If you’re like most smartphone users, organizing your apps is a little bit of art and science — picking those which you’re most likely to use and putting them on your home screen, while bundling the others into easily navigated folders or pages. Even if you manage that, the apps you most commonly use don’t know a whole lot about you — except, that is, what you do while you’re in that app.
A new Android home screen app called Bento aims to provide a more personalized way of interacting with their phones. By putting the services that they use most frequently front and center, as well as exchanging information between them, the app maker believes it can surface more relevant information and also save users time.
Bento replaces the typical Android home screen with a series of omnipresent “cards” that give instant access to the apps and content that users are most interested in, while organizing other apps you have installed into smart groups on the phone.
The home screen makes it easier for users to find info and save time on taking care of some of the more mundane tasks they need to take care of. Once installed, users provide some personal information like your work and home address, and it’s able to offer up restaurant suggestions on Yelp or allow you to instantly book an Uber to one of those locations.
It also provides more personalized experiences between apps by learning your preferences and transferring that information between apps. As you play music or videos, it keeps track of your content preferences and makes suggestions. For instance, if you listen to O.T. Genasis’ Coco on Spotify, Bento will offer up lyrics of the song, and possibly even suggest you watch the video on YouTube.
Bento is entering into a private beta period to get users on board and learn more about how they use its personalized home screen. It’s also looking to get more API partners on board to provide personalized experience across a wider range of apps. Today the apps it supports include Yelp, Uber, SeatGeek, SoundCloud, YouTube and Reddit.
The company was founded by Nikhil Chandhok and Kunal Punera, who had previously worked at YouTube and RelateIQ, respectively. They had raised $2 million in seed funding from investors that include First Round Capital, Social+Capital, Google Ventures, Susa Ventures, Michael Stoppelman, Rushabh Doshi, Shishir Mehrotra and Wesley Chan.