Google continues to tweak Android 6.0's visual interface with the latest Developer Preview, in ways both big and small. The default Google launcher has been seeing subtle changes since the M Preview was introduced, and the latest one is... interesting. The Preview 3 version of the app drawer includes a little "pop" effect when scrolling, highlighting the first app that begins with each successive letter in the alphabet. It's a little hard to describe verbally - check out the video below from YouTube user Zaid Salem.
Nova Launcher is easily the top pick for conventional Android home screen replacements, and a "daily driver" for a good chunk of Android Police's staff. The latest update added a Material Design user interface, but there are other goodies hiding just below the surface. For example, version 4.0 includes a simple app search function hidden in the app drawer. It's especially handy if you've got hundreds of installed apps (like Artem) or just don't like organizing your apps into folders (like everyone else).
One of the things I love about Android is the way it allows fantastic customization of its user interface, even without root or other major modifications. Take App Swap for example: this handy little app drawer replacement can launch either from a standard shortcut on your launcher (or alternative methods like SwipePad) or it can replace the default Google Now swipe-up-from-the-home-button gesture.
The latest update to this tool adds an even more useful feature: Quick Swipe.
I've never been to Vietnam, but (after seeing the earlier hands-on photos and now this video here) I'm tempted to check out airplane ticket prices for the country. I hear they have gorgeous landscapes, an interesting culture, and a bunch of geeks loose with Nexus 9s. One of them is parading in a coffee shop with a chocolate drink, a couple of books, and our coveted tablet. But I might be mistaken.
Themer wowed us with its introduction a few months back, and today's update to the powerful homescreen replacement and customization app is the largest yet. The biggest change is a redesigned app drawer, which allows for both the standard scrolling view and a new Categories screen. Categories are basically folders, but they're displayed like Google Now cards, and automatically populated with apps. You can manually tweak them if you want.
App drawers suck. Okay, that may not be universally true, but for the sake of this hands-on, lets all agree on this premise. Once we install apps from the Play Store, it takes way too long to find them, and once we're done, it can be bothersome trying to remember which app we installed before that one. After a couple of months, that clean app drawer can grow to become six, seven, and even eight pages long.
Someone got a hold of the Galaxy Nexus and made a valiant attempt to film it. Unfortunately they didn't open anything of interest (like, for instance, Gmail) and it seems like the phone wasn't even connected to the internet. Still, there are a few tidbits of precious information in there. Have a look:
The original upload was taken down, but nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet.