Chameleon APK For Kickstarters and Pre-Order Users

As some of you have noticed, the Free version of Chameleon for Kickstarter supports and pre-order customers is no longer available on the Google Play store.

As a temporary fix while we work out a more long term solution, the Kickstarter apk is available on the Chameleon support page for download. You can download this directly onto your device (you must allow ‘other sources’ under security settings) or you can side load it onto your device from your computer.

In other news, in case you haven’t heard, Teknision has been acquired by Synacor. You can read our letter over at the Teknision site. As well Android Police did a post about it here.

Chameleon Launcher 2

The teasing and taunting is over. The new Chameleon Launcher experience for your tablets and now your phones has arrived. Passion, dedication and hard work over the last several months have driven our team to this point. Chameleon Launcher 2

Phone support wasn’t our only goal, but it did drive a lot of the user experience changes. Performance and stability were also a primary focus. We have rewritten a lot of the core system as well as enhanced a lot of the overall experience.

The New

The biggest new feature of course is Chameleon is now optimized for your phone. We support phones with screen resolutions of 720 x 1280 and up.

We have updated the Home Screen and Context system for a better experience from small screens to large screens. Chameleon previously had one home screen per context. This wasn’t optimal for phones due to the lack of available real estate for widgets. Each context home screen in Chameleon now allows you to have three pages of widgets apps and folders per contextual home screen. Even for large tablets. This allows much more information to be available to you for each context.

All widgets have updated to work across across various screen sizes and resolutions. A couple have received added enhancements. Widgets have been given new, bolder, header that house a new more button for greater functionality and expandability of features. No new widgets have been added yet since we were focused on strengthening the core experience. Chameleon does support the installation of third party Chameleon style widgets from community developers. They have even created their own site. Chameleon Widgets.

The Release

Today we are releasing a beta to our Kickstarter backers as well as pre-order supporters. This beta will come through the Google Play store for those who have the free Chameleon Launcher apk. This update will allow you to run Chameleon on supported tablets as well as phones. Phones we are targeting are those with at 720×1280 screen resolution and up. We will run the beta for a couple weeks in order to get enough feedback and bug reports to iron out the last remaining issues.

Once the beta has completed, we will be releasing the new version to everyone who has purchased Chameleon Launcher through the Play Store. This update will again allow you to run Chameleon on your supported tablets as well as supported phones.

A phone only version of Chameleon Launcher will also be released at $2.99. The currently available version for Chameleon, at $3.99, will remain as a bundle for tablets and phones. All versions will of course get all the updates at the same time.

We will have more for you next week so stay tuned. We are tired, but excited at the same time to get this new version available to everyone.

Thank you again to all our backers and supporters.

Avoiding The Long Tail

When Columbus set sail to find a new route to the Indies, he had no idea how long it would take with only an idea of where it would take him. He pointed his ship in a direction and went off into the empty horizon. Into the unknown.

Chameleon Launcher started off in a similar fashion. Our team had an idea that we wanted to explore.

The team over the last couple days and weeks have been in evaluation of where we are now, where we want to be, where our users expect us to be, and how to get there in the most efficient manner.

Where Are My Updates?

The last Chameleon update, v1.1.4, was November 20th 2012. A month and a half ago and was just a minor update with bug fixes. The last update that brought new features to the app was October 29th 2012, two months ago. For any kind of software, new features every couple of months is an aggressive schedule yet it was the pace we set.

However, updates have slowed down quite a bit over the last while.

Teknision is a service company at its core. Our business is based on this fact. The last two months we have had some fairly large and intricate client projects in house that needed attention in order to get out the door on time. So focus was shifted. We are a small shop so resources and time are precious commodities that flow where they are most needed.

We can’t talk about the fun client projects we have been working on yet. We do think you will be interested in them once we can, though.

The idea, and what we won’t do.

Context is the driver behind Chameleon Launcher. We believed the launcher experience should be more than a grid of applications.

Application launching was the focus of the first generation of modern touch screen devices. This is where the very first iPhone started in 2006. Not only do our devices now have more features and more horsepower but how we use these devices and how they fit into our day to day lives has massively progressed. Why shouldn’t the user experiences as well?

This is the challenge we are taking on with Chameleon – pushing the mobile user experience into the next phase of evolution. Context is the idea that started it all and is what we want to re-focus on. We aren’t there yet but we are about to take a big step down that path.

While we will be including some features that all launchers need, we will not strive to match other launchers feature by feature. We dont want to make a launcher that is basically the same as all the rest, but with a different look. We want to push towards the next generation of the touch screen experience. We want to be the black sheep. This is why certain features we will be avoided. For example, skinning and overall user specific customization is not what we are after. We believe focusing on useful features over flashy features will ultimately make our launcher more valuable. In fact, all of the code that makes up Chameleon launcher is made from scratch. We started fresh on line one on day one. Unlike some launchers, we didn’t build upon and modify the current Android Launcher. This is why we have our own widget system and why we have a context engine.

The focus, and what we will do.

Our focus moving forward is to bring the idea of a context driven user experience front and center.

Kickstarter was great to get us started. It solidified the fact that people are looking for something different and new. Delivering on that and taking the steps needed to achieve is an ongoing process. Chameleon has taken a uniquely public approach to product development. By doing so, we let everyone in on the process. What you are about to see is something that happens often with software. After an initial release and feedback, you evaluate where you are relative to where you want to be and then make plans.

Over the last while we have realized that where Chameleon is now won’t allow us to take it to where we want it, or need it to be. Rebuilding some of the key UI elements and streamlining the experience will give us the foundation we want to get back on a more innovative feature cycle.

We have started this process and are excited in the direction it is going. It will take us some time but we are focused and have dedicated time to get Chameleon to where it is suppose to be. We hope you can be patient and believe that we are taking the steps needed to bring you the compelling user experience that you wanted when you installed Chameleon onto your devices.

This process isn’t something that is going to take months. We are already well into it. It also isn’t going to be next week. We will be releasing it when we feel it is ready. You know, that Blizzard style approach of ‘it’s done when it’s done’. As we build out these updates we will be trying to take the approach we did with Kickstarter and show off progress as often as we can.

The team is excited, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands.

Chameleon Dev Diary – Folders and Phones

Teknision will be at CES 2013. If you are interested in seeing an in-person demo of Chameleon Launcher running on the phone (or in general) please Tweet us at @Chameleon_App if you are interested.

This is a preview of a what we have been working over the last month. This includes folder support, apps on the home screen support, as well as Chameleon Launcher running on Android phones.

Chameleon Launcher for the phone is currently in private alpha but we will be releasing a public beta to our Kickstarter supporters in the near future

Chameleon: Born in 2012, Maturing in 2013

An idea can be a powerful thing. Risk can cause an idea to fade into history. Journeys take you to places you could have never imagined. For Teknision, 2012 was full of these. The powerful idea that was a contextual tablet experience, pushed us to take the risk of creating our first product.

Chameleon Launcher was born from this and the journey began. Not only for our team, but for those who supported us on Kickstarter and for those who supported us since. Chameleon was born in 2012, but it will mature through 2013.

Teknision has always been involved in creating products and experiences for our clients. Shifting to take our own ideas and creating something out of them is a completely different experience. Pushing aside client work and investing in yourself is both powerful and daunting. You are now in the drivers seat. Looking out the window and taking in the view is no longer a luxury.

It is also fun, stressful, insane and exhausting. 2012 was full of late nights, long weekends and lucid all nighters. The reward has always been the encouragement and feedback from our users and the Android community. People believed in what we were doing and thats what kept pushing us forward.

That was 2012. What about 2013?

Over the last couple weeks we have been reviewing all the feedback we have been getting from our users. Exploring solutions and figuring out the next steps. We put a lot on the line in 2012 and we don’t want to put that to waste.

For those wondering why things seem to have slowed down. We are an industry leading user experience design and development agency that works with a lot of clients. We have to divide our time between client work and our own work. That does not mean that our dedication to either has been swayed or shrunk. It is a delicate balancing act we are still working on.

Next year we want to start off with a bang. We have been working on a lot of updates and enhancements to Chameleon. We want to get those to you as fast as possible. We also plan to do some major overhauls as well, helping to make a better foundation for pushing the platform forward. Yet time is always our enemy.

2013 is also the year you will see Chameleon on the phone. That would be early 2013 for those of you wanting to ask that ‘when’ question. Our target is late January.

Jumping to the phone is the next logical step for Chameleon. Expanding our platform and brining in more users is what will strengthen Chameleon.

It also opens the door for more developers to build on top of what we have started. Our developer community is small but dedicated. The more doors that we can open, the more people we can invite in, the stronger the Chameleon experience will be.

There is a lot more we have planned for 2013 and we want you all to join us on this journey we have started.

From all of us on the Chameleon Team. Happy Holidays!