Our friends at Celltick gave us a heads up about their new application START, which is available at Google Play as of today, and it is based on their previous application of the same genre, Active Lockscreen that we reviewed some days ago.
Active Lockscreen was a customization tool for your smartphone that allowed you to make application shortcuts in your lockscreen, among other things, thus avoiding having to unlock your phone in order to be able to access them.
START is similar to Active Lockscreen as you can choose a number of different applications to create shortcuts directly in your lockscreen. The settings are, all in all similar to those of Active Lockscreen.
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Well this time around big data techniques are used as well as machine learning libraris that help profile the user based on several key instances like device type, content usage, theme selection and so forth.
What good is this for you, you might ask, well Celltick uses all information gathered with filtering mechanisms that help you get rid of almost all initial configuration that you had to do in Active Lockscreen to choose your homescreen and thus optimize the use of your device.
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As I had a chance to take START for a test driver I have to say I noticed great improvements over their latter installment. While one of my only concerns of Active Lockscreen was major batter consumption, that issue appears to have disappeared with START as I have been using it on my TF300T and battery consumption stayed pretty much the same with START enabled or not.
The main application interface has improved as well as you can see by the screenshots. Plugins no longer crowd your background, instead they are placed on the borders of the screen, much like the unlock and silence sliders were on Active Lockscreen.
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All in all START is an improvement over Active Lockscreen, being one major key point that you can actually install START on an Android Tablet, which you couldn’t do with Celltick’s previous version. That being said, START has a much larger user market than its predecessor, and since Active Lockscreen had over 1,000,000 downloads and over 27,000 people rating it at 4.5 stars I can definitely see these numbers increasing for START.
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They are similar to what we have seen before just better looking, cleaner and better organized.
While previously you were presented with a dark screen and a mush of several settings to choose from, now everything is lighter and much more pleasant to the eye.
Where before you had Shortcuts, Plugins, Themes, Background, Advanced Settings and Widgets all in the same group visually, now you have the same options but organized by function: Appearance, Functionality and About.
Here we can do what was already possible in Active Lockscreen, we can set a theme of our choosing, select a personal background directly from our photos/images and customize our widgets. You can still choose the themes from Google Play as you did before.
Here we can choose our plugins, customize our shortcuts or checkout the advanced settings where we can enable/disable several features of START like the hints, key feedback, updates while roaming, etc.
Regarding customization of your shortcuts, everything is pretty much identical to Active Lockscreen functionality wise. You can set shortcuts to Contacts, Messaging Apps, Camera and My Apps. All except Contacts allow to set up to 8 shortcuts, Contacts only allows up to 4 speed dial contacts.
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The first time you turn on START you will notice some shortcuts are already set based upon your recent apps.
When it comes to plugins you will also have some of them already active, in my case Facebook, Yahoo Weather, Search and Personal Gallery.
This time you have preinstalled plugins besides the 4 I mentioned, Twitter and Flicker are already available also. Of course if you want more plugins just hit the load more button and you will be taken directly to Google Play and will be able to browse through the plugins already available for START.
Before it was even released START already had 50 plus plugins available at Google Play so it is only fair to expect great things from Celltick.
And finally you have the option to rate the application for everyone to know how you’re liking it or not. Share it with your friends, suggest new features or even report bugs if you manage to find them.
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You also have an About Start button that not only shows you the version and release data of the START application you are currently using but also enables you to temporarily turn it off if you need it for some reason.
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As much as I liked Active Lockscreen I seem to like START more. It is cleaner, settings and features are explained much more clearly to the first time user. The user interface is much easier on the eyes and the design has taken a turn for the better this time around.
The issue with battery consumption we noticed in Active Lockscreen is gone and START will definitely help much more Android users than Active Lockscreen if it indeed is available for tablets as well.
The only thing left to do is congratulate Celltick for being able to take what was already great and somehow make it better for every Android user all around the globe.
Review by: Sofia @ AndroidEmotions