For anyone who chases news for a living, it's important to get information in front of you as quickly as possible. The advent of RSS feeds and homescreen widgets has made that easier than ever with Android, but SlideScreen is just out of control.

We could try to explain what it is you see here, but we go cross-eyed every time we try to do so. After the break, our hands-on video with SlideScreen.

OK, we lied. We will try to explain this a little. SlideScreen is a homescreen replacement (though you can still use the stock home screen, too) for Android that brings just about every information stream available onto a single home screen. Its basic look and feel is that of panels, kind of like Titanium on Windows Mobile 6.5, or the Zune HD. At the center is date, time, weather, temperature, battery WiFi indicator and cell signal strength.

That's just in the first panel. You see where this is going.

The other panels include: Phone calls, SMS and MMS, gmail, calendar, Google Reader, Stocks and Twitter. All on the home screen, all available at a glance. There's also a launcher on top of that. It's a little intimidating, but it's surprisingly easy to use. There's a free, ad-supported version available in the Android Market, or you can buy the non-ad version for $6.99. SlideScreen takes up just 1.72MB on your phone.







Reader comments

Hands-on with SlideScreen: A whole lotta information goin' on


just installed it and tried it out, so far it looks great! Really convenient. It reminds me of Synergy on my Palm Pre. Even though not everything is technically in the same place, bringing it together is quite nice. And the user interface is pretty, but not distracting or confusing.

I like the app but it's missing some key features. It does not show any other email updates aside from Gmail; you have to launch the Email app or re-enable the notification bar and access it that way. You're also giving up widgets and the wallpaper image. Another loss is direct home screen shortcuts to contacts, that's a major to me.

I tried it for a while. Its a super cool start, but needs to have a power control area and facebook is a must.. great start though. didn't force close at all on my droid.

After using this for a little bit, I pressed the home key on my droid eris and asked me what I wanted to complete the action using. It gave me three options: home, htc sense, and slide screen. I selected home and it displayed the homescreen like it would on the moto droid. Even after uninstalling slide screen it still works! This is a great glitch!

That's not a glitch, it's a standard feature of Android. You could have done that before installing SlideScreen.

Settings > Applications > Manage applications > HTC Sense > Clear defaults

I signed up to test this thing, I guess they opened it up to everyone?

My test on the Motorola Droid:
Froze for a minute, Android asked me to wait or force close (usually when that happens I've found just hitting wait sends me right back to the application, so that's what I did), I hit wait, and then I was greeted with the setup.

I accepted the terms and was then greeted with the weather configuration.
I was disappointed that slidescreen wouldn't auto-detect where I was. I know some apps can just use the logged GPS data, hopefully this will be a future addition.

After hitting next a bunch of times I came to the twitter configuration. When I first hit configure twitter my phone began to hang, so I hit back on my phone, went to the previous screen, and then hit next and hit configure twitter and everything worked again. I don't want my twitter to be displayed here, so I didn't do anything except uncheck "follow larva labs" and then I hit next. I am delighted to see that if you have twidroid you can tweet right from the slidescreen app.

The application is configured! Time to filter some displays...

The slidescreen opens up and my Verizon Motorola Droid looks AMAZING. Ahhh, I thought it looked good from just glancing at screens at Larva Labs' website, but on the phone... oh, it's gorgeous!

One thing that is a little hard to get used to is scrolling on the screen. It took me a long while to figure out which scrolling does what. Basically you just finger the weather/time bar. I guess it makes sense just seeing it written, but it looked weird the first few times I did it.

After configuring a few things to update less frequently, my home screen was complete.

I don't know what else to say.
The thing is fairly easy to use, it works with all of my default programs (I just have a gmail account, so that's why I guess), and it looks stunning.

I'm going to keep using it for the next week, and after that I'll probably buy the pro version, it's just that good!

- Mike

very cool app, but not really seeing the super benefits of it. guess i better play with it some more.

The shame is that it uses a lot of memory (RAM I mean) and drains battery a lot... Fix this and I'm completely in

I like it with two exceptions:
1. I have two Gmail accounts, but it only tracks one and seems to change its mind every so often as to which one its tracking.
2. The Calendar only tracks Google Calendar.
Other than that, its beautiful.

I like the idea of this app, and it sounds like it needs a little work. The video does make this look extremely boring and not very useful to me, but I guess that's why they say to try the free version first "not for everybody".
I myself use Home++ for my home and like the simple additional features it gives me (like additional home screens).

I love it but - (on a G1)

It seems to crash every time I come back to it . . .

It seems SLOW when swapping to other apps . . .

I hope things will improve with later updates . . .

I'm waiting . . .

I have this on my Motorola Droid right now, and it's absolutely incredible. I love having all this information at my fingertips. Breaking news from twitter, following my blogs with the Reader. With a few more features, It'd be my default home screen, hands down:

1. Facebook support: notifications, wall posts, messages, really anything.
2. Accessing Google Apps addresses from Gmail and the regular Email app.

I love it! I'm just not willing to give up my other two homescreens to use it. If they make a widget - I'm all over that!