Android homescreens can end up pretty personal places to swipe around, as users build up their preferred layout of widgets and shortcuts, but now Hiplogic wants to make things even more unique. Their new *Spark homescreen system borrows some of HTC Sense, MOTOBLUR and other Android UIs, pulling in weather, social networking sites and news into a single, geo-aware place.
There's Facebook and Twitter integration, together with headlines and automatically-updated weather forecasts. Right now it doesn't look hugely different from the carrier-loaded UIs we've seen, but Hiplogic reckon they've got more content partnerships and functionality in the pipeline that might just brighten things up for *Spark users. Apparently that includes Astrology.com, CBS, Disney, EA, ET, Sky and others.
The main benefit, of course, could be that by keeping your UI separate from the underlying Android OS, you're likely to get quicker platform updates rather than face delays as manufacturers tweak their systems to suit each new ROM.
HIPLOGIC LAUNCHES *SPARK, THE ULTIMATE ACTIVE HOME SCREEN AND MOBILE USER INTERFACE THAT IMPROVES CONTENT DISCOVERY AND IMMEDIACY
*Spark – A Free Mobile Download – Delivers a Next Generation, True Multitasking Social Networking and Media Content Experience in One Simplified View
September 14, 2010 (DEMOfall)—HipLogic Inc. today announced *Spark, a next-generation Mobile 2.0 platform that gives smartphone and mass market phone users the ultimate active Home screen experience. *Spark proactively updates content and social streams via real-time push notifications delivered directly to the home screen in a clean and organized format. *Spark beta is currently available for free download at www.sparkmyphone.com.
*Spark leverages HipLogic’s mobile 2.0 technologies to bring application mash-ups to users’ Home screens, allowing users to view and engage with the following widget-style “Modules”:
· Weather Module – Geo-aware module that displays current temperatures and extended forecasts for multiple cities
· Headlines Module – Real-time streaming of breaking news, sports, finance, entertainment, etc. Users can click to read the full story or share via Twitter, Facebook or SMS
· Status Module – Makes it dead simple to update Twitter and Facebook status, individually or simultaneously, directly from the Home screen
· Stay connected with *Spark’s Twitter and Facebook Social Streams Module, delivering real-time Facebook and Twitter streams to the Home screen
“*Spark is like the love child between the iPhone’s intuitive interface and the powerful, personalized, multi-tasking engine of Android,” said Mark Anderson, CEO, HipLogic. “*Spark is a geo-aware, socially integrated, interactive interface for your Smartphone. *Spark’s News, Social, Weather, Sports, Entertainment, Alerts & Other Programming is rich, active and ever expanding. You can turn on or off what you like, re-arrange your modules, add feeds and discover new content all from your phone’s Home screen.”
HipLogic plans to release new modules for *Spark that further leverage its content partnerships. HipLogic has content relationships with media companies like Astrology.com, CBS, Disney, EA, ET, Sky and others.
“*Spark will save users a lot of the time they’re currently wasting launching separate weather, news, browser, messaging, and social network apps every time they want to check their friend’s most recent posts, tweet a status update, or access current news, sports and weather, entertainment, and other information. Just imagine how much time having all of your most important information and friends’ social updates on your Home screen would save you in a single day,” says Matt Marshall, executive producer of DEMO. “And HipLogic’s plan to add new *Spark modules monthly makes the future of this new mobile social broadcasting & live information aggregation tool even more enticing.”
*Spark delivers the following benefits to consumers:
· Cleans up your Home screen, removing app clutter and enabling quick scrolling and personalization plus easy access to phone and browsing functions.
· Provides a simple, elegant, and social mobile user experience (combines all a user’s essential social information on one Home screen.
· Brings live Home screen “push” notifications to all phones (i.e. specified information and updates find you rather than you searching for it).
· Proactively delivers live news, sports, entertainment & other targeted content to the phonetop through free modules (app-like widgets that deliver specific content).
· Enables cross-posting to Facebook, Twitter, and SMS – update status / news / events / etc. across the three communication channels with a single click.
The *Spark beta is available for free download via Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, plus operator and 3rd party app stores.