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Yahoo's new Android home screen app gets a music function

Android home screens are getting more attention from big players in mobile as of late. Google is building a new home screen interface called the Google Now Launcher, and Facebook took a chance with the profoundly unsuccessful Facebook Home.

Yahoo didn't bother starting from scratch - it acquired one of the most innovative third-party launchers several weeks ago - Aviate. This app is apparently getting off to a good start at Yahoo by releasing a big update on Google Play.

Aviate has a very clean UI that's a major departure from the standard Android Look. You have your main screen with favourites and some widgets, then there is a page of app collections auto categorised by Aviate, and finally you have a full app list. Aviate looks (and acts) like Google Now for your home screen.

Aviate is a context-aware launcher that tries to predict what apps and settings you're going to need based on your location and time of day. Aviate sets up various Spaces that it enables throughout the day. You can access the current Space at any time by swiping up above the main home interface. There are Spaces like home, work, night, morning, and out and about.

You don't have to trust that Aviate will always be right. It allows you to hop between Spaces at any time, and you can manually edit the content each one pulls up if it gets things wrong. You can also tweak the settings for Aviate's newest feature - the Listening Space. This is a UI specifically for connecting to and controlling your music player. It has a widget and icons for all the music apps on your device. It also finds information about the currently playing artist like top tracks and upcoming concerts.

It's a free app, but it's in semi-closed beta. You can get an invite code from a current user or try the limited time code MUSIC to register.