There's not much that's new in News & Weather 2.1. This update is all about making the interface and animations consistent with other recently-Materialized apps. We've seen exactly three new things: one, the statusbar changes color to match the action bar on Lollipop, like an increasing number of Google apps. Two, the pull-to-refresh action uses the newfangled circular refresh animation instead of a horizontal bar. And three, the hamburger menu now animates into an arrow when the slide-out menu is activated.
Adobe acquired Aviary back in September, and since then, it's gotten prettier. I mean, the app is still recognizable, but it's clearly spent some time in the gym. Hey, take it as a compliment.
With Android 5.0 OTAs rolling out to people, let's address the big thing first. Aviary should seem right at home on a device running Lollipop. This is quite possibly the most integrated the app has ever looked, even if it does still need to work out a few parts a bit more.
Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.
Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design.
Today is a really good day for giant robot enthusiasts on Android. In addition to the XCOM expansion Enemy Within, which features a ton of mechanized combat, Android gamers now have access to Strike Suit Zero, an indie PC game that's all about shooting robots in space. Unfortunately, you're only getting access to this game if you have a SHIELD Tablet. Sorry, giant robot fans: you're beholden to NVIDIA for your fix at the moment.
Google Cloud Print has recently received a material redesign of its own. You would be forgiven for thinking that the printing service wasn't its own app, given how it's tucked away with your device's other settings. But when you do go to "add a printer," you are, in fact, kicked out to a different app.
It just doesn't look like it.
Cloud Print has gone Material. Everything's bright white, the sidebar slides out on top of the action bar, and the new color palette matches the settings menu in Android 5.0.
The CyanogenMod team rolled out a new Snapshot build of the custom ROM the other day, but it's still based on KitKat. What gives? Lollipop has been available for like a week now. C'mon! Relax, it's being worked on, and nightlies could arrive sooner than you might expect.
The truth is out there... and you can shoot it. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the best turn-based strategy games in years, which is why we were thrilled to see it get a mobile re-release on Android (even if we did have a hefty wait behind iOS). You can now get the expansion pack to the original, Enemy Within, and surprisingly it's being released as a standalone game - that means that unlike the PC and console versions, you don't have to own the original to play it.
Humble Bundle offers great deals on apps and games, but it can be a little more work to make use of the content you buy. The Humble Bundle Android app has made it easier to access your stuff, but the app itself is going to be making itself scarce soon. Humble Bundle has announced it's pulling the app from the Play Store so it can add new features that are not welcome in Google's sandbox.