Emblaze's long-canceled First Else may never come back in its original form, but to our surprise, its futuristic Splay interface has finally been ported to Android! Released as a free beta by the same company, this fan-shaped launcher offers a similar single-hand experience that the ALP device once promised to deliver.
The UI's main menu has four categories: Phone (call log, contacts and profiles), Diary (email, calendar and messaging), Media (music, video, photos, camera and file manager) and Apps (with seven customizable shortcuts). Upon laying your right thumb onto any of these, a sub-menu expands and you can go one level deeper by dragging your thumb to the left of your desired sub-category, and then let go to toggle the item. Similarly, dragging to the right takes you back to the previous menu, or you can drag to a blank area and let go to jump back to the main menu. All of this is accompanied by slick graphics like before, thanks to the good work by Israeli design house Sugapusher back in the day.
The only downside of this release is that some of the features need serious refining. For instance, the Music Player sub-menu fails to filter out ringtones, and the Video Player sub-menu only managed to load the latest few clips taken with the phone's camera. We'd also like to see integration with other apps, obviously, but this simple beta will do for now. Check out our hands-on video after the break, and head over to Google Play to grab the free Splay launcher.