One of the key features that has made Android so popular is the extreme customizability. And what better example of customization than the wide range of launchers available for the platform could you get?. Although, Android devices come with the manufacturer’s favored launcher out of the box, the Play Store offers a plethora of alternatives that work just as well, or in some cases better than the stock one. Terrain (or Terrain Home: Sidebar & Search as labelled on Google Play) is new home screen replacement app that aims to make your Android experience simpler and more streamlined by putting frequently accessed features up and front.
Terrain provides its users quick access to three main areas i.e. App drawer, Sidebar and Search, either via their dedicated icons just above the dock or by simple swipe gestures which are left, right and up. Each one allows you to access an entirely different screen of Terrain. The first thing that you will notice when you launch Terrain is the absence of a traditional app drawer icon at the bottom of your home screen, which is, instead, placed to the right. There are two ways to access the app drawer. To open the app drawer, you can either tap on its icon, or from the right edge of the home screen, a swipe to the left opens up the app drawer with a separate screen for apps and widgets. From here, you can also launch Play Store, as well as hit search to find a specific item. The second major feature of Terrain is the Smart Search, a sort of a universal search system which can find almost anything you want quickly and easily, be it an app, a contact name, a location on Google Map, or an application or widget on Google Play. The search functionality works both online and offline, and I have to admit, it’s freaking fast too. The search suggestions start pouring in as soon as you begin typing.
The last, but definitely not the least, awesome thing about Terrain is its Smart Sidebar feature which gives a bird’s eye view of things like frequent contacts, news feed, quick settings (WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS), weather, and so on. Terrain names each of these as a smart card, and you can add or remove these cards on the fly, and personalize where each card appears on the scrollable list.
When editing cards, you can move an item up or down, or remove it altogether from Sidebar interface. There are plenty of card choices, but to make things a bit easier to understand, Terrain has them split under different categories such as Popular, News, Utilities, Social, Technology etc. There’s even a Facebook card that lets you keep a tab on your news feed.
When it comes to customization, Terrain doesn’t disappoint. Not only can you change home screen wallpaper and total count, but you can also place app shortcuts on them and add widgets for instant access.
Although it is still in beta, Terrain Home is a unique launcher for Android, with a lot of added value. You can download it for free via the link below. Install Terrain Home from Play Store