Yahoo's Aviate gets smart when headphones are in

Plug a set of headphones into an Android phone, and pertinent musical information automatically surfaces.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
Aviate, a startup acquired by Yahoo last month, has introduced a new feature for its Android-only app. The update, called Listening Space, is nifty: Plug your headphones into the phone, and the app surfaces contextual music information.

Once the headphones are in, music-related apps like Spotify and Pandora come front and center, and the app even turns into a discovery tool, recommending other music apps from the Google Play store.

When a song starts to play, the app finds things like recent tweets from the artist, bios, and information for nearby concerts. The app in general changes up the display of your phone's home screen based on location, time of day, and usage patterns. For example, if you read stock quotes in the morning, Yahoo Finance can show up on the screen. Aviate is still locked in private beta, but users can try it out using the promo code "music."

Aviate is emblematic of Yahoo's focus on personalization under CEO Marissa Mayer. For example, earlier on Wednesday the company announced a $10 million partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to focus on mobile products and personalization.

Mayer announced the acquisition of Aviate onstage at the Consumer Electronics Show, just one in a long spree of mobile-focused buyouts since she took the company's helm.