Yandex Launcher

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Yandex Launcher
Yandex launcher.png
Developer(s)Yandex
Initial releaseOctober 6, 2015
Stable release
1.7.2[1] / February 10, 2017
Operating systemAndroid 4.1+[2]
Available inMultiple languages
TypeOperating system shell
LicenseFreeware[3]
Websiteyandexlauncher.com

Yandex Launcher (Russian: Я́ндекс.Ло́нчер) is a free GUI for organizing the workspace on Android smartphones.[4][5]

Functionality[edit]

According to The Next Web, one of the main distinguishing features of Yandex Launcher is the built-in recommendation service.[6] Machine learning technology provides the basis of the recommendation service,[7] with which Launcher selects apps, games, videos and other forms of content that might interest the user.[8][9] The key elements of Launcher are the content feed of personal recommendations by Yandex Zen, as well as a system of recommended apps; both elements are built into Launcher and analyze the user’s favorite websites and other aspects of their behavior with the aim of creating a unique model of the user’s preferences.[10][11][12]

Other features of Launcher are: themes for the interface,[6] wallpaper collections,[13] fast search of contacts, apps and sites,[13][4][14] search by app icon color,[4][15] "smart" folders and widgets,[13] built-in notifications on icons, screen manager, a visual editor grid for icons, etc.

History[edit]

In 2009, SPB Software published the SPB Mobile Shell application. The application won several accolades.[16]

In 2011, SPB Software was purchased by Yandex.[17] Through this, Yandex acquired the rights to the company’s products, including SPB Shell 3D (a paid application).[18]

After the purchase by Yandex, the shell has become "Yandex.Shell".[19] The company’s services were built into it, and it was distributed for free for users from Russia and other countries.[20]

In 2014, Yandex released a modified Android firmware, which was given the name Yandex.Kit.[21][22] The firmware was tightly integrated with Yandex services.[22] One of the standard apps supplied with the firmware was the launcher that was based on Yandex.Shell.[22] Yandex.Kit was preinstalled, in particular, on Huawei smartphones.[22]

On October 6, 2015, the Yandex Launcher GUI was released.[6][23] Despite the fact that the developers of Yandex.Shell and Yandex.Kit[24] took part in the creation of Launcher, these projects have little in common. Unlike Launcher, Kit was focused on enterprise applications and was not distributed through Google Play.[22] Shell had a different monetization scheme and different geographical distribution.[25][26]

On October 8, 2015, Google Play accidentally blocked Yandex Launcher. A few hours later Launcher was unblocked.[27]

After its launch, the app was available only to users from Latin America,[2][4][28] later it was unlocked for users from the EU, United States, Russia and other countries.[6] On December 14, 2015, the app was made available without geographical limitations.[2][29]

In October 2016, Yandex offered the pre-installation of their apps (including Yandex Launcher) to retailers and manufacturers of Android smartphones.[30][31] Participating in this program was MTS (Russia), Multilaser (Brazil), ZTE (China), Wileyfox (United Kingdom), Posh Mobile and others.[32]

At the start of 2016, the service’s foreign audience was three times bigger than the Russian audience.[33]

Technology[edit]

To generate personal recommendations, Yandex Launcher uses artificial intelligence technology.[24][34] The system analyzes which of the recommended apps the user has installed or ignored. Based on this information, the system predicts what apps users might be interested in at a later time.[7] The more a user interacts with Launcher, the more accurate the recommendations become.[35] Recommendations also depend on the user’s place of residence, their interests and other factors.[35][36]

Launcher is one of the “Discovery” products of Yandex.[37][38] Yandex Zen, which is part of Launcher, belongs to the same product category.[39]

Several design elements of Launcher are generated algorithmically. In particular, the color of app information cards are selected automatically based on the color scale of app icons.[40][41]

The user can select one of the three search engines to use within the Launcher (Yandex, Google or Bing).[42]

Monetization[edit]

Monetization of Launcher is due to the built-in recommendation services. Native advertising is displayed inside the Yandex Zen content feed. Most recommendations in the app recommendation service are selected without taking into account the commercial component, but if a user installs one of the commercial recommendations, then the corresponding ad network pays a commissions to Yandex.[6][25]

According to data from Q2 2016, the experimental business activities of Yandex (which includes Yandex Launcher and Yandex Zen built into it, along with a number of other company products) brought in 153 million rubles in revenue.[43][44]

Management[edit]

The head of the service is Fyodor Yezhov.[45][46][47] Prior to this, Yezhov worked at SPB Software and SPB TV.[33][48]

Earlier, the project was headed by Dmitry Polishchuk.[33][49]

Criticism[edit]

Yandex Launcher has been criticized for the lack of options for fine-tuning the app. In particular, it is not possible to hide icon names.[6][50][51] Launcher has also been criticized for the small variety of wallpapers in the online collection.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Launcher - Android Apps on Google Play". play.google.com.
  2. ^ a b c "В "Яндекс" запускают приложение Yandex Launcher для Android".
  3. ^ "Яндекс выпустил Yandex Launcher для Android".
  4. ^ a b c d "Подборка: главные приложения октября / Статьи / Вести.Hi-tech".
  5. ^ "Яндекс выпустил Лончер для Android". Компьютерра. October 7, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Degeler, Andrii (6 October 2015). "Yandex continues its push onto Android with a Launcher for low-end smartphones".
  7. ^ a b ""Яндекс" выпустил собственную оболочку для Android-смартфонов - Yandex Launcher - ITC.ua". 7 October 2015.
  8. ^ Геращенко, Екатерина; Рожков, Роман (10 July 2015). ""Яндекс"" – via Kommersant.
  9. ^ "Stocks in the Spotlight: Endeavour Silver Corp. (EXK), Baker Hughes Incorporated (BHI), Yandex N.V. (YNDX) – istreetwire".
  10. ^ "Personal recommendations Zen earned in Yandex.Browser on iPad - ActualApple.com". actualapple.com.
  11. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Yandex woos smartphone makers with AI, browser and launcher partnership programs - TechCrunch".
  12. ^ "Как включить Яндекс Дзен на компьютере в браузере". sdelaicomp.ru.
  13. ^ a b c d "Выбираем оболочку для android-устройств: Google Start и Yandex Launcher".
  14. ^ "Яндекс выпустил фирменный "лончер" для Android-смартфонов".
  15. ^ "Yandex Launcher é aposta russa para lançador de apps no Android; conheça".
  16. ^ http://www.spb.com/pocketpc-software/mobileshell/reviews.html
  17. ^ https://yandex.ru/company/press_releases/2011/1128/index.xml
  18. ^ ""Яндекс" выпустил бесплатную версию оболочки Shell".
  19. ^ Smith, Chris (20 February 2014). "How one company is trying to push Google out of Android".
  20. ^ "Приложения в Google Play – Яндекс.Shell". play.google.com.
  21. ^ ""Яндекс" выпустил собственную Android-прошивку". 19 February 2014.
  22. ^ a b c d e ""Яндекс" выпустил прошивку для Android смартфонов "Yandex.Kit"".
  23. ^ "Новый лаунчер от компании Яндекс — android.mobile-review.com". android.mobile-review.com.
  24. ^ a b ""Яндекс" выпустил оболочку для Android-смартфонов "Яндекс.Лончер" с новой системой монетизации". 14 December 2015.
  25. ^ a b ""Яндекс" выпустил оболочку для Android - IKSMEDIA.RU". IKSMEDIA.RU - деловой портал для бизнеса в телекоме, ИТ, медиа.
  26. ^ ""Яндекс" выпустил оболочку для Android".
  27. ^ "Google Play ошибочно заблокировал латиноамериканский Yandex Launcher → Roem.ru". 11 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Yandex chega ao Brasil com launcher - Notícias - Baguete". www.baguete.com.br.
  29. ^ "Яндекс представил собственную оболочку для Android". Российская газета.
  30. ^ Ведомости (12 October 2016). ""Яндекс" предлагает операторам и производителям смартфонов заработать на рекламе".
  31. ^ "Business geek. Продвижение "Яндекса", дроны для WeChat и кроссовки за 104 тысячи долларов".
  32. ^ ""Яндекс" предложил партнерство производителям смартфонов на ОС Android".
  33. ^ a b c ""Яндекс" признал удачным эксперимент с Yandex Launcher и назначил руководителя сервиса". 12 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Launcher от Yandex доступен для Android-смартфонов в России". droider.ru.
  35. ^ a b "Попытка номер три: Yandex Launcher".
  36. ^ "Компания Яндекс — Новости сервисов — Яндекс запускает лончер для смартфонов на Android".
  37. ^ "Yandex Discovery Business Solutions for OEMs, telcos, software developers and integrators". yandex.com.
  38. ^ ""Яндекс.Такси" за год утроил выручку до 984 миллионов рублей". 22 March 2016.
  39. ^ "New discoveries every day". Zen.
  40. ^ ""Экзоскелет для дизайнера": что нового принесет в индустрию алгоритмический дизайн — Колонка Юрия Ветрова". 20 June 2016.
  41. ^ "Автоматическое определение цвета — опыт команды "Яндекса"". 20 May 2016.
  42. ^ Ведомости (6 October 2015). ""Яндекс" сделал приложение Латинской Америке".
  43. ^ ""Яндекс" нарастил чистую прибыль почти на 400%".
  44. ^ "«Яндекс» смотрит на 2016 год с оптимизмом". 28 July 2016 – via Kommersant.
  45. ^ "Назначен руководитель Yandex Launcher - Android в России". googlephones.ru.
  46. ^ Рожков, Роман (2 December 2016). "Вчера". p. 7 – via Kommersant.
  47. ^ "Сотрудники "Яндекса" бесплатно проконсультируют дизайн-проекты". 5 April 2016.
  48. ^ "Презентации докладчиков - Санкт-Петербург, Grand-2015 – Международный Гранд Форум «Бизнес и ИТ. Вокруг ЦОД. Вокруг Облака. Вокруг IP» (8 апреля)". sankt-peterburg-grand-forum-2015.ciseventsgroup.com.
  49. ^ ""Яндекс" тестирует новый Yandex Launcher на новых рынках и с новой схемой монетизации → Roem.ru". 6 October 2015.
  50. ^ "Попытка номер три: Yandex Launcher - Версия для печати - PVSM.RU". www.pvsm.ru.
  51. ^ ""Яндекс" выпустила лончер для бюджетных Android-смартфонов / Статьи / Вести.Hi-tech".