The Android launcher has always been ground zero for device customization, and most launchers make at least some concession to user options. But TSF Shell, which we've covered before, surely takes the cake for sheer flexibility. The latest update, to Beta version 1.6.0, adds a dazzling amount of new features. Granted, most of these are eye candy - something that TSF never lacked in the first place - but a few of them are genuinely useful.
There seems to be quite a lot of movement happening behind the scenes at the Play Store - yesterday we discovered that Google Play Store gift cards and wishlist are getting prepped for launch, and today Google seems to have enabled those smart app updates that we've been salivating about since Google I/O.
Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes).
Well, this one sure is going to bend your brain a bit. Avoider is a puzzle game with a very basic premise. You have to move two colored squares to opposite corners of the screen without hitting any obstacles. The catch? They're movement is locked together, and you only control the blue one. When you move your box, the red one moves in perfectly-synced symmetrical motion. Yeah, it gets convoluted. Though, reading this site, I'm sure you're used to that.
So Adobe's Flash for Android has gone the way of the dodo, and it can no longer be downloaded from Google Play. Many users have already made sure to keep a backup of the APK handy for the odd occasion when a video is still only available in Flash form (I'm looking at you, Zero Punctuation). But what id you lose your device, or accidentally wipe your SD card, or forget how Dropbox works?
Are you the kind of obsessive-compulsive shutterbug that has to know exactly where and when you found the perfect pair of hipster glasses? Then Instagram's update is aimed right at you... for better or worse. The biggest update to version 3 of the Android app is the Photo Maps feature, which places all your photos on a selectable Google Maps overlay, assuming that you tagged their location when you took them.
It's no secret that most of us hate cables. We want wireless sync and charging. Wi-Fi. Bluetooth. NFC. The list goes on and on. Why then, would we settle for earbuds that remain physically tethered to our device? We wouldn't. Unfortunately, Bluetooth earbuds aren't nearly as commonplace as their wired counterparts, and they oftentimes costs thrice as much (or more). Still, if you just can't stand the thought of using a wired set of 'buds, it's really your best (and only) option.
We saw a video yesterday of a Samsung Galaxy S III running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with a revamped notification bar and access to Google Now. Fast forward 24 hours, and you can now get hold of that firmware yourself to try it out on your very own Galaxy S III.
It's not quite live yet, but Google would like you to know that Google Maps 6.10 is on its way to handsets by the end of the day. "What's new for me, the public transit user?" I hear you ask. Quite a bit, in fact! First off, Google has announced that it now has data on more than one million transit stops worldwide, spread throughout almost 500 cities. In an effort to make that information more usable, the Transit Lines map layer can now me narrowed down to a single method of transportation.
At the beginning of the month, the Dolphin team released a new version of their popular browser to the Play Store. It featured the normal UI and performance enhancements, but apparently that just wasn't good enough for the Dolphin crew. Today, they have released a public beta of Dolphin Browser that brings some pretty impressive numbers where HTML5 rendering speed is concerned:
When Google announced that it would support all major credit and debit cards, it was big news. What may have slipped under the radar, however, is that Mountain View also sent an open invitation to card issuers to sign up for tighter integration into the service. Today, Google is announcing that you can add your Discover card to Google Wallet directly from your account on Discover's website. You even get fancy card graphics now, too!