Spotlight on Startups - Claystone LabsAt Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present a new series on Sprout Insights: Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on Claystone Labs, makers of the innovative “Claystone Launcher” app for Android smartphones. Read on to find out what that is and how it might benefit you and your business.

What Is the Claystone Launcher?

What Is the Claystone Launcher

If you haven’t heard of the app term “launcher,” you’re not alone. “Launcher is kind of the engineering term for what Claystone is,” explains Claystone Labs CEO, Christian Lassonde. Mr. Lassonde and his team prefer the more descriptive term “home-screen replacement” when they explain what their flagship app is and what it’s used for.

When you install the Claystone app for Android, the default home screen and standard functionality of the Android operating system is replaced by a richer, three-dimensional interface. “Claystone adds a third dimension to the user-interface experience,” says Lassonde. Claystone allows you to see everything that’s on your smartphone, including all your apps — and previews of all the online content that’s available through those apps.

Claystone has been downloaded over 300,000 times since its official launch in October, 2011. The standard app is free; there’s also a paid premium version that has more preferences and customization options. The app is available in 7 different languages (including Bulgarian!) and it can be downloaded from Google Play, Amazon, and from the Claystone Labs website.

What Needs Does it Address?

What Needs Does It Address

The smartphone experience is built upon the concepts of utility and intuitive always-on connection to tools, apps, and resources and the web. The Android smartphone home screen and its two-dimensional array of apps and data is “okay,” says Mr. Lassonde, adding, “but it’s also very static.”

According to Lassonde, adding a third dimension to your smartphone’s desktop allows you to, “see deeper into your content more easily, giving you a more efficient discovery mechanism for things like movies, news feeds, and pictures.”

When you launch an app on the standard Android smartphone, you actually exit the home screen of your phone. If you want to launch another app, you typically have to revisit your home screen, find the additional app by scrolling through your pages, and then open the app. Claystone’s navigation keeps you within your home screen and you can use its integrated viewers to access photos, videos, websites and more. Claystone claims that with its enhanced interface, “you’ll spend less time switching apps and more time enjoying your content.”

How You Can Leverage Claystone

How to Leverage Claystone

In the attention-taxed world in which we live, providing more efficient access to data is a good thing. Not only can this style of navigation free up more browsing time, Claystone’s integration with third-party partners like Amazon means you can engage in e-commerce without ever leaving the home screen of your phone.

“Boredom is one of the key drivers of video-on-demand,” says Lassonde. “When you’re sitting around waiting for a flight, or even a coffee, if you can access content [like videos] more easily, you’re probably going to access more of it,” he says. If you’re a content provider, encouraging the use or facilitating the downloading of an app like Claystone may result in greater access and use of your data.

Claystone is also partnering with additional content providers and e-commerce websites to offer even more value to its membership base. “Looking forward, we see ourselves as a facilitator for online, on-demand purchases”, says Mr. Lassonde. “We want to add value for the people who use our app and also the businesses we partner with,” he adds.

Smartphone adoption is increasing all over the world. As a result, the demand for innovative apps to make our lives easier and more productive is also on the rise. Whether you’re a smartphone novice, or an advanced advocate, Claystone may provide some efficiencies to make your smartphone experience that much more productive — and fun!

What do you think? Could you benefit from an app launcher or are you happy with your smartphone’s interface the way it is? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: Vic Bergmann, Claystone Labs]