Claystone launcher for Android mixes 3D interface, media bar


A new home screen replacement for Android is starting to make the rounds. It’s called Claystone and it features a 3D user interface with integrated apps for viewing photos, videos, files and other content. You can download the latest beta from the xda-developers forum.

The main screen features a window with  series of shortcuts for launching apps, viewing running or recent apps, or browsing for media, email or news. Claystone also includes its own contact manager and photo and video viewers.

There are two features that make the app really interesting. First, when you open a new window such as the app launcher or contact list, you can flip between the home screen and the secondary window by swiping left or right. There are slick 3D transitions when you slide between windows.

The other interesting component is the media bar above the launcher window which shows photos, local videos, YouTube videos, or home screen widgets. You can click on these thumbnails to make them larger and then flick left or right to move between the widgets.

Claystone is still a work in progress and there are a few things about the app that are still rather awkward. While you can add home screen widgets to the media bar at the top of the screen, it seems you can only choose one widget per window. The bigger problem is that you only see a tiny thumbnail icon for each widget before clicking on it — which kind of defeats the purpose of widgets that are supposed to let you see weather, news, or other information at a glance.

It also takes a little while to launch some of the apps such as the contact list or media browsers. But that’s why the developers have launched a public beta rather than a full build. Claystone’s not yet available in the Android Market, but if you’re interested in checking out the beta, the developers are still looking for feedback.

You can also check out my brief hands-on video after the break.

via xda-developers

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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  • Kevin Grant

    We just launched Claystone (Beta) on Android Market. Get the latest updates on Android Market.

    http://market.android.com/details?id=com.claystoneinc

    **Coming Soon** – We continue to enhance the home screen and launch bar functionality, in particular, drag-and-drop will supported in future updates

    - Widgets and shortcuts can now be combined together in customizable panels offering a familiar Android user experience
    - Lock button was added to the header of some panels to allow queue-up multiple content items
    - An option was added to the menu button options to close all the panels in a stack with one click

  • Kevin

     We released Beta 8 on May 20th. 

    Claystone Is now available in the following App Stores:

    - Android Market

    - Amazon Android App Store (soon)

    - Android Freeware Market

    - SlideMe App Store

    - Keyword “Claystone” Claystone Beta 8 Release (10 May 20011) What’s New in Beta 8- Drag and drop widget and home panel customization- Fixed widget drag and drop issues, widget cropping, and widget positioning problems- WIdget content now updates correctly on all panels- Resolved many user submitted crash reports- A variety of minor user interface display problems were fixed
    Coming Soon in Beta 9 and 10

    - Noticeable improvements to performance are planned
    - Transparent panels
    - Claystone settings for improver customization
    - We are moving quickly towards a Release Candidate
    - More customization and settings will be added shortly