Your phone probably has a lot of stuff on it, right? Terrain Launcher (funded by Samsung Accelerate) claims it helps you stay organized like no other launcher. A dubious claim perhaps, but early reviews are positive. Terrain focuses on three features: a sidebar, universal search, and an enhanced app drawer.

Terrain is based around a single home screen panel with links to your most used apps. You can place widgets, but the main way of getting at data outside of apps is the HTML5-based sidebar. It's a list of cards with things like frequent contacts, news, settings, weather, and so on. It's all configurable and looks neat. There's also an app drawer with fast-scroll and search built in. The Terrain search UI can pull up results from your apps, contacts, and the web at the same time. Not a groundbreaking feature, but nice to have.

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This looks like a neat home screen that does some new stuff – it's not just another Nova clone. The app is free, but it's still a beta. So expect the occasional bug.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • brararsh


  • Michael Marti

    Seems good but can't download from Switzerland, anyone sharing the apk please ?

  • Ryordan Panter

    Can someone be a top bloke and upload a apk. Not available in my country.

  • Mozaik

    Why do developer use Samsung smartphone for development , I thought nexus devices where for developers.

    • Daniel Antón García

      Probably coz it was funded by Samsung (?)

    • armandocj

      Nexus are targeted to developers and the Galaxy for the masses. It doesn't mean you cannot develop with a non Nexus phone. In fact, you need different phones during development to have better testing.

    • Jack Jennings

      Developers by nature will want to use the most popular device available to ensure maximum compatibility, and would also want to use as many different setups as possible.

    • toofan

      We developed using both Samsung, LG, HTC, Nexus and other phones. There is no real reason for using Samsung phones for the screenshots except that they were widely available :)

  • http://www.about.me/kendallseabury Kendall Seabury

    What's up with all the "smart" launchers that are being released? if you take at least 5 minutes to customize them Nova, Action Launcher and others are perfectly fine.

    • Michael Marti

      Yep for sure but with these kind of launchers you can try something different than only homescreen and widgets. Aviate is a great choice too.

      • toofan

        Terrain is different than others - with the key difference being that it keeps the control in the hands of the user. I makes it more predictable, and also doesn't drain the battery.

    • toofan

      Nova and Action Launcher are amongst my favorite launchers. However, android lacks a good way to search your phone (Google is web-first search, with phone search as an afterthought), and also a good way to have tons of widgets without killing the battery.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    The link to the APK, for those not in the US (why the exclusivity for a homescreen app? :X) http://www.mediafire.com/download/6aaoi5mav3s4hac/com.terrainhome.apk

    • atlouiedog

      To limit the number of users that they have to support in the beta? I assume the company is in the US and maybe some of the cards are US focused.

    • Dhruv Aggarwal

      Available in india also

    • toofan

      Its US only because we don't have the content for other countries, including simple things like Celsius in the weather card.

  • Arjon Bu

    Its not compatible with samsung galaxy s4? WTF

    • Mayoo

      The S4 is SOOOOOOO last gen

    • toofan

      It should work with the S4.

  • Jack Jennings

    Yup, not available in the UK either :(

  • Nick

    I'll try it. I fear it will be annoying just like the other launchers that promise to be smart.

    • toofan

      Terrain doesn't try to be too smart - it just tries to do what its told to do. The cards are shown exactly how you want them to be, they provide a quick snippet of information from the source.

  • Richard Sobey

    Err, just downloaded it in the UK, from the Play store. Perhaps just something taking a while to propogate, or the developers has realised their mistake.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Yeah, it seems to have become compatible for me as well here in India.

    • toofan

      We originally launched just in the US - but got a lot of requests from outside the US to enable them to download it, so we unlocked the app for everyone. We are working to improve the basics to have better international support (like adding celsius).

  • Gabriel Seixas

    It's a good concept, but some improvements are needed. I'll try it again after some months...

  • PopeTackler

    If I had a £ for every launcher that promised to revolutionise the way I used my phone I'd have enough for a Tesco meal deal. At least.

    And they never deliver. Gimmicks at best.

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      Themer sounded so awesome when it launched. Used it for 1-2 days and quit it. Even though the screen looks good, I never have things that I need at my fingertips. I do give it a retry whenever any new feature is added, use it for a day and quit.

      • toofan

        Before creating Terrain, used a host of different launchers, but not one provided everything I wanted in a way that is easy to access. Some of them were really awesome looking, but in terms of pure efficiency, they didn't do much. This was the motivation behind creating Terrain.

  • Christopher Bement

    Aka Aviate B. Pass.

  • Fernando Pena

    No thanks, I already got Google Now.

  • Stephan Reich

    its like aviate and blinkfeed had an amazing baby!

  • Fabio Santo

    Try 2tap Launcher instead.... ;)

  • toofan

    Hi Folks, This is dwipal - I am the founder of Terrain Home. Would love to answer any questions.

    • Luqmaan Mathee

      Sorry but do you plan to launch it worldwide?

      Edit: saw it's now worldwide.

      • toofan

        We are in a US-only beta. We will be launching worldwide as we get out of beta.

        • Luqmaan Mathee

          Cool. The launcher looks really cool btw

    • http://techsavvyjaz.blogspot.com/ TechSavvyJaz

      Is it only for Samsung devices? Coz, my Nexus 4 is listed as Incompatible.

      • toofan

        It does work on all devices running android 4.2 or newer. We are only available in the US, which is why you might be getting the message.

    • kd

      Pl make grey or black color theme available.

  • Kehnin Dyer

    do people really have that hard of a time using their phones? the GEL is perfect for me. search? say "ok google" for apps... i purge useless apps on a regular basis so i guess i never run into this 30 pages of apps problem that requires local device searching...
    everthing i need is usually on the first one or two home screens. because i put them there. because i know what i use.

  • KERR

    I would love a launcher that could customise the homescreen apps by how much you use them... Don't know if that's possible, but it could have say 30 of your most used apps and dynamically update. There are also very few ways I can find to backup homescreen shortcuts/folders and manage them/export.

    • JakeJ

      try EverythingMe. Does exactly that.

      • KERR

        Thanks! Gave EverythingMe a go, it's got potential but it's a bit annoying.

  • John Underwood

    Enjoyed it so far. Not a fan of the three icons, would like to be able to move or remove them. Really like the alphabetical app drawer; a small thing, but makes a big difference. Nice to have "normal" screens in addition to sidebar. Nice work overall!