By Fiss Tops
AVStream Dev Team
Appy Version 5 - Custom Android Launcher
Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to the team at AVStream for their tireless work on the latest Custom Android Launcher. Over the last 14 months Appy has seen some huge changes, with each upgrade the Android development skills of AVStream have been getting more and more recognition. There is no doubt in my mind that Appy v5 will well and truly put them on the map.
Appy v5 is complete in what it can do for a user and what it can do for an Android TV Box retailer. It moves further away from depending on Kodi and closer to becoming a full featured media player with the added components such as downloadable apps and retro gaming.
We are going to look at each aspect of v5 from the users perspective and we will cover from the Android retailers perspective in a follow up displaying the new appy zone.
The Appy v5 User Interface
We stated previously that we would be basing this product on the Nvidia Shield and the Amazon TV home screen. This has been achieved. It took some time to develop the animations and the menu navigation but what has been created is a near exact replica of the Amazon TV layout with elements of the Nvidia thrown in, the main menu across the top of the screen and the content below.
Some parts of the testing app have not yet been done so when you watch the video it probably won't look like much. We still need to 'sex up' the display but this part is one of the last things to happen. We get the functionality down first and then sex it up. Things like fonts, font sizes, backgrounds and colors are all added at the end.
The Main Menu Options
This area will be very similar to the Amazon Fire TV home screen with dynamically created content added to the home screen for quick access to the things that you use the most. There will also be a place for your own added favorites and suggested content based on what you use. For example if you've been watching Breaking Bad the chances are you will love Power and so Power would be offered to you automatically in the Suggested TV Shows row in the home screen.
This area has been the biggest challenge of the software but it has been done. The goal was 2 fold. Move away from using the content in the media player and deliver a better layout of the content. We have taken things a step further by creating a remote login that is controlled by the supplier. This means you no longer need to enter your user details in to the app, you're account will be activated remotely and your device will have access.
Nothing too special has happened in this section besides the available apps will be sectioned in to their genres. The amount of downloadable apps is now unlimited.
This section offers unlimited builds rather than just 10. We are working with a second project that will port builds over in to appy so that we can amass a huge amount of builds for you to try out and will no longer have to spend time producing them for you. Each build will have it's own category similar to the apps section so that you can find what you want faster.
Way more games and more emulators. A 2GB device will be the minimum requirement here and buying a Bluetooth gaming pad will be very important. We are currently working on the content for this section. We have a huge amount of games that need indexing, uploading and images but we can do this bit by bit and add content as we go.
Just like the Amazon Fire products. You can access the settings when you have no connection. The settings will not transfer you to the standard Android settings. We have designed our own settings menu where you can adjust everything and stay within the app.
When will this be available?
We still have a lot left to do before we release the first BETA version of our custom android launcher but we are so close that we expect this to be available in 3 to 4 weeks providing everything goes to plan. There will be a few bugs to iron out but we still feel confident that we will hit our end of summer prediction for the release of Appy v5.
As we get closer to the first beta we will release further statements.
Thanks for being a part of our success.