Another day, another Android home replacement. Well, that’s not entirely true when speaking ofHipLogic’s new Android “Super App,” Spark (Beta) – you can use it as just any other application or a full-fledged home replacement if you so choose.
Spark is aimed for two kinds of people: Those who are social networking fanatics and those Android users who don’t care about customization as much as they care for a simple experience. In that aspect, Spark excels.
On first launch, Spark will ask you to set up your Twitter and Facebook accounts and that’s all there is to it. You then will be presented with the screen above, which will stream live news and social networking feeds. Spark also offers up the weather for you on top of the screen and three icons to your most favorite applications that you can customize in the settings.
As far as customization goes, there’s not much of it. That’s why we were very happy to see that HipLogic gives you the option to use Spark as an application instead of a home replacement, but you can make it the default home if you’d like. I wasn’t terribly impressed until I found out you can use this as an application, as I like to customize my phone with widgets and utilize the multiple home screens, which you cannot do with Spark. Then again, this wasn’t made for the super phone geeks like myself, so we’re glad to see someone is paying attention to the everyday folk.
HipLogic has been making their Super App for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones for sometime now under a different name, HipLogic Live, which can bring quite a welcome overhaul to both platforms. HipLogic Live brings a widget system and an application store to phones which either had none of these option, or where the selection was very minimal. HipLogic Live is a feature phone’s dream come true.
Some of the hardcore Android users may ask why would you need this when you can replicate all of the Spark beta’s functionality with widgets and other home replacements and I wouldn’t have a good answer for you. But your everyday Android user who doesn’t need 5 different home screens may be completely relieved at Sparks simplicity and won’t care about the stripped functionality since they likely wouldn’t be utilizing it anyway.
The future of Spark looks bright, as they plan to bring geo-location services on board, notifying users of weather advisories and Amber Alerts. If you’re a sports fan, you can also have Spark notify you the scores of the game you missed without lifting a finger.
The Spark beta is available in the Android Market today for phones using version 1.6 and up. It’s free, so check it out!