Need a new RSS reader? Do you just want one that conforms to Material Design guidelines? Palabre might be for you. This simple, new app is fairly straightforward. You have a pretty interface with a little customizability and Feedly integration so that you don't have to rebuild your RSS lists.
Overall, things look good enough that I'm going to forgive that mustard yellow hamburger menu. That shade looks nice and unique as an accent color throughout the rest of the interface, but it's a little too big of a dose there. Read More
December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses. This version is mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but there are a few features added in test builds that will feel new to users that are just now receiving the update.
Changelog: (from the Android Studio 1.1 Beta post)
- Support for version 1.1 of the Android Gradle plugin (now available as a release candidate)
- Improved support for unit testing.
Owners of several Android Wear watches (Sony Smartwatch 3, LG G Watch, and Moto 360 so far) have reported seeing an update hit their devices to bring it up to Android 5.0.2. The corresponding build number is LWX49K for the G Watch and Smartwatch 3, LWX49L for the Moto 360.
But before you get excited about a host of new features rolling up to your favorite wearable, this one seems to be all about the bug fixes and stability improvements. Motorola posted the 360's release notes and they include updated Google Play Services and a "variety of system optimizations and security updates to improve performance and stability." It seems that a few users are already noticing small speed improvements on their watches and some bugs being ironed out — for example, if your watch's apps used to fail to launch sometimes, this appears to be fixed now. Read More
At some point or another, most Android developers will eventually open up the profiling tools to track down bugs and performance issues in a misbehaving application. Let's be honest, the tools included with the Android SDK do leave something to be desired. Facebook has just released one of its internally-developed tools which provides network inspection, database inspection and interaction, and a support for access to the dumpapp output with the use of customizable plugins. The most interesting feature about Stetho is that it runs entirely through the Chrome Developer Tools – the same interface used by web developers everywhere.
Keep in mind, Stetho is not a total debugger replacement. Read More
Microsoft OneDrive, in its first beta release, is showing off a totally revamped Material interface. It seems there are no feature additions from the latest stable version, so we're talking strictly cosmetic changes. But when comparing old to new, is that really such a bad thing?
This side-by-side might be the best argument for floating action buttons I have ever seen. The old version's controls on the bottom just seemed a very inefficient use of space and, overall, were just plain ugly. Here's another look at the update:
It doesn't take a very close look to see this is a big improvement. Read More
Just last week, Google announced plans to remove SPDY support from its open source Chromium project early next year, and it would be replaced by the not-yet-official HTTP/2 protocol. Today, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the managing component of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), announced that the HTTP/2 and HPACK specs have been formally approved and are on the way to becoming official standards.
For those who may not already know, HTTP/2 (spec) is a network protocol generally used by web browsers for transferring the HTML, images, and other resources that make up web pages – but it is frequently used by countless other types of apps for communication, as well. Read More
Google has launched a dedicated AdWords app into the Play Store, but it's not yet open to everyone. The company is kicking things off in Canada for the time being, where the app will remain exclusively available until further notice.
AdWords for Android allows users to view campaign stats, receive alerts, update bids, and manage budgets. Users can also place a call to a Google support person. The app serves as a companion to the desktop experience, but it comes with enough to keep a handle on things. Read More
There have been a number of rumors regarding Samsung's intention to build its own mobile payment platform to compete with Apple and Google, and maybe now we know how. The Korean company just bought mobile payment start up LoopPay for an undisclosed sum. Using LoopPay is a little like NFC, but it works on 90% of payment kiosks using standard magnetic stripe readers.