Today we announce the winding down of EverythingMe. We will stop supporting the launcher within the next few days. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Three years ago we took on a great mission – making smartphones smarter. The vehicle was a launcher and the method was contextuality, learning the user’s habits and surfacing the right thing at the right context, keeping Android phones strong and simple while significantly improving its user experience.
The launcher was a great success. 15 million people from around the world installed and used EverythingMe in the past two years – smartphones were actually smarter and we had the pleasure of seeing our vision come to life and get your love. Some of our core features started appearing in other launchers and operating systems that started offering strong in-phone search and automagically organized smart folders™ as part of its built-in offering.
A great product is sometimes not enough
EverythingMe’s revenue model assumptions were based on contextual discovery – you get app and content recommendations that are relevant for you at the right time and place. The #’s we’ve shown were breaking all industry benchmarks, but growing in emerging markets meant we couldn’t convert this value-added discovery to significant income for the company to keep pursuing its vision and build its product.
About a month ago we added a new feature – screen lock widget and gesture. This cool feature was accepted with mixed feelings – on the one hand, many users instantly embraced it and started using it daily but on the other hand its’ related phone admin privileges generated a storm of complaints.
— Update 2015-09-19: new feature in main preferences menu – toggle for screen off!
But before we go deeper, here is how you can revoke admin privileges from EverythingMe and any other app for that matter:
Go to your devices’ settings
Tap on Security >> Device administrators
Tap on Lock screen and security >> other security settings >> Device administrators
Uncheck EverythingMe, and tap Deactivate
* note that you only need to do that if you gave permissions earlier, as demonstrated below.
Now for some questions:
Why did we need that permission in the first place?
Locking your screen for you with a gesture or a widget requires a special kind of permission – EverythingMe Launcher needs to be an administrator of your phone.
And for the uber-geeks out there: the launcher uses android.permission.USES_POLICY_FORCE_LOCK to actually turn off/lock the screen but it needs to be a Device Administrator to do so – this is why we need android.permission.BIND_DEVICE_ADMIN. You can always read more about it here.
Why are we teaching you how to deactivate our own product?
Simple question – simple answer: we love our users. Our goal is to delight our users by making their phones smart and simple to use.
Interesting thing happened, while some users were super excited about this feature we started getting hell and bad reviews in the store. And this is something we are not used to… we were suspected by users to be a malware or a bug and can’t blame them. The Google way of managing admin permissions is a tough cookie, even for our smart users.
The easiest solution would be to kill the feature but we are not willing to give that up just yet. Our community asked for that feature and if Google’s way is hard we feel obligated to make life easier.
We are currently working on a new menu item that will let our users control admin rights in an easy, intuitive way.
Every few months we have a hackathon, we call it a hackAthing. Throughout the years many projects that started out as hackAthing ideas were released to the public, but as we are indeed tech geeks, most of those projects are industry (other geeks) facing.
This time it’s a little different.
Mole is a new app that lets you change your friends’ wallpapers from right under their noses, and as we learned recently – a source for many giggles and endless wars.
It all started with Avi, our VP Product who wanted to create a cool, funny app for his kids during the hackAthing. Project MolePaper (original name) turned out to be the super funny (and annoying if you’re a control freak) app that has been distracting us in company meetings and lunch ever since.
We could say that this is the first ever and only social personalization app, we could claim that this app will change your life completely and teach you so much about who you really are but we prefer saying things as they are: this app is super fun and addictive and we did it for the kids.
Lucky Wallpaper is a cool widget that lets you change your wallpaper randomly with one tap. Here is how it works:
As app developers we have the privilege of releasing features we think are cool. Every now and then one of those features hits a nerve and users respond with some extreme tapping. Lucky Wallpaper was a cool test we made that turned in to a feature the average user taps it 5 times a day.
Pro tip: you can also subscribe to the Daily Wallpaper using your preferences menu.
Isn’t it weird how every time you look for an app, you have to swipe through a list of all your apps?
What about apps getting rearranged each time you install a new one?
And having to open a contacts app and only then search for a contact?
Yeah, well, scratch all that.
We built EverythingMe’s search with three words in mind: fast, smart, efficient.
Fast – one or two letters is enough.
Much like Chrome’s omnibox, our search starts working the second you start typing. No need to finish what you were typ
Smart – contacts, apps, web results. All in one search!
Whether you wanna see what’s new on Facebook or ask Frank what’s up, just type “F” and you’re there.
Efficient – instead of alphabetical order, results are sorted by your personal usage.
If every time you time “C” you’re looking for Clash of Clans, there’s no real need to show you Calculator, Camera and Chrome first, right?
Search is the fastest way to move around with EverythingMe, whatever it is you need, just type a letter and you got it.
At EverythingMe We’ve been using Google Play Store Listing Experiments for the past 6 months. It had a dramatic and immediate effect on our numbers. It doubled our Google Play page conversion and had direct impact on our daily organic growth. We tried to compress 6 months and tens of experiments in multiple locales into 5 tips we thought you might find useful.
For Android developers, Google Play is the largest (and in most cases the only) source of organic installs. A tool that can double your page conversion is pivotal and if “Set my first Google Play Store Listing experiment” isn’t your current #1 priority, it should be!
Tip #1: Changing your app icon can have an incredible impact
A lot of developers get “attached” to their app icon and if you’re a brand there are also wider branding consideration. We put all these consideration aside and tested. The results amazed us.
“A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.”
– L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
My adventure with EverythingMe started two years ago. I came here as a recruiter, with a shared belief in the founders’ philosophy of building a fantastic core of engineering. That was the first milestone on our way as a team on the yellow brick road.
Four years with EverythingMe are coming to a close today.
From the night I rolled out of bed with a seed of an idea that I couldn’t wait to tell Rami about, which became Doit9, DoAT and finally EverythingMe, until the long night a few weeks ago when I took the final decision to move on, it was one hell of an amazing roller coaster ride.
I’m proud to have given it everything. And then some more.
Hard not to get sentimental about the great times and the journey I’ve had, so I want this goodbye post to be about Thank You’s.
The list starts with the obvious thank you’s to my co-founders Rami & Joey. Thank you to the investors, partners, the board, the management, and the entire EverythingMe team. From the small group that created our first search engine, through our transition to mobile, and all the way to becoming the pioneers and leaders of Contextual mobile, and with a special thanks to Nina for taking care of my crazy and ever-changing global adventures.
“The ball is an essential part of the game.” – Johan Cruyff “The game is an essential part of life.” – Me
It was the 26th of May, 1999. The venue was Barcelona, Spain and the occasion was the UEFA Champion’s League Final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
Munich took an early lead after 6 minutes and the game was destined to live up to the cliché that football is played over 90 minutes, after which the Germans would win 1-0.
90 minutes of football passed and the game entered extra time. People were already leaving the stadium. Within the space of 4 minutes of extra time, in the most dramatic turn of events, Man United scored two remarkable goals and were ultimately crowned the champions of Europe.