December's Home Screen Challenge – like our first two challenges – gave us a look at some extremely impressive home screens, pushing aesthetics and home screen tweaking to their limits. It was tough to pick just one winner, but in the end, suprafreak1000's zen-like reimagining of the Android interface won us over. Like always, we'll break down the winning home screen and explain each of its parts, so you, the reader, can design your own creation using the same elements.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
After getting a glimpse of Avast's new mobile security solution a few weeks ago, I just had to dive in and give the app a full review. Avast, the long-awaited marriage of Avast and IT Agents' Theft Aware (see our review), certainly doesn't disappoint. It has an insane number of features, all of which appear to work perfectly, and it sounds like things will only be improving with time.
And did I mention the full-featured, root-enhanced app is completely free with no paid version in sight?
The minds behind CyanogenMod have done it again, bringing nightly updates to several LG Optimus variants, and adding official CM7 support for the Epic 4G (not to be confused with Sprint's Galaxy SII variant).
Among the newly-supported LG devices are the Optimus 3D (p920), Hub (e510), Pro (c660), and Black (p970) (which is technically seeing the return of nightlies). It may be worth noting that the Optimus Hub and Pro both received RomManager support tonight, making it excessively simple to get CM goodness on the devices.
Adding to the ever-growing list of knockoff devices found overseas, Nexian (an Indonesian mobile phone manufacturer) brings us the Android Magic A893 – a device that looks awfully similar to the iPhone, but which packs Android 2.2 Froyo and rings in at IDR 1,599,000 (about $175 USD). To get a better idea of the device's eerily familiar form factor, check out this unboxing video:
And here are the device's (less than magical) specs:
- Android 2.2 Froyo
- WCDMA 2100MHz and GSM 900/1800 MHz compatibility
- 3.5" HVGA multitouch display
- VGA front shooter and 2MP rear camera
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- FM Radio
- 3.5G Connectivity
- 8GB Internal memory
To the Magic's credit, the inclusion of interchangeable back plates is a nice touch, and the fact that the device (allegedly) has a capacitive display may put this device slightly above other knockoffs you may have seen.
Just after expanding Nightly support to Samsung's Epic 4G and a slew of LG handsets, the CyanogenMod team has brought nightlies to a handful of Xperia devices, including Coconut (the Xperia Live with Walkman), Iyokan (the Xperia Pro), and Satsuma (the Xperia Active).
In a Google+ post earlier today, CyanogenMod announced that CM7 support had arrived for multiple new devices, throwing out a special hint to Xperia users.
In a continued effort to unlock bootloaders everywhere using their online tool, HTC has added several exciting entries to the "supported devices" list. Perhaps the most notable of the new entries are the Droid Incredible 2 and HTC Thunderbolt. Officially, HTC's online unlock tool is compatible with all devices launched after September 2011, but the new additions reflect an effort to add compatibility for older devices.
Hot on the heels of the Droid Razr's leaked fastboot files, two more Motorola devices can now be restored to stock configuration in case of emergency.
Motorola's Atrix 2 and Droid Bionic have both had their fastboot files leaked in recent days, providing a bit of insurance for daring users and developers alike. The Atrix 2's files are available here, while the Droid Bionic's fastboot set can be found here.
Motorola Droid RAZR owners (and developers) received a bit of good news yesterday, thanks to a leaked set of fastboot files which allow your RAZR to be restored to stock in case of a soft brick or other unforeseen issue.
Many users over at XDA and DroidRZR.com forums have already reported success in flashing the files and restoring their devices, indicating that the fastboot set is, in fact, the real deal.
According to Verizon's system update documentation, owners of big red's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 can expect a software update any time now. While it isn't the Ice Cream Sandwich users are undoubtedly craving, the update (bringing system software to I905-EL01) offers quite a few interesting features.
Among these are improvements to Samsung's Touchwiz UX, a new Social Hub widget, built-in photo editing capabilities, and The Daily – a news app that allows users to "access the best of print, web, and broadcast news from around the world."
The update also brings Bluetooth 3.0 compatibility, additional support for more Wi-Fi routers, DivX, security patches, enhancements to TouchWiz's music and video players, and built-in support for "industry standard VPN clients." There's no word yet on just when the update will be available, but we'll be here to keep you updated.
Auckland GTUG, a New Zealand-based Google Technology User Group, uploaded a video to YouTube today demonstrating the power of the Android Open Accessory platform via an impressive Christmas-themed light show.
A product of GTUG's November coding session, the light show is controlled by an Acer Iconia A500 tablet, and the controller app allows for predetermined sequencing of up to 9 channels, and even supports syncing with music. Without further ado, here's the video:
On that note, all of us here at Android Police would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday season, and a joyous new year!