[Yahoo] Aviate Launcher, and unnecessary branding

So, several months ago, I joined the closed beta for Aviate Launcher, which is a new minimalist and context sensitive homescreen launcher for Android phones. It had (and still does, mind you) a lot of promise, and I was a little bummed but understanding when yahoo Inc. snapped up the property and brought Aviate into the fold.

I’d rather Aviate had remained its own independent thing, but there are definitely perks to having a huge corporate sponsor (and I can’t say that Melissa Meyer’s new Yahoo has really done anything I would consider uncouth up to this point– long may it remain so). But lo and behold, Aviate has gone public at last, with some new improvements to boot! It didn’t actually need them (it was perfectly usable and amazing before), but hey, it actually is better for them! HUZZAH!

Except I must now address the stinky elephant in the room.


It’s now distributed on the Google Play app store as “Yahoo Aviate Launcher”.


This is a massively distasteful move by Yahoo. I get that you want to promote your new property, but by marketing it with your name attached, you are declaring to the world that you made this, and it is yours.

Well, that’s half true at least. It does belong to Yahoo. But they didn’t make it. They bought a product that was virtually finished, field ready, as it were, and then wiped off the old logo, slapped theirs on, and began patting themselves on the back for a development job well done as if it had been their idea all along. That just pisses me off.

Why not just arrange to have it as “Aviate Launcher”, and merely change the registry in the Play store to release it under Yahoo’s section of the store? They could have handled the rebrand with so much more tact and respect for the actual development team than they actually did.

Yahoo hasn’t done anything wrong, but they have done something I find irritating and disrespectful.

But then again, when you’re a developer walking away from a successful product you’ve built with a big fat wad of Yahoo cash in your bank account, you may be a little more willing to forego tact for a little bit. I wouldn’t know.

Maybe I should make a killer app and have it bought by Yahoo so that I can find out.


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