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.
I've written more than a few of these giveaways for products covering just about every aspect of Android development, and written by dozens of authors. But this one... well, this is special, because it's a series of LiveLessons from none other than former Android Police contributor Ian Clifton.
- Michael Pardon
- Tania N
- Alex (Dupree?)
- Mario II Valenzuela
- Jeff Miller
- Keyz Karanza
- CHRIS S
Congratulations, guys - all of you will be contacted for your information in the near future!
Script Kitty has actually been around for a while, but after receiving its 2.0 update last week, it's now a serious contender for one of those must-have apps (at least for anyone with an ssh-enabled server). I downloaded and set it up in a matter of a few minutes (including generating an RSA key for key-based auth and adding said key to a few Linux servers), and now have a stupid easy way of doing certain things very quickly without having to even resort to ConnectBot.
It seems like most books on developing for Android are geared towards beginners and those who are accustomed to developing for other platforms or using other languages, while fewer help you put that extra layer of polish and shine on your app. With hundreds of thousands of apps already on the market for you to compete with, that's exactly what you need: something to kick your app up a notch or two.
Today, I uninstalled the Amazon Appstore and bought all the FAOTD (free app of the day) apps I've been really using. Why did I do it? Because, mildly put, the Amazon Appstore app, which is required for all Amazon-installed apps to run and perform their license checks, has affected my battery life in very negative ways. Even if you never open it, it will keep running in the background, using up valuable CPU cycles, keeping the device awake when it should be sleeping.
The Google Maps team added support for Street View in Israel's major cities this past weekend - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. If you haven't had a chance to check out Street View yet, it can take you on a virtual stroll down city streets right inside Google Maps - on the web or on your Android device.
Pan, click, move, show your friends and family - it's especially impressive to those who have never seen Street View in action, which could be the case if, you know, you actually live in Israel.
Whether you are trying to score a great deal or just read the product descriptions, you've probably used Woot before. In fact, there's a good chance you've already used the service on your Android device, as there are several Woot apps available in the Play Store. But Woot Check, a brand new app from GT Media, the developers of SeekDroid, takes things to an impressive new level.
Side note: Technically, Woot Check was GT Media's first app, but it wasn't anything special at the time and what you see here today is a completely rewritten product that benefitted from all the experience of developing SeekDroid.
The Amazon Appstore Android app was just updated to version 2.3, which finally raised the maximum application size that can be downloaded over a mobile connection from 20MB to 50MB - something we've been asking the company nonstop for over a year. I understand why they set the default to 20MB, but enforcing a max, especially on 4G (Sprint has unlimited 4G, for example) didn't make sense. After all, it's my data, I should be the one to decide how to use it.
Learning to develop isn't always easy - and learning how to do it well is even harder. While it's true there are a plethora of resources available on the subject, sometimes they dive in too deep or skip over some of the prerequisites. Thanks to our friends over at informIT, though, we have just the book: Android Wireless Application Development Volume I: Android Essentials.
It's no secret that we work with a number of publishers to give away a steady stream of books to aid aspiring developers - after all, if we help developers, the entire Android ecosystem as a whole is enriched. But for some people, simply reading a book isn't the ideal way to learn. It's for these people that informIT has released Android App Development Fundamentals LiveLessons - a series of downloadable videos that are designed to teach Java developers how to build apps for Android.