October 16, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
I don’t “get” FlyScreen. The app features widgets that appear on a lock screen replacement, and that is the cause of my confusion. It’s nice and all, but I could easily get all this information from an RSS reader, a Twitter client, or widgets on my homescreen. Why do I need FlyScreen?
FlyScreen seems to be the hot ticket item that Android users gravitate to at the moment. It grabs feeds from top websites, posts and displays Tweets, and offers news alerts by pressing the Menu button once (as opposed to the two times you currently press to bring up the homescreen). I can understand the app’s popularity in some sense because it’s fast. Really fast. FlyScreen briskly displays calendars, news feeds, and weather widgets that don’t lag or stutter. The calendar widget isn’t much to write home about, but the website post widgets are better than their homescreen counterparts.
Pressing the Menu or Power button brings up information pulled by FlyScreen, which users can set-up to update frequently during custom peak hours and less often during off-peak hours to preserve battery life. All of this comes in a slick package that can be themed and customized. Aside from Facebook and Twitter support, there are previews for stories from top blogs and news organizations like BBC, CNN, Gizmodo, Mashable, and Yahoo!
“Clicking is for suckers,” according to FlyScreen promo videos, but the difference in click shortcuts is miniscule. The slight increase in speed will cost you some of the features you enjoy in other apps. I’d rank most of the Twitter apps over FlyScreen’s Twitter widget, and the format of having site-dedicated widgets rather than a true RSS reader that combines them all in one place is disappointing.
FlyScreen looks great, performs well, and loads quickly. It’s got everything you would want in an Android application except that “gotta have it” allure. As Lemon from SweeterSkins said, “FlyScreen is very cool. I just don’t know if it’s very necessary?” I say that FlyScreen is rather unnecessary, but it’s a decent enough luxury to take on.