We’re thrilled to announce Bento for Android. Bento turns your phone’s homescreen into an intelligent space that knows what you need, when you need it.
Bento learns what you do on your phone and surfaces relevant apps, notifications, and content right on your phone’s homescreen. Most importantly, Bento delivers actual app experiences — via “cards” — without making you open individual apps.
We’re still far from a world where our phones are truly personal computers. My phone doesn’t remember basic information like locations that are important to me — I have to re-enter them every time I need to get a ride or find a restaurant.
With Bento, my phone knows where I work and can show me an Uber card with estimated fares in the morning. I can get an Uber right from the homescreen if I want. Similarly, Bento learns that I’ll want lunch near my midday meeting and displays a Yelp card at the right time with the best places to grab food nearby.
Personalization like this isn’t just for local services. Let’s say I discover a great band on Spotify. Wouldn’t it be great if I could see videos for the same band, right on my homescreen — without having to remember to go and search YouTube? Bento does just this.
These scenarios aren’t just restricted to apps that you have installed on your phone. You don’t have to worry about researching apps, downloading them, setting them up, and remembering to use them. Instead, Bento shows cards from apps as you need them, pre-configuring these cards with relevant information.
With Bento, we’re reimagining the mobile interface via preconfigured cards. These cards are contextually relevant but agnostic to whether a certain app is installed on the phone or whether the service even has a mobile app. It shouldn’t matter. What matters is that the right information and apps are available when you need them.
This initial version of Bento is the first step in a long journey. We’re starting with a small number of cards today and plan to add more in the near future. We envision a world where there are limitless cards, where Bento serves both as a distribution channel and an instant personalization layer.
We are building Bento for Android first because we believe it’s the best way to reach the world’s largest smartphone population. The Android community comprises hackers and makers, people who are constantly pushing the mobile experience, and we want to work with them to make this future possible.
Bento is currently in an invite-only beta, as we work hard to ramp up our servers and improve our systems. If you are up for joining us on the early part of this journey and are willing to provide feedback, you can sign up at www.bentoapp.com .
We are very grateful to our investors and advisors who have helped and encouraged us along the way. Bento is seed funded and supported by First Round Capital, Social+Capital, Google Ventures, Susa Ventures, Michael Stoppelman, Rushabh Doshi, Shishir Mehrotra and Wesley Chan.