As the start of Google I/O 2013 grows achingly close, Mountain View has seen fit to grace us with a pretty significant update of the official Google I/O app for this year's conference. For anyone attending the event, this app is going to be their golden ticket. The app should work on most Android form-factors (2.3 Gingerbread or higher), with a killer card-based UI that's consistent with Google's new design aesthetic. As for features, there's quite a lot going on:
Not all games need to rely on high-resolution textures, fancy lighting effects, and 3D open world play. No, sometimes you just want a clean little game with interesting puzzles to keep you occupied. Mosaique fits the bill with its unique take on mobile gaming. Rather than pile on endless levels, this title only has seven of them. Each time you play, the challenge is to make it through all seven as efficiently as possible. It only takes a few minutes to play a round, but you can put some real thought into it.
The game board in Mosaique is populated by some number of colored squares.
The difference is huge - it's like it went from Cupcake days to Jelly Bean in the blink of an eye. It would be nice if you could update Android the same way, wouldn't it?
Here are some images of the old (visible at archive.org) and new sites side-by-side (can you guess which one is which?):
So, to rectify this great injustice of the Internet (and because people keep asking me, personally) we've decided to hit you up with the Glass system dump. The Explorer program seems to be all about hacking and experimentation, so hopefully Google adopts an open policy towards posting Glass code. Please don't yell at us. <3
You can grab the original 285.7MB version of the Glass software, XE4, from our list of mirrors:
And the brand new, updated, 298.9MB XE5 version from any of these fine bit shifters:
If you find anything neat, or get any of this to run on something that it isn't supposed to run on, let us know.
Apex Launcher has bumped up to version 2.0, bringing in a host of new features to both the free and pro versions of the app. Free users who make the leap will find various improvements to the interface, updated translations, and the option to set the duration of vibrations. The pro version now allows users to place folders in the app drawer, but the star of the show is its integration with the new Apex Notifier.
Apex Notifier is not a standalone app, but an extension that works both with Apex Launcher and DashClock Widget. Apex Launcher Pro users who install Apex Notifier will see unread counts appear as badges atop various application icons, including:
- Missed Calls
- Unread SMS
- Calendar Appointments
- HTC Mail
- Samsung Email
- K-9 Mail
- Battery Level
- Stock Email
- Google Talk
- Google Voice
You are free to tweak the size and color of notifications, and you get to have a say in which apps badges will appear on.
For the unfamiliar, Ashley Madison is a dating site that enables couples in monogamous relationships to find partners for illicit affairs. That's the baseline we're starting from. The company's new app, however, takes this concept one step further by providing users with disposable phone numbers that can be used for calling and texting without your spouse finding out.
The BlackBook app doesn't include access to the social network itself, so it's purely used for correspondence. The irony, of course, being that the very act of having an Ashley Madison-branded app on your phone is more suspicious to a scorned lover than any of the dozens of other disposable phone number services would be.
Wow. So when Glass was first making the rounds, we heard a few rumblings about a ridiculously fast update cycle; something like monthly updates. Sure enough, it seems like Google is delivering on that sort-of rumored promise:
Today, less than a month after the Glass unit left Google HQ, there's a new update: Version XE5. There's no public change log, but Phandroid says they emailed Google and got back the following list:
New features in XE5:
- Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
Google+ integration sounds awesome;
the only problem is it doesn't actually work right now.
If you fancy yourself a budding meteorologist, OpenSignal's latest app release might just be the resource you've been waiting for. WeatherSignal turns your Android phone into a mobile weather station by tapping into sensors you didn't know your phone had in order to measure local atmospheric readings. With your consent, the app then submits this data to a collaboratively updated weather map for the world to share. Those of you who have used OpenSignal's previous app to find the best local WiFi connections might recognize the concept behind the company's latest initiative.
WeatherSignal is capable of measuring temperature, humidity, pressure, light, magnetic flux, and acceleration.
If you're in the modding and theming community, your work is about to get a bit faster, because Smali v2.0 is now in beta and firing on all cylinders. The new version brings multithreaded processing and a few tweaks to the language that should result in cleaner-looking code.
Get ready to start downloading, as the CyanogenMod team has started pushing out its first release candidate for 10.1. The CM team only uses the RC moniker to describe software that is believed to be stable and reliable enough for regular daily use. If you are looking for a rock solid version of Android 4.2 for your phone, this is probably the one to get.
The timing is no coincidence, as this lands exactly one week before a new version of Android is expected to be announced at Google I/O 2013 (probably v4.3). As with previous OS releases, the CyanogenMod team usually pushes a final RC or stable release shortly after the launch of a new version from Google, immediately before integrating the latest code base with their own modifications.