If you’re good at looking up and using every new app worth its name that shows up on the Google Play Store then you must have met something familiar: a launcher that is keen on bringing you the basics upfront instead of leaving you to start wondering from one widget and homescreen to another. Launchers are one of the greatest features of Android as they give users complete control of the home screen and the all too familiar Android app drawer. But not many people are interested in always tweaking their phone, adding a widget here, an icon there and stuff. Knowing this, Samsung has previously included an Easy Mode on its devices. Easy Mode has for long acted as the simplified home screen that is readily set up for the average user. Other third parties like Yahoo’s Aviate, Themer and Necta are also geared towards achieving the same though with some slight differences Now they’re taking that a notch higher with Terrain.
Terrain Home is a new launcher centered on simplicity and minimalism while still availing to you almost all you need in a beatiful interface. I’ve been testing the launcher for a whole day and it is good. Not the sort that will be a daily driver for a power user like me but one that I can turn to from time to time when I just want to get things done without much fanfare or when I’m setting up some elderly person’s Android device or a noob’s. But for the task of helping me get the most out of my phone effortlessly, it held up well.
I like the Sidebar feature. The Sidebar is a customizable bar available upon swiping to the left of your device’s home screen. It has information ranging from your most frequently called contacts to your favourite news channels to your local weather information and time not just for your locality but also other cities around the world. All you need to have that set up is a few taps structured in a quick walkthrough wizard manner and not the jumbled up mess that Android application settings are known to be. Another plus on the launcher is the interface. It is simple. Whereas a simple swipe to the left will take me to the handy Sidebar, a swipe in the opposite direction takes me to the all familiar Android app drawer with apps beautifully arranged and navigation to the right apps made easy by having them sorted alphabetically like its done on Action Launcher. Still, there’s a very functional universal search function built into the launcher that like Google’s own built in search (now baked into Google Now) will simply find whatever app, contact or web item you’re looking. Samsung has this functionality in the Galaxy Note 3 so it is not hard to see what inspired its associated startup company that came up with the launcher itself.
Here are some of the screenshots of Terrain action I took from my device:
The app is still in beta but can be accessed on the Play Store.