and apparently it gets worse with each one.

    "No updates in a while and the launcher is slow to load"
    "Imagine a launcher which does LESS than ANY other launcher. You're
    imagining Chameleon. Now imagine you paid an extra dollar to beta test
    it. You're still thinking about Chameleon"

    Ouch.

    • Matthew Fry

      Yeah.... I was like WOWIE ZOWIE! This looks pretty! Then a day later I went back to the basic launcher. I'm just not a facebook/twitter/weather junkie so most of the widgets weren't particularly helpful.

      • Cherokee4Life

        I backed it in Kickstarter. The only time I use it is when there is an update for it. Then I test it out for a day and go back to my old Launcher. I LOVE the UI of it but it is slow and it takes up to much real estate. For example the phone screenshot above, the border/header is nice but it takes up wayyyy to much space on a phone. on a tablet its okay but not phone..

        I love Kickstarter and think they made a great product its just not for me is all.

  • sneakk

    Its always ran great for me on my nexus 7, been waiting to try it on my phone. Nice to know they are still improving this.

  • http://twitter.com/scotteharris4 Scott

    I like it on my phone, but it takes up way too much RAM. After about a half hour of use it was taking up 100 MB of RAM.

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

      I do like it too, but the phone version doesn't feel that great on my N4, the three widget-slot-rows are way to limited for a phone screen. And I'm even used to a fairly simple homescreen, Google searchbar on top, clock beneath it, and a few shortcuts beneath and on the side of that.

  • Samsung Fanboy

    I purchased this for my tablet and found it to be absolutely useless.

  • paxmos

    So, I don't care about paying for an app, but forcing you to pay $10 for a BETA is a bit rude I must say. I'll pass and stick with my Jelly Bean look.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I had very high hopes for this launcher in the beginning (though, I didn't jump onto the kickstarter wagon). I suppose I still have high hopes for it, but I'm getting closer and closer to thinking this will be an utter flop. Whoever is doing the design and layout is clearly confused about using very bold colors and sharp lines of the headers in connection with the gradients for the widget backgrounds. The use of screen real estate seems like it wasn't even an afterthought. I was hoping to see a legitimately widget-driven interface, but this isn't compelling to me, not in its current form.

    • bse88

      That blocky titles are just popping in my eyes every time i see them.

  • Andrew

    I tried reinstalling this each time it got updated for the first couple of months, but eventually was forced to admit that it's pretty useless. It majorly lacks most of the features that all other major launchers have, and never seemed to work at all without a constant internet connection.

  • DependsOnTheLight

    So how many people backed this on Kickstarter? This is exactly the reason no software should be on Kickstarter, that is just not how software works. You need to know the goals and skill set of the founders before you can invest in such a project.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      The same thing can, and should, be said about plenty of other "hardware" products. Just look at last year's wunderkind, Pebble. They claimed to have working prototypes when they made the demo video. It's about a year later and there is still no SDK, a lot of people are complaining about super buggy software, and extremely mediocre battery life. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ebay my Pebble when it gets to me (which is taking forever, they confirmed my address about 10 days ago and haven't sent a shipping notice).

      All kinds of projects belong on Kickstarter, but I think a lot of the "successes" from last year are going to color how well many of them do this year.

      • DependsOnTheLight

        The only difference is that hardware requires prototyping which needs money and kickstarter seems to be working for that.

        The issue with software is that you're not an investor in the traditional sense, you don't get any say in the future of the product like shareholders or long-term investors do.

        As you just mentioned, there is no SDK (software issue), buggy software and extremely mediocre battery (hardware + software issue). When projects like this get funded, people basically give away money without having the product or knowing how the product will actually work because there's so many little things that can make a software bad.

        For mechanical things, if the demo video is demoing the product perfectly, you know exactly what to expect from it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDJCook Rob Cook

    I will admit that I was quite taken by the look and premise of Chameleon several months ago but I couldn't swallow the high price of entry. I found a pirate .apk and loaded it, then promptly uninstalled that steaming pile. It's not worth $10, even $1 is pushing it. There is a reason there isn't a 'lite' version for free, they don't want people to find out how awful it really is.

  • Evan

    It is still really buggy. I keep having widgets that blank out and the icons in the dock keep shifting positions and overlapping each other. They said on twitter there will be a bug fix release for the beta, but who knows how long it will take to get that out.

    I always hope that some update will make this usable, but I'm writing it off as a loss. The idea of context-aware home screens was really appealing, and maybe in the future somebody can do it right.