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Chameleon Launcher for Android tablets hits release status, available for just over $10 (video)


After three months of heartache, heartbreak and triumph, Teknision’s Chameleon Launcher has hit version 1.0 and is now available to purchase in Google’s Play Store. The story of how the Ottawa team got to this point is, according to a blog post, one of long nights, Tim Horton’s runs and lots of hard, hard work.

What began as a limited idea for a replacement launcher for 10-inch Android tablets, with customizable widgets and a modular design, has expanded (or shrunk, depending on your opinion) into compatibility with the growing 7-inch tablet market and, in the future, Android phones. For those Kickstarter supporters who braved the (very buggy) beta versions, this update will be a nice bump in functionality.

The Chameleon team stresses that the mission isn’t done: there are no Google+ or Calendar widgets just yet, and the Gmail functionality is a bit wonky. They released the 1.0 version at this time because, as we know, software is never static, and they wanted to fulfill their promise of releasing a finished product within the date promised on their Kickstarter page.

The big question is whether Chameleon is really worth the money. At $10, it’s quite expensive for a tablet app, and you’ll need to be a pretty heavy user to justify it. But once you install it and begin to test its flexibility and revel in the sheer amount of customization, you’ll be immediately impressed with Teknision’s, ahem, vision. The missing functionality is frustrating, but you’re buying it now to use for a long time. When I spoke to the company’s founder, and Chameleon’s head architect, Gabor Vida, earlier this summer about the project, he was very forthright in his criticism of the Android home screen. Unlike a phone, real estate on a tablet is plentiful and largely untapped. While Honeycomb introduced scrolling widgets and a modicum of dynamism to the Android tablet experience, the space lacked a true purpose. There was so much more potential for acquiring information from the various home screens that was not being utilized.

We’ll have a full review of Chameleon 1.0 in the coming days, but if you’re feeling feisty, and liquid, you can purchase the homescreen replacement for $10.26CDN.

  • Mustafa A

    No phone version? :(

  • Beso

    thats one hefty price for a freaking launcher!

  • Jesse

    I smell a lot of WP7 in that launcher.

  • RyanOver

    10$ for an App… that’s freaking good deal… awesome

  • wewewi

    Ok it really does looks cool.

    Kinda like what Google Now should have been in the first place.

  • TKG26

    ITs $$$ i would love it if they could get USERS working on JEllybean… I want separate login for wife and kids, so we can keep logged into the apps we want.

    • Sony Fan

      Then the new Sony Xperia Tablet S is the tablet for you! Has the multiple guest modes/logins you seek.

  • Kevin

    Have been using it for a while.

    At this point you’re basically paying for the potential.

    I believe that this group will make it, it’s just going to take a fair bit of time.

  • Jay

    not sure yet
    might bite on it if it was around the 5 dollar range
    still looks good, props to the maker.

  • dan

    $10 for a android launcher? Give it away for free! We don’t pay on android remember!

  • Martholamew

    I went ahead and bought the app, as I went in on their Kickstarter until it was cancelled and decided to wait until the actual app was launched. It works really well on my Nexus 7. I would imagine a lot more widgets will be rolling out, like Netflix, or Play Music, but for now I’m enjoying it!

  • DenDen2012

    I see MSFT coming in and buying these guys out for their own Metro enhancement.

  • Mustafa A

    Wow it looks so awesome but not worth 10$.

  • j.

    at a price like that, they should offer a free trial. If I like it, I’ll be more than willing to buy it. But $10 is pretty steep for a launcher.

  • Ps4rh

    What’s the tune playing in the video?

    (oh, and the launcher does look nifty; I’d like to see it perform on the Xoom)

  • Brandon Atkinson

    I just bought this, it is pretty cool. Facebook widget needs some work though (won’t stay logged in)…

  • Francis Thibault

    I am a backer since the beginning and I can tell they come a long way (alpha were very buggy) but now it’s awesome bonus points for being made in Ottawa

  • Bryce

    Would have bought it right away for $5, I’m hesitating to drop $10 on it.

  • Patrick

    Its funny that people are complaining about it being 10$ but have no problem dropping 5$ a day on their coffee at starbucks.

    This is getting in on the ground floor (maybe the 2nd floor, since the kickstarter would be considered ground?) of something that will soon revolutionize launchers for Android.

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