Samsung launched a Silicon Valley-based “innovation center” back in 2013, and now the first fruit of that initiative is here in the form of Terrain, a homescreen replacement app.
Developed by startup Terrain Home, Terrain has three main features, accessible through three icons displayed on the homescreen or through swipes from the left, right, and the bottom.
The first key feature, and probably the most compelling, is a sidebar that displays information that is relevant to the user, drawn from a variety of sources. There are over 60 cards available at launch, from the basic like weather, clock, and appointments, to cards that plug-in to other apps, such as a Spotify controller. Accessible with a swipe from the left, the Sidebar also brings social updates from Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks, as well as content from NYT, technology sites, and other media outlets. You can customize the order and content of each card, and tapping one lets you drill down in the content. You can also add cards for stuff like Bluetooth-connected devices and other tools.
With a swipe from the bottom, you enter the search tool, which promises fast access to all your phone content. And, finally, swiping from the right opens a list with all your installed apps, listed alphabetically.
Terrain isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but the app looks very polished and having developers and some big media publishers on board from the get go could help it get off the ground.
Terrain is now available for free in the Play Store
(apparently US only) for devices running Android 4.2 and higher.